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China rare earth metal could kill the production of U.S. and Japanese electrified vehicles (top - 2011 Chevy Volt; middle - 2011 Ford Fusion hybrid; bottom - 2010 Toyota Prius).  (Source: GM (top), Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC (middle, bottom))
Country is slowing cutting off rare earth metal shipments to the United States

Rare earth metals were long a low-demand resource.  While relatively scarce, they were only used in small quantities in electronics and other applications.  However, with the surge in interest in vehicle electrification the demand for rare earth metals has soared. The average electrified vehicle (e.g. a hybrid or battery electric vehicle) uses over twice the rare earth metals of a standard vehicle due its needs for chemically complex magnets, electronics, and other battery systems.

That demand has put China in a fortunate position.  The nation controls an estimated 95 percent of the world's rare earth production.  And now it’s choking that supply.

For the last few months China has been cutting off rare earth shipments to Japan, threatening hybrid makers Nissan, Honda, and Toyota.  Now China has followed in suit with the U.S. according to three industry sources quoted by The New York Times.

With China severing or greatly scaling back shipments of rare earth metals to the U.S., makers of electrified vehicles like Ford and GM may be unable to continue to hybrids, BEVs, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles en masse.

The decision leaves U.S. manufacturers with only four options.  The first is to cut back on their use of rare earth metals.  Much research has already one into this, but the reason rare earths are still used is that they're simply much more efficient at their roles (e.g. motor magnets) than chemical alternatives.

The second option is similarly problematic.  U.S. manufacturers can try to weather the embargo in hopes of it being lifted, relying on stockpiled rare earths.  Exact estimates of how much rare earth metals are stockpiled in the U.S. is sketchy at best, but it's clear that past perhaps a year or two, these stockpiles would likely be exhausted.

A third option is to try to expand domestic rare earth mining and refining.  Japan and the U.S. are already working at this approach, which is the most promising in the long term, but insufficient in the short term.  Mines can be created/opened with anywhere from a year for existing mines to several years for new ones.  However, refineries can take five or more years to full install and bring online.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the Japanese government and corporate interests are working to open new mines in Kazakhstan and Mongolia.  Meanwhile, the United States' Glencore International AG, the world’s biggest commodities trader, and Wings Enterprises Inc. of Missouri announced plans to reopen a rare earth mine in Pea Ridge Missouri.  Minerals firm Molycorp Inc. announced similar to reopen a rare-earth mine in Mountain Pass, California that has been shuttered since 2002.

The least attractive final option is to transition production of electric vehicles to China, circumventing foreign trade barriers.  The problem here is that China has pending legislation that would force any foreign company that manufacturers electrified vehicle components in China to surrender their intellectual company to Chinese automakers.

Will China's embargo of rare earth's "kill" the vehicle electrification movement?  In the long term the answer is probably no, but in the short term that remains a very real possibility as American and Japanese automakers have only a handful of options -- most of which are either largely unviable or quite unattractive.  As a result the public may see production of electrified vehicles drop and prices raise -- things which may ultimately kill the mass market appeal that they're trying to gain.

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the 5th option
By kattanna on 10/21/2010 11:26:52 AM , Rating: 5
there is of course a 5th option, we could simply stop importing stuff from china.

while it would never really happen in reality, the mere threat, if perceived as genuine, would bring china back into open trading.

what i find most interesting about all this is how china has really suckered western corps into the current issue. they have long undercut us in cost, so we closed most of our mines due to the bottom line. now after decades of being dependent on them, they are demanding free tech to further help them be competitive. I have the sad feeling that our short sighted companies will give in, transfer the tech over to china, and then in a few more years be even more dependent on china or out of business because they willnt have anything over what a chinese company can do. Tech right now IS the one thing we have over them, generally.

what we really need to be doing is to be re-investing in our own ability to produce a product here in the US, not just "services".

RE: the 5th option
By gamerk2 on 10/21/10, Rating: -1
RE: the 5th option
By spread on 10/21/2010 11:47:37 AM , Rating: 3
Rare metals are scattered all over the earth's crust, not just in China. There's other deposits to be developed.

RE: the 5th option
By gamerk2 on 10/21/10, Rating: -1
RE: the 5th option
By inighthawki on 10/21/2010 12:29:44 PM , Rating: 2
several hundred billion? Surely it's not cheap, but we're not starting a war, just opening a mine and a refinery...

RE: the 5th option
By gamerk2 on 10/21/10, Rating: 0
RE: the 5th option
By inighthawki on 10/21/2010 6:30:44 PM , Rating: 2
But I say again, don't you think "hundreds of billions" is a bit of an overestimate? You are talking of a price higher than the value of several of the top companies in the world put together, let alone just what they can afford to put in.

RE: the 5th option
By priusone on 10/22/2010 7:36:10 AM , Rating: 1
Oil refineries haven't been built here in the US for that long because it is so much easier to have it refined in a country where a strangle hold of regulations and crying liberal environmentalists won't prevent its installation.

Sure, mines, refineries, logging and so on have environmental impacts, but I would much rather look at a patch of barren land and smile thinking about how we are keep people here employed. But hey, nothings going to change. We may fight harder and get a mine or two opened, but when stuff cools down, aka China gets the technology, it will become cheaper to import the material from China and less of a hassle of dealing with regulations, so the mines will again close.

RE: the 5th option
By spread on 10/21/2010 1:02:02 PM , Rating: 5
This is exactly why you don't ship all manufacturing to China in the first place. Now they're the ones in charge.

Short term gains for the rich bags, long term pain for everyone.

RE: the 5th option
By Kurz on 10/21/10, Rating: 0
RE: the 5th option
By spread on 10/21/2010 2:10:26 PM , Rating: 5
Oh but you had a hand in it as well. You like cheap stuff don't you?

This is what happens. Thanks to everyone wanting the cheapest possible product, the most powerful economy (they call the shots now) in the world is a communist state.

RE: the 5th option
By spread on 10/21/2010 4:40:07 PM , Rating: 5
Unfortunately, the cost of these "cheap" items is very high.

Sure, you can buy that nice looking and low priced Made in China jacket for $50, but it falls apart in a year. Something made domestic costs $150 but lasts a lifetime.

Another example is toys. Low priced but tainted with lead which messes up your kid's brain and his life. Toothpaste laced with antifreeze is low priced but hello liver problems! Drywall, jewelry, plastics, electronics.... etc.

"Cheap" stuff costs ALOT long term.

RE: the 5th option
By Kurz on 10/21/10, Rating: -1
RE: the 5th option
By spread on 10/21/2010 5:11:44 PM , Rating: 5
Regulation has its benefits, clean water, products that don't contain toxins... etc.

You want to see real taxation? Move to Canada. You guys have it really easy tax wise. I hear the Brits have it worse though.

RE: the 5th option
By Kurz on 10/21/10, Rating: -1
RE: the 5th option
By FaaR on 10/22/2010 4:19:18 AM , Rating: 4
Products with toxins would be found out? How, after 50.000 people received cancer and died, years later?

You've abolished the product safety testing laboratories already, who's going to perform these tests??? Lol, you're such a tool for believing boycotting would seriously be a viable deterrence against creating dangerous products.

Btw, US taxes - on every level - is amongst THE LOWEST in all of the civilized, industrialized western world. Whining about how high your taxes are as an american just shows what a gigantic ignorant douche you are.

RE: the 5th option
By Kurz on 10/22/10, Rating: 0
RE: the 5th option
By mcnabney on 10/22/10, Rating: 0
RE: the 5th option
By Kurz on 10/22/2010 6:34:19 PM , Rating: 3
Of course they do I never said otherwise.
Thats why I am a fan of a lower flat tax rate.
None of these Loophole BS.

RE: the 5th option
By knutjb on 10/21/2010 5:29:41 PM , Rating: 2
There is a big difference between reasonable, adequate regulation and over-regulation. We in the US are seriously hindered by excessive and convoluted regulation managed by an over-zealous EPA.

I do not profess to let industry go unchecked but current policies make it very difficult to impossible for any of these industries to function at all.

RE: the 5th option
By spread on 10/21/2010 5:14:55 PM , Rating: 5
You're right about free markets though. China is completely free. If you want to run a slave labor camp you can almost do that in China. Read up on Foxconn and the working conditions, including physical punishment of employees.

Yup. That's a completely free market. totally awesome! Right?

RE: the 5th option
By Kurz on 10/21/10, Rating: 0
RE: the 5th option
By bupkus on 10/22/2010 1:44:32 AM , Rating: 4
Who and why in the world would someone rate this down? Are we looking back longingly to pre Civil War slavery?

RE: the 5th option
By bupkus on 10/22/2010 1:45:29 AM , Rating: 3
Who and why in the world would someone rate this down? Are we looking back longingly to pre Civil War slavery?

Response to this post, not the other.

RE: the 5th option
By chick0n on 10/21/10, Rating: 0
RE: the 5th option
By priusone on 10/22/2010 7:44:53 AM , Rating: 5
I'd gladly move to China. Have already lived in Japan and the middle east. While I may damn near starve in China, it would be a breath of fresh air not having to be around my fellow moronicly blind neighbors who gladly buy their insanely cheap Chinese products while complaining about the trade deficit. Kind of like hearing people at the grocery store crying about be fat with stacks of ho-ho's in their cart.

RE: the 5th option
By Spookster on 10/22/2010 5:20:45 PM , Rating: 5
Did you just use "fresh air" and "China" in the same sentence? hahahaha

RE: the 5th option
By Jeffk464 on 10/21/2010 11:55:07 PM , Rating: 2
I love these jerks that want to go back to the time of the robber barons. Everyone slaving away barely making enough to eat, while a couple of fat cats have all the resources of the area. Yes sign me up.

RE: the 5th option
By Kurz on 10/22/2010 7:25:51 AM , Rating: 2
Lols... Monopolies only exist in a market that is protected by the government. Its just about impossible for them to exist otherwise.

RE: the 5th option
By priusone on 10/22/2010 8:12:52 AM , Rating: 1
How in gods name to you figure that? AT&T had a monopoly and was forces to split by the goverment. Sirius is technically a monopoly. Microsoft, Intel, and others have acted as monopolies due to their market size.

China is in a whole different class. Mega-Monopoly? Commumonopoly?

RE: the 5th option
By Kurz on 10/22/2010 9:23:35 AM , Rating: 2
AT&T was a monopoly because state governments/local governments had deals with AT&T. Therefore protected by the state. Then the state from political pressure came in and broke up AT&T.

Just like today many areas have only one broadband provider.
Its because either there isn't much of a market or the local governments have a anti competitive protection for these companies to prevent other companies from putting down lines. (This is not nececarlly a bad thing for the short term)

Acted and being a monopoly are completely different.
Intel and AMD are fighting for marketshare.
Microsoft has to remain competitive or Linux (free) or Apple will threaten their marketshare.

RE: the 5th option
By spread on 10/23/2010 7:48:47 AM , Rating: 2
Ok, I'd like to see some evidence.

Please give me some reading on the AT&T disaster leading up to the breakup. I'm interested to see just how much influence the government had.

RE: the 5th option
By Kurz on 10/23/2010 8:48:38 AM , Rating: 2
google terms "at&t monopoly government"

RE: the 5th option
By spread on 10/22/2010 11:29:27 AM , Rating: 4
Only if the government protects that industry. In alot of cases, the government regulates these monopolies and breaks them down when necessary.

Look at AT&T and how it was taken apart when it got too big. They broke up AT&T into Ameritech, Bell South, etc.

RE: the 5th option
By Kurz on 10/22/2010 12:50:00 PM , Rating: 2
Political pressure my friend only by political pressure.

The governments created the monopoly that was AT&T.
Then Years later through political pressure it was disbanded and taken apart.

There has never been a Natural Monopoly.
There was never 100% control of a company.
If there was it was created by the government.

RE: the 5th option
By mcnabney on 10/22/2010 3:52:25 PM , Rating: 1
Explain Windows, dumbass.

