Report: China Blocking Rare Earth Mineral Shipments to U.S.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Just days after the Obama administration announced that it is investigating China’s clean energy trade policies, The New York Times is reporting that the country has blocked shipments to the United States of rare earth minerals essential for the manufacturing of green technologies.

If this is true (the Times quotes three anonymous sources), it’s a big deal. The move is the latest indication that China isn’t afraid to play hardball with the United States, particularly now that the administration has publicly raised concerns about China’s trade policies. This weekend, Chinese officials denounced U.S. efforts to investigate a series of allegations made by the United Steelworkers that China is breaking WTO rules by offering manufacturers in the country unfair advantages.

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