News / Asia

US Voices Concern Over China's Rare Earth Cutbacks

A worker waters the site of a rare earth metals mine at Nancheng county, Jiangxi province, China 29 Dec 2010
A worker waters the site of a rare earth metals mine at Nancheng county, Jiangxi province, China 29 Dec 2010

U.S. officials say they are "very concerned" about China's decision to sharply reduce exports of rare earth minerals over the next six months, a move that is already driving up share prices for companies producing the crucial metals.

Japanese importers said Wednesday they are also watching the situation closely. The minerals are used in high-tech products ranging from computers to hybrid cars to missile guidance systems.

China, which provides 97 percent of the world's supply of rare earths, announced Tuesday it was cutting its export quota for the first half of 2011 to about 14,500 tons. The cut was initially reported as an 11 percent reduction, but following clarifications from the Chinese government, it is seen as a 35 percent cut from the year-earlier period.

In Washington, the U.S. Trade Representative's office said the United States is "very concerned about China's export restraints on rare earth materials." The spokeswoman said the United States has raised its concerns with China and is discussing the matter with other parties.

The United States said last week that it may complain to the World Trade Organization about China's limits on exports of the rare earths.

Japan's economic minister Akihiro Ohata was less concerned Wednesday, telling his country's Kyodo news service that the cuts were in line with expectations.

But a spokesman for Japan's Sony Corp., a leading manufacturer of electronic products, told Reuters news agency that further restrictions "could lead to a shortage of supply or rise in costs for related parts and materials."

The spokesman said Sony will "watch the situation carefully."

China has been gradually reducing export quotas for the minerals, including a 72 percent cut this year that caused a surge in prices. Officials say they are concerned about protecting the Chinese environment, but also face growing domestic demand for the metals as Chinese companies move into the field of high-tech manufacturing.

China's commerce ministry said late Tuesday that quota for the second half of the year is still under discussion and that it was not appropriate to assume the first-half quotas are representative of the full year.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid