Reporting for the Daily Caller, Michael Bastasch zeroes in on what has once again become a hot button issue – Rare Earth Elements (REEs) in the context of trade relations, as reported Chinese threats to “escalate its trade dispute with the Trump administration to include rare earth minerals has, once again, shined a spotlight on U.S. dependency for elements used in hundreds of hi-tech products and military equipment.”
Bastasch cites ARPN’s Dan McGroarty, who says that “China is letting the U.S. know that it has leverage.”
Followers of ARPN will remember that China is no stranger to playing politics with its near-total rare earth supply monopoly.
McGroarty hopes that these threats could in fact serve as a catalyst for Congressional and/or executive actions to reduce our nation’s over-reliance on foreign mineral imports – because the issue is, to a large extent, a self-inflicted problem.
“The irony, and that is an understatement, is that the U.S. has rare earth deposits capable of meeting national security needs, and ending the reliance on China. With China saber-rattling on the rare earths, this could be the time for a strong U.S. response.”
McGroarty is hopeful that efforts to overhaul our nation’s mineral resource policy which have long been lagging may get traction in light of the looming specter of China playing the “rare earths card,” saying that “Congress is working now on the 2020 defense bill, with signs that there will be legislation directing the Pentagon to act to incentivize U.S. rare earth production.”
Whether or not China will go through with this threat remains to be seen, but we could not agree more with Dan Kish, distinguished senior fellow at the Institute for Energy Research, whom Bastasch quotes as saying:
Click here to read the full article.