NYT: How Rare Earths Could Be Crucial in a U.S.-China Trade War

Jul. 15, 2018

There is a hole in the western supply chain

In July 2018, Adamas Intelligence spoke with The New York Times about the current state of the global rare earth market and the potential for China to use rare earths as a political tool as the U.S. – China trade war escalates.

Among the key points emphasized during communication:

  • The price spike of 2011 demonstrated China’s willingness to use rare earths as a political weapon, but ultimately served to destroy a lot of demand as end-users sought out alternatives to rare earths where possible. This begs the question – would China do it again?
  • While U.S. policy is focused on cutting red tape and expediting development of new mines domestically, there is little being done to address domestic gaps further down the supply chain. Until the U.S. re-establishes a domestic production base for rare earth permanent magnets (namely NdFeB), the development of new mines (or re-opening of old mines) will be but a half-step towards securing the U.S. supply chain.

Read more about what was discussed in this recent article from The New York Times.

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