UPDATED 6:50 AM PT — Wednesday, May 29, 2019
China is considering limiting the exports of rare-earth materials to the U.S. On Tuesday, the country’s state-run media said Beijing could retaliate against the U.S. by asserting dominance in the global rare-earth market.
Chinese restrictions could hurt America’s military-industrial complex as the materials are crucial for making electronics. The consumer market could also suffer, because the minerals are used in devices like smart phones and computers.
President Trump said China could face tariffs on another $300 billion worth of goods unless Beijing comes to its senses.
“I think they probably wish they made the deal that they had on the table before they tried to renegotiate it…they would like to make a deal,” stated the president. “We’re not ready to make a deal, and we’re taking in tens of billions of dollars of tariffs…and that number could go up very very substantially, very easily.”
China accounts for about 80-percent of U.S. imports of rare-earth materials. Economists say President Trump could have to boost trade with Australia, South Africa and Russia to find a new source of minerals.