Charles Hilu of the Washington Free Beacon highlights the potential negative impact of a Biden administration environmental proposal.

A Biden administration proposal to effectively ban a chemical used to produce U.S. military equipment would make America’s national defense apparatuses reliant on China and other foreign sources, domestic manufacturers are warning.

President Joe Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency last year unveiled rule proposals aimed at banning certain chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act. At least one chemical on the chopping block—methylene chloride—is used to produce military equipment such as bulletproof glass, helmets, and fighter jet canopies. As a result, companies that rely on the chemical to produce such products are sounding the alarm, with polymer manufacturer Covestro arguing in a June letter to the EPA that the ban would “require military and police related applications to be manufactured from foreign sourced materials.”

The proposed ban comes as China works to ramp up its chemical production. While the communist nation controlled just 9 percent of the world’s chemical sales in 2003, it is now the largest chemical producer in the world, accounting for 44 percent of global sales as of 2022. That year, China was one of the world’s top exporters of carbon tetrachloride, which is used to destroy chemical weapons. China is also the world’s top exporter of methylene chloride, which the Department of Defense also uses to make specialty batteries and remove paint from aircraft, among other manufacturing purposes.

The department under Biden has worked to build up the domestic production of “high priority chemicals” in an attempt to reduce “foreign dependency for critical materials required for DoD missiles and munitions.” To remain in line with that mission, the EPA generally issues national-security-related exemptions on its environmental regulations.

At least one company, however, is arguing that even with those exemptions, the Biden administration’s methylene chloride ban would impact the supply chain for military equipment.