RE: the 5th option
By Sazabi19 on 10/22/2010 4:09:01 PM , Rating: 2
Fedora core, Linux, Ubuntu, OSX, iOS, Android... quite a few others as well.

RE: the 5th option
By Sazabi19 on 10/22/2010 4:04:23 PM , Rating: 1
That is becuase of your socially subsidised healthcare. Thank yourself for that-eh?

RE: the 5th option
By hyvonen on 10/27/2010 1:20:36 PM , Rating: 2
That's FUD. Why do you automatically assume chinese products are of lower quality than U.S. made ones?

A $150 jacket made in China should be far better quality than $150 jacket made in the U.S., for the simple reason that the labor cost savings can be used towards better quality materials. Even that $50 chinese jacket should be able to compete with a far more expensive $150 U.S. made jacket.

Did you forget the time when American cars were crap compared to cheaper Japanese cars? Today, high-quality cars are built in Korea. Tomorrow it's probably China.

RE: the 5th option
By 91TTZ on 10/21/2010 5:35:35 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks to everyone wanting the cheapest possible product, the most powerful economy (they call the shots now) in the world is a communist state.

The US is still by far the world's most powerful economy. While China has overtaken Japan to be a solid #2, the US economy is still roughly 3 times larger.

Also, while much has been made of the amount of US debt that China holds, Japan actually holds more.

RE: the 5th option
By Solandri on 10/22/2010 4:52:09 AM , Rating: 4
China actually does hold slightly more debt than Japan, though Japan is coming close to passing it.

Still, China only has $868 B out of $4.2 T in debt held by foreign countries. So I don't really understand why everyone always focuses on China when it comes to U.S. debt. They barely hold 1/5th of our total foreign debt.

A great deal of China's economic growth is artificial too, generated by their manipulation of their currency (keeping it artificially low). In essence they are keeping their citizens underpaid in order to attract more foreign business (which also means they're stealing business from other countries), manufacturing a labor bubble centered on themselves. Buying foreign debt helps them maintain the bubble because they're essentially lending money to the foreign countries who can then send even more business to China.

It will work short-term, but as with all market distortions it will eventually fail in the long-term. When the correction hits, they're going to be in for a long period of stagnation which is going to eat up all the foreign debt they've been buying, and then some. They're gambling (with the world's economy no less) that this will be a quicker way for them to modernize than through regular free market growth.

See, the thing the people citing the rise of China don't seem to realize is that China needs the U.S. and EU far more than the U.S. and EU needs China. If the U.S. and EU stop sending business to China, the Chinese economy will tank. If China refuses to do business with the U.S. or EU, we will just send our business to Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, etc. The vast majority of the world's population still lives in developing countries, so there are plenty of nations out there willing to provide cheap labor. But there are very few developed nations seeking it.

RE: the 5th option
By mechwarrior1989 on 10/25/2010 4:15:35 PM , Rating: 2
You're right, a single country holding 1/5th of our national debt is no big deal.


If it was a country that was actively aggressive towards the United States like North Korea, you don't think that a "mere" 20% would cause huge problems for us? Imagine if a bank was 20% controlled by one man and he called in all the bank's debts that he controlled. I'm pretty sure that would cause a huge run on the bank.

RE: the 5th option
By kdogg4536 on 10/21/2010 5:08:05 PM , Rating: 2
Afghanistan has plenty of rare earth materials. Digging them up and selling the abroad will be very profitable for them. I believe the U.S. is in a very influential position to help them help us and the rest of the market from being held hostage to China.

RE: the 5th option
By cyberserf on 10/22/2010 4:26:27 AM , Rating: 2
I don't see what all these corps see in China.
The main problem is these clowns in the government only see China as the place to make goods. smart governments spread the manufacturing around especially when you are a country with lots of resources like the US.

RE: the 5th option
By MozeeToby on 10/21/2010 11:47:10 AM , Rating: 2
There's lots and lots of things we can do to reduce our reliance on Chinese rare earth metals. First and foremost we can start domestically recycling used electronics, or at least ripping the rare earth metals out of them before we ship them off. Then there's mountains of discarded computer equipment sitting in landfills around the country that could be sifted through more efficiently than any mine could ever be.

We can also change our designs to use less rare earth metals or even design better magnets that require less of the metals (there are people designing, at a molecular level, more efficient magnets). Some magnets could even be replaces all together with less powerful magnets or replaced with electromagnets, it just takes some (quite hard to offshore) engineering work.

Finally, if the price were to rise high enough, rare earth metals can be pulled right out of the common dirt (rare earth is a bit of a misnomer, they are actually quite common). It's a bit more expensive than mining richer deposits obviously, but combined with some other mining enterprise the price would be within an order of magnitude what it is now, and that's without the inevitable improvements on the process.

RE: the 5th option
By RU482 on 10/21/2010 11:59:22 AM , Rating: 2
the problem is, the content of rare earth metals in consumer electronics is so little, that there isn't an efficient way to recycle.

RE: the 5th option
By ajdavis on 10/22/2010 8:49:03 AM , Rating: 3
If the problem is we're running out of the stuff needed to build electronics I don't see how your statement could be true.

RE: the 5th option
By 91TTZ on 10/21/10, Rating: 0
RE: the 5th option
By bupkus on 10/22/10, Rating: 0
RE: the 5th option
By Solandri on 10/22/2010 5:11:25 AM , Rating: 3
2009 U.S. exports to China: $69.6 billion
2009 U.S. imports from China: $296.4 billion
2009 U.S. GDP: $14.2 trillion
2009 China GDP: $5.0 trillion

Total of U.S. - China trade as % of economy:
$366 billion / $5 trillion = 7.3% of China's economy
$366 billion / $14.2 trillion = 2.6% of U.S. economy

The U.S. holds the power in this relationship. We could cut off all trade with China and only impact our economy 2.6% (our GDP would actually go up 1.6% since a trade deficit counts as a negative to GDP). Meanwhile, China's economy would be impacted by 7.3%, with their GDP immediately declining 4.5%.

Secondary economy effects would probably result in both GDPs declining overall, but China would be hurt by a trade war far more than the U.S. It's relatively easy to find developing countries willing to provide cheap labor. But there are a very limited number of developed countries seeking to hire cheap labor.

RE: the 5th option
By mcnabney on 10/22/2010 4:00:43 PM , Rating: 1
Very good info.

I would also like to point out that the US was screwing Japan with petroleum/minerals access in the 30's/40's. Many historians believe that the embargos were the proximal cause of their attack at Pearl Harbor. Economic scuttlebut like this has and will continue to start wars. You know, I imagine Obama's approval rating would skyrocket if the US government ramped-up a trade-war or potentially a shooting war with China...

RE: the 5th option
By 91TTZ on 10/22/2010 12:19:35 PM , Rating: 1
It looks like you who is mistaken. Read up on the facts and get back to me.

RE: the 5th option
By 91TTZ on 10/22/2010 12:36:58 PM , Rating: 2
China is, in fact, holding onto the money. Normally when a country engages in trade with another they spend the foreign currency that they earn. In China's case they're stockpiling US dollars in an effort to reduce the number of outstanding dollars in the market, therefore artificially increasing the dollar's value. With a higher-value dollar and a lower-value yuan, it creates better market conditions for China to produce and export goods to us.

China gives some loans to the US, but it's nowhere near the amount coming in.

RE: the 5th option
By whatsinit4me on 10/21/2010 12:10:14 PM , Rating: 3
i agree with kattanna. stop chinese imports and see who blinks first. which economy would be hurt more? of course, it would have to be a combined worldwide effort, not just us against china

RE: the 5th option
By werfu on 10/21/2010 1:15:12 PM , Rating: 4
The US would. China internal demand has now outgrown the external demand. Their control over price and their enterprise would let them manipulate the offer and demand in the way that they could offset the lost sales. Why do you think China has been able to keep up growing at 10+% its GDP while the rest of the world has been in recession? China market is big enough to be self sustaining. This can be seen as China is now starting to import goods and resources. Soon enough they'll even import work force from Vietnam, North Korea, Laos, and other poor countries from Africa.

The dragon is rising fast. China may not be free. China may not be perfect. But China is rising. It's the only country that its still moving. The western countries are stuck in democratic immobility and selfishness.

RE: the 5th option
By ClownPuncher on 10/21/2010 1:31:44 PM , Rating: 2
No internal markets are self sustaining. I'm glad you like your country, but welcome to the rest of the world.

RE: the 5th option
By roadhog1974 on 10/21/2010 8:04:46 PM , Rating: 2
No internal markets are self sustaining. I'm glad you like your country, but welcome to the rest of the world.

Technically the world is an internal market.

RE: the 5th option
By ClownPuncher on 10/22/2010 1:45:59 PM , Rating: 2
And it can only sustain itself for a period of time.

RE: the 5th option
By Kurz on 10/21/2010 1:38:19 PM , Rating: 2
Actually we like you have the same bloated government.
Instead of having individuals do what they will with their own money the government puts up restrictions.

What China has been doing has been shifting economic sights away from central planning and allowing Companies and individuals more ability to do what they want.

RE: the 5th option
By marvdmartian on 10/21/10, Rating: 0
RE: the 5th option
By gamerk2 on 10/21/2010 3:54:33 PM , Rating: 2
You just hit the problem: There is nothing the US sells to China that they can't get elsewhere. The only thing the US can do is start placing tarrifs on Chinese goods, but at the end of the day, they can just ship elsewhere. Nevermind that the cost of everything would go up regardless due to the rare-earth embargo, which kinda defeats the purpose of tarrifs.

The US ran EXACTLY this type of war game two years back, and found China would win about 90% of the time, due to a collapsed US economy. The US is DEPENDENT on consumer spending to drive the economy, and with wages falling, high unemployment, what effect would increased prices across the board have?

RE: the 5th option
By Jaybus on 10/21/2010 5:12:44 PM , Rating: 3
To put things in perspective, the US is the third leading exporter, Germany is second, and China is the world leader. So it isn't that the US has no export capability, and it is ridiculous to think otherwise. However, unlike China and the OPEC nations, the US government does not impose production quotas to manipulate export pricing.

However, when a trading partner uses unfair trade practices against US businesses, or for acts of war or terror, it does have the ability to sanction by limiting or forbidding exports of certain goods to offending nations.

If the US did limit production for some goods, they could drastically affect the pricing of exports. For example, corn, soybean oil, wheat, and rice. China imported a huge chunk of the entire world production of soybean oil last year and demand is increasing. They imported nearly 17 million tons from the US, in edition to nearly 60% of the South American production. Brazil is already at record high production rates. If something stopped half of the US soybean oil exports, the price of soybean oil would explode upward. China, it seems, is eating better these days, thanks to the economic growth.

RE: the 5th option
By masamasa on 10/22/2010 10:55:09 AM , Rating: 3
"To put things in perspective, the US is the third leading exporter, Germany is second, and China is the world leader. So it isn't that the US has no export capability, and it is ridiculous to think otherwise. However, unlike China and the OPEC nations, the US government does not impose production quotas to manipulate export pricing."

Exactly why no single power should ever have control of anything. They will stick it to you six ways to Sunday, just like OPEC has to western markets over the years.

If you think of the countries of the world as your friends, there are some you can trust, some you can't, and others who'll stab you in the back when you're not looking. The behavior of any one country truly indicates who your friends are and in this case, I think we know who are friends aren't.

RE: the 5th option
By 91TTZ on 10/21/10, Rating: 0
RE: the 5th option
By Solandri on 10/22/2010 5:21:28 AM , Rating: 3
Why do you think China has been able to keep up growing at 10+% its GDP while the rest of the world has been in recession?

China's GDP has been growing while the rest of the world has been in recession because business which should remain in other countries and thus help them out of recession, is instead being diverted to China due to its artificially low currency and labor costs. In essence, by manipulating the price of the Yuan to keep it lower than the free market would dictate, China is stealing business which should be helping other countries out of recession, and using it to grow their own economy.

