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Rare Earth “Geopolitical Problem” to feature in G-20 talks even as USA looks to boost Domestic Supply through Legislation

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The seriousness of Chinese reduction of rare earth element supplies has increased in the last month or so after the Chinese put an unofficial embargo on REE exports to Japan.Germany hosted a meet with industry where REE shortages are causing problems for the Hi-Tech German manufacturers.German’s Economic Minister is looking towards international regulation of critical raw materials.Japan which is the biggest importer of Rare Earth Minerals is already taking the issue very seriously.It is scouting for REE supply deals with India,Vietnam and Kazakhstan even as it presses China diplomatically to life the embargo.

USA is the 2nd largest importer of REE and it has thought of taking the issue to WTO.But the WTO has proved to be quite toothless delaying the hearing of issue till 2011.Obama has decided to rake up the REE shortage in the G-20 meeting even as US Senate thinks of passing legislation to boost domestic sources of  REE.Molycorp was up more than 11% forming yet another lifetime high on the news.Note the US Congress has already passed a REE law and the Senate needs to endorse the draft in order for it to become law.Rare Earth Elements have a Defense Angle to them as well as many of the  REE such as samarium are used in Defense Products.Radars,Pathfinders,Smart Bombs and a number of advanced weaponry require Rare Elements for their production.Without a domestic source,USA might be put at a serious disadvantage in the coming decades.

Obama may raise China rare earth issue at G20-W.House

U.S. President Barack Obama could raise the issue of Chinese control of rare earth minerals with Beijing at the G20 meeting next month, the White House said on Tuesday.”I think we are likely to see (Chinese) President Hu (Jintao) on the trip at the G20,” said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.”If it is something that the security and economic teams think is important…certainly, we wouldn’t hesitate to bring it up,” Gibbs said.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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