Two US uranium producers are asking President Donald Trump to crack down on imports from Russia and central Asia in the name of US national security, arguing the country has lost its ability to meet the needs of its nuclear weapons stockpile, naval vessels, and power plants. In a petition filed with the US commerce department, Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy said the US industry had been decimated by competition from state-backed producers in Kazakhstan, Russia and Uzbekistan. They also warned that China was emerging as an increasingly important uranium producer and exporter.
The step comes just weeks after the Trump administration labeled China and Russia as the US’s two major rivals in a National Security Strategy and as Mr Trump gears up to announce new trade measures against Beijing. It coincides with recent moves by Washington that have benefited the uranium mining industry, including a move to scale back the size of Bears Ears National Monument in Utah which has a number of uranium mines abutting it. It also comes amid a continuing firestorm in conservative media over what Mr Trump and others have alleged was rival Hillary Clinton’s role in helping to approve the 2010 sale of major domestic producer Uranium One to Russia’s Rosatom. Investors in Rosatom had made donations to the Clinton Foundation.