In terms of economic productivity per capita, China is still very much third world. In other words, the world overall would be much better off economically if China weren't doing this.

RE: the 5th option
By ppardee on 10/22/2010 12:59:59 PM , Rating: 3
What is the point of rising when you are only serving to increase the power of your oppressors?

Speed is not a virtue in nation-building. This was proven by Chairman Mao not too long ago. The Chinese government cares only about increasing its own power. It doesn't care about the costs. They manipulate the markets by suppressing the value of their currency while attempting to inflate the value of the US currency in order to create temporary gains. They will eventually have to release the US funds they hold, but by doing so, they will increase the value of the yuan and decrease the value of the US loans they have. The rapid deflation will destroy the US's foreign buying power which will increase the costs of imported products, decrease the cost of US exports. China will no longer have a buyer for their products in the US and will be getting significantly less in loan payments from the US.

And when the money stops flowing in, do you really think it will be Beijing that will be starving to death? The oppression will become stronger and more violent as the opposition to it becomes stronger and the people become more desperate. Complacency kills.

RE: the 5th option
By mechwarrior1989 on 10/25/2010 4:20:46 PM , Rating: 2
10% GDP is bullocks. Ask anyone in China if they actually believe that's the case. While there is quite a bit of growth in China, much of it is probably manipulated by the government. Ask anyone in China why housing prices are so high and they'll tell you it's the government manipulating it.

Where are the highest housing prices in China now? Shanghai? Beijing? Guangzhou? Nope. Hangzhou. Most people outside of China have probably never heard of Hangzhou. That's because the local government has cause the market to go red hot in that city. The same can/will/and has occurred elsewhere. Housing prices will artificially the amount of economic growth, but the only ones who can profit from it are those who can already afford multiple houses. Anyone else is left out of the loop.

RE: the 5th option
By drycrust3 on 10/21/2010 12:10:36 PM , Rating: 2
what we really need to be doing is to be re-investing in our own ability to produce a product here

According to that article it takes 5 years to build a refinery in the USA. Sure, I can understand a reluctance to start building a refinery 5 years ago that MIGHT be needed now, and I can understand a reluctance to start building one now for a market that MIGHT exist in 5 years time, but why 5 years? Why not build lots of small refineries that just take a year to build? Sure, it costs more in the long run, but it costs less in the short term, and if China decides to sell to America because the prices are good, then you increase production of electric vehicles to keep up with supply.
The real issues are that China is ahead of the USA in terms of electric vehicle technology, China is mining its rare earth metals and USA isn't, and China has been building a huge industrial base while USA has been dismantling theirs.

RE: the 5th option
By MrTeal on 10/21/2010 2:23:00 PM , Rating: 2
Brooks's Law - A woman can have a baby in nine months, but nine women can't have a baby in one month.

There's almost zero chance of getting any industrial installation built in a year regardless of size. Hell, even getting it running in a year from the time the shovels hit the ground is unlikely. Add in approvals, environmental assessments, stakeholder meetings, public information sessions...

RE: the 5th option
By gamerk2 on 10/21/2010 3:47:11 PM , Rating: 2
Nevermind economies of scale would quickly make small refinaries too expensive to maintain in relation to the refining they actually do.

RE: the 5th option
By Kurz on 10/21/10, Rating: -1
RE: the 5th option
By bupkus on 10/22/2010 4:08:23 AM , Rating: 2
The same tired old ideological lines.

Cut taxes...
And who will pay for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq?

Just as what happened to the housing market?

RE: the 5th option
By Solandri on 10/22/2010 5:36:41 AM , Rating: 3
Actually, both of you are right and wrong.

If you have zero taxes, you have zero government revenue.
If you have 100% taxes (tried with Communism), you have low government revenue.
If you have moderate taxes, you have a lot of government revenue.

Therefore if your tax rate is above a certain level, you increase govt revenue by lowering taxes. If your tax rate is below a certain level, you increase govt by raising taxes. (And before one of you goes off about how the laffer curve is all wrong, go read up on the mean value theorem. It's one of the fundamental theorems upon which Calculus is based, and the laffer curve is just a simpler version of it.)

