United States and Japan Sign Critical Minerals Agreement

March 28, 2023

Historic agreement will diversify key supply chains and strengthen the U.S.-Japan bilateral economic and trade relationship

WASHINGTON -- United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Japan’s Ambassador to the United States, Tomita Koji, today signed a critical minerals agreement (“Agreement Between the Government of Japan and the Government of the United States of America on Strengthening Critical Minerals Supply Chains”).  The Agreement builds on the 2019 U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement and will strengthen and diversify critical minerals supply chains and promote the adoption of electric vehicle battery technologies.  In particular, the Agreement memorializes the shared commitment of the United States and Japan with respect to the critical minerals sector to facilitate trade, promote fair competition and market-oriented conditions for trade in critical minerals, advance robust labor and environmental standards, and cooperate in efforts to ensure secure, transparent, sustainable, and equitable critical minerals supply chains.
“Today’s announcement is proof of President Biden’s commitment to building resilient and secure supply chains,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai.  “Japan is one of our most valued trading partners and this agreement will enable us to deepen our existing bilateral relationship.  This is a welcome moment as the United States continues to work with our allies and partners to strengthen supply chains for critical minerals, including through the Inflation Reduction Act.” 
The Agreement establishes several new commitments and areas for joint cooperation regarding electric vehicle battery critical minerals supply chains between the United States and Japan, including those related to:

  • Non-imposition of export duties on critical minerals;
  • Domestic measures to address non-market policies and practices of other countries affecting trade in critical minerals;
  • Best practices regarding review of investments within their territories in the critical minerals sector by foreign entities;
  • Measures that promote more resource efficient and circular economy approaches to reduce the demand for, and environmental impact of, virgin material extraction and related processes;
  • Engagement, information-sharing, and enforcement actions related to labor rights in critical minerals extraction and processing;
  • Remedying violations of labor rights at entities connected to critical minerals supply chains; and
  • Promoting employer neutrality in union organizing and operations.

The Agreement entered into force immediately upon signature.
Text of the Agreement Between the Government of Japan and the Government of the United States of America on Strengthening Critical Minerals Supply Chains