Our minerals are ripe for the plucking by the US

The two big risks to Australia here are, firstly, jeopardising whatever is left of our mining sector’s historic relationships of trust with our major mining market in China. Any Australian mining company currently selling to China could have its relationships and operations there crippled if it went into business with US mining companies on this basis. It is pure mercantilism, to put it bluntly – aimed at cutting out Chinese competition in a fair marketplace.

Secondly, the proposals set out in the ASPI paper for US-majority-owned mining companies to dictate and determine development of industry processing of critical minerals in Australia contradict Australian aspirations for economic sovereignty. They would put Australia firmly back in our place as a raw materials supplier to the Metropolis, and nothing more – as we were in British Empire days. This cries out for Paul Keating’s acerbic pen.

I have no confidence in the ability of the present Australian Government, dazzled by the US alliance, to manage these negotiations in our national interest – either commercially or strategically. I fear we will once again be exploited and entrapped by our great and powerful – and clever – friend.