Remember all those green jobs Obama promised and how they would turn our economy around and create manufactoring jobs ,well I guess the Chinese didn't get the memo or rather they did and decided they didn't like the idea of jobs being exported from their country.
Currently there are only a few mining companies outside of China that are mining these elements and the only one I know of in the US is Molycorp Inc (MCP). A recent editorial in the Washington Times suggests that the US must act now if it doesn't want to be held hostage by China should the Chinese decide to stop exports all together.
Rare earth minerals are required in order to create everything from military hardware to computers to wind turbines to batteries for electric cars. So if the Chinese are not willing to export these minerals then how are we going to create any new jobs here in America?
China Said to Widen Its Embargo of Minerals
By KEITH BRADSHER
Published: October 19, 2010
You can read the rest of the article here.HONG KONG — China, which has been blocking shipments of crucial minerals to Japan for the last month, has now quietly halted some shipments of those materials to the United States and Europe, three industry officials said this week.
The Chinese action, involving rare earth minerals that are crucial to manufacturing many advanced products, seems certain to further intensify already rising trade and currency tensions with the West. Until recently, China typically sought quick and quiet accommodations on trade issues. But the interruption in rare earth supplies is the latest sign from Beijing that Chinese leaders are willing to use their growing economic muscle.
“The embargo is expanding” beyond Japan, said one of the three rare earth industry officials, all of whom insisted on anonymity for fear of business retaliation by Chinese authorities.
They said Chinese customs officials imposed the broader restrictions on Monday morning, hours after a top Chinese official summoned international news media Sunday night to denounce United States trade actions.
China mines 95 percent of the world’s rare earth elements, which have broad commercial and military applications, and are vital to the manufacture of products as diverse as cellphones, large wind turbines and guided missiles. Any curtailment of Chinese supplies of rare earths is likely to be greeted with alarm in Western capitals, particularly because Western companies are believed to keep much smaller stockpiles of rare earths than Japanese companies.