China is Limiting Access to Rare Earth Metals
Bloomberg News reports that China’s decision to curb exports of rare earths is set to spark a global race for alternative sources that could require a decade to secure sufficient supplies.
China's hoarding of key metals won't just adversely impact U.S. manufacturers. Germany and Japan have joined the U.S. in calling on Beijing to restore rare-earth exports.
Rare earth metals are used in "everything from hybrid vehicles and flat-screen TVs to weapons systems." They also constitute a key component of renewable energy technology, which is why China's policies are unacceptable as the world transitions to greener manufacturing.
The United Steelworkers (USW) union recently filed a trade case against China under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, stating that Beijing's hoarding of rare earth metals limits U.S. ability to expand domestic capacity in wind and solar energy products, advanced batteries, energy-efficient vehicles, and other clean energy manufactured goods.
The Section 301 case is an important step toward revitalizing America's clean energy manufacturing.
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