onsdag 5. juni 2019

US moves to reduce reliance on Chinese rare earths exports after Beijing threatens to cut supplies

The US government has set out an extensive strategy to reduce its reliance on rare earths exports from China after Beijing threatened to stop selling the strategically vital minerals. The US Department of Commerce published a 50-page report on Tuesday outlining a slew of measures, including steps to boost domestic supplies, to reduce the “strategic vulnerabilities” caused by its dependence on imports.

Around 59 per cent of the US’ imports of rare earths – which are critical for consumer electronics and military equipment – came from China last year, according to the US International Trade Commission. The report noted that out of the 35 minerals deemed “critical” by the US government, supplies of 31 mainly came from foreign sources and 14 were entirely from imports.