March 13th, 2012
09:00 AM ET

U.S., EU file trade case against China over rare earths

The United States, the European Union and Japan filed a trade case Tuesday over China's export restrictions on minerals that are crucial for the production of many high-tech devices, according to EU and U.S. officials.

The case aims to pressure China to lift export limits on certain minerals known as rare earths, a senior Obama administration official said.

China produces 97% of all rare earths, according to the EU. The materials are used in products including flat-screen televisions, smart phones, hybrid car batteries, wind turbines, energy-efficient lighting, electronics, cars and petroleum.

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soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. BOMBO ©

    This is an interesting game. China is restricting exports to keep demand high and raise prices. As they do this, is raises the incentive to develop economically feasable mining elsewhere in the world. The Chinese strategy could make them lots of money, or it could end their near monopoly.

    March 13, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©

    Agreed, Bombo.
    Or, people will want to cave because they can't do without their toys.
    It will be an interesting chess atch to watch.

    March 13, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    It would also be nice if we could start limiting exports from China, and start making some of the goods here....yeah, right.....

    March 13, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  4. Clinton

    Not sure why we always got to play the Good guy when it comes to trade, and why being the good guy always seems to sound like we got to be the ones getting bent over the barrel.... Seriously, China doesn't want to trade fairly with regards to Rare Earth Elements and has been waging an economical war on the US for the past 30 years... So... respond in kind... Place a large tax on food exports to China, they can't feed their own population, the US is the breadbasket of the world, we can also start being smart and place taxes on Imports from China, yes you'll have a bunch of Americans whining about higher prices but if you balance out the cost people can start manufacturing in the US again without fear of seeing their market flooded with cheap Chinese alternatives that puts our folks out of business. Stop being the Nice guy when it comes to trade America... it's time we woke up and fought back.

    March 13, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Clinton

    I think there's a weakness in the mindset of Americans and American politicians. They do not put the United States over the interests of foreign powers and foreign people. We have to always fight "fair" against people hoping they will play fair with us... why people don't understand that foreign powers want nothing more than to drag us down to their level i'll never understand... we need to be ruthless in the economic sector... The Government should ALWAYS put the US in position to have the edge in the Economy, not a "fairness" that isn't even fair, Take China for example, we allow them, a communist country that completely disagrees with EVERY foreign policy measure we take to grow off the backs of hardworking Americans by allowing them to flood our markets with cheap goods... we innovate, China replicates it and sells it back to us... Stop being morons.... the US government needs to step it up... use taxation and trade measures to even the score and then give us the advantage, bring jobs back by taxing imports... give people in America the opportunity to compete with foreign companies... It's the only way to stay on top which is where we should be.... Stop GIVING away everything our Grandfathers and Great Grandfathers worked for... The Chinese didn't earn it, they didn't invent anything... but they're profiting off all of our inventions.

    March 13, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. High Hopes

    I celebrate the fact that this, just, might be what we need to free ourselves from the hands of corrupt businessmen and a free-wheeling nation who bombard our markets with cheap imitations built on the backs of slave laborers...


    (You'd be surprised at the difference it makes)


    March 13, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joseph C. Carbone III

    A late trade complaint against China is seen as a reelection strategy put on the sidelines while Americans greatly suffered for three more years; this is unacceptable of Pres. Obama.

    Incredibly Outrageous: This was needed more than three years ago and anyone with sense knew it before and after Pres. Obama's campaign of change.

    Sincerely, Joseph C. Carbone III; 13 March 2012

    ★"˜¨¯¯¨˜"ª¤(¯`*•.¸(¯`*•.. The Hon. Dr. Ron Paul for 2012 ..•*´¯)¸.•*´¯)¤ª"˜¨¯¯¨˜"★

    March 13, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. chrissy

    I wondered how long it would take for someone to blame Obama for this. sheesh!

    March 13, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |