Rare earths — a group of 17 obscure minerals that are embedded in our digital lives — have been thrust into the centre of the US-China trade war following warnings by Beijing that it could cut off supply.
However, “It would be difficult to make it hit just the US,” Yujia He, of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology’s Institute for Emerging Market Studies, says of any eventual Chinese restrictions on exports. The US imports very little rare earths directly from China: the total value was about $160m in 2018, mostly for the oil and gas industry. Export restrictions would directly impact Japan and other Asian countries, which Beijing is not trying to antagonise.
Read the full article titled “Rare earths: Beijing threatens a new front in the trade war” published on the Financial Times on 20 May 2019.
The article is also syndicated on Msn.com.