China's Rare-Earth Power-Play

The United States, Europe, and Japan have recently joined forces to challenge China's restrictions on exports of rare-earth metals, escalating a trade row over access to some of the most important raw materials  used in advanced technologies.  All three trade powers accused China of trying to hold down prices for its domestic manufacturers while pressuring international firms to move operations to China.  As demand of rare-earth material is on the rise, the USA and China now are locked in a trade battle over China's monopoly when it comes to the production of said materials. The U.S. and its allies are complaining to the World Trade Organization (WTO) about what they say are unfair Chinese controls over exports.  Rare-earths are crucial for the defense, electronics, and renewable-energy industries and are used in a range of electronic consumer products such as smartphones, disk drives, and wind turbines. China accounts for 95% of the global output of seventeen...(Read Full Article)