From American Thinker

The threat against the U.S. was issued Thursday in a China People's Daily incendiary headline: "United States, don't underestimate China's ability to strike back."  The article warned of the United States' "uncomfortable" dependence on China rare earths.

The Government Accountability Office in 2016 reported that the United States represents about 9 percent of world demand for rare earth elements, with the Defense Department accounting for 1 percent of demand.  But 15 of the 17 elements are key inputs across most of America's high-tech weapons systems.

From the 1950s through the mid-1990s, California's Mountain Pass Mine supplied most of the world's demand for rare earth elements, including europium for color TVs.  But China targeted domestic production, and export supply of rare earth elements beginning in the late 1990s as a pathway to enter the Western world's high-tech supply chain.

By selling product at 30 percent below market and mostly ignoring mine tailings and dumping refining wastewaters loaded with heavy metals, acids, and radioactive elements into giant unlined ponds, China was able to corner over 80 percent of the rare earth market.  Mountain Pass continues to mine about 20 percent of rare earth element ore, but 100 percent is shipped by containers to China for refining.

Read the complete article from American Thinker at the link below.
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