China considers limiting rare-earth exports to US: report

China’s government is considering plans to use the country’s dominance in the rare-earth metals market against the U.S. as a trade war between the two nations progresses.

China’s government is “seriously considering” restricting the export of rare metals used in electronics manufacturing to the U.S., the editor in chief of Global Times, China’s party-run English-language newspaper, tweeted Tuesday, Reuters reported. 

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“Based on what I know, China is seriously considering restricting rare earth exports to the U.S. China may also take other countermeasures in the future,” he reportedly wrote.

The Global Times, while not officially run by the federal government, is published and distributed by the Communist Party’s People’s Party, the dominant party in China.

Chinese shipments accounted for 80 percent of all U.S. imports of rare-earth minerals between 2014 and 2017, according to Reuters, suggesting that U.S. markets could be in for a major blow if the government carries out plans to restrict business to the U.S.

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President TrumpDonald John TrumpCitizenship and Immigration Services union blasts Trump’s pick to head agency Texas secretary of state resigns after botched voter purge Trump hits Biden for 1994 crime bill support MORE indicated this week that negotiators are no closer to a deal with China’s government over a variety of trade issues, while the Treasury Department is reportedly considering $300 billion in further tariffs targeting imports from China.

The Trump administration has accused Chinese negotiators of walking back provisions the two sides had previously agreed upon, an accusation that has stalled the bilateral talks.

“I think they probably wish they made the deal that they had on the table before they tried to renegotiate it,” Trump said Monday. “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.”

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