Same with deregulation.
If there are no regulations, lots of bad things happen.
If you have too many regulations, few good things can happen.

Somewhere in the middle is the best amount of regulation.
If you're above that point, the economy improves by decreasing regulation.
If you're below it, the economy improves by increasing regulation.

RE: the 5th option
By myhipsi on 10/22/10, Rating: 0
RE: the 5th option
By mcnabney on 10/22/2010 4:10:32 PM , Rating: 5
You are clueless and apparently only listen to what the talking heads at Fox News say.

The housing collapse was caused by a complete lack of responsibility by everyone involved.

Consumers were offered exotic and risky (read:adjustable) mortgages and the idiots gladly borrowed right up to their highest practical limit.
Mortgage sellers were paid based upon sales, not quality of sales. They got their commission, why should they care if they all default the following year.
Banks were more than happy to collect fees on all of the new paper. The bought from the mortgage vendors, repackaged them, and sold them to investors.
Rating services outright LIED about the investments they were rating. Giving mortgage-backed securities a Triple-A rating, how could that make sense.
Investors didn't do any research on what they were buying.

When everyone had their head in the clouds the system was stable. Values kept going up and people stayed in their homes. Then the market peaked. People started to pull out. Values started to drop. People with those stupid interest-only mortgages were the first to get hit as their ARMs reset to a higer rate. They couldn't refinance because their original note was for more than the house was currently worth, what bank would lend someone 500k backed by a 400k house? So they walked away or declared bankruptcy. That lowered prices even more, rinse, wash, repeat.

The entire system failed because nobody ever took responsibility.

RE: the 5th option
By Kurz on 10/22/10, Rating: 0
RE: the 5th option
By YashBudini on 10/25/2010 8:04:47 AM , Rating: 2
Which industry is the one of the most regulated in the USA?

Are you an expert on Europe?
The US Banking system since it creates credit out of thin air.

So the rest of the worlds banks are different? How? Does the US print foreign money?

Oh, who sets most favored nation status? That one you can figure out.

RE: the 5th option
By Kurz on 10/26/2010 1:30:56 PM , Rating: 2
Why are you bringing up Europe?
The rest of the Worlds banks have different rules, but they all create credit out of thin air.

The only reason US has gotten such a large amount of wealth can be traced back when taxes were lower and regulations were looser.

RE: the 5th option
By Hiawa23 on 10/21/2010 1:22:41 PM , Rating: 2
Seems like the thing to bash China, but they must be doing something right. One thing I wish we, America, would borrow from them is their importance on education, cause if we don't solve this issue & our high dropout rates especially among minorities, I think we, America, are going to switch roles with alot of foreign countries that we once used to lead.

Seems like a smart move if you are our China. China has been undercutting the US for some time now in my estimation, & they probably are laughing at us most of the time.

I hear all the politicians say we need to do this we will do that if you put me in office when they have been part of the problem over the decades & one among many reasons we find ourselves lagging many countries that we once looked down on. I wouldn't want to live in any other country, but this mentality that we are the Greatest nation may only be true in our heads in the future, if we don't correct the issues that has plagued this nation for decades.

RE: the 5th option
By kattanna on 10/21/2010 2:22:46 PM , Rating: 2
im not bashing china, in fact i do respect a couple of things they have.

like you have stated education is one of them. its far more important over there then it is here. being smart isnt "cool" here. also what they study. I get a laugh on an almost daily basis nowadays from seeing yet another article about someone crying who might have a 4 year degree who cant get a job. yet when you dig down they have as their major things like womens studies or art appreciation. REALLY??

another key area where they trump us is long term planing. long term here nowadays seems to mean, the next quarter for corps, or the next election. NASA is an excellent example of what i mean on this. is nasa as a whole dumb or short sighted? not even close. but when your mandate gets changed every 4 to 8 years and your dealing with things that can take decades to do, you get the issues they have now.

RE: the 5th option
By xkrakenx on 10/21/2010 2:38:25 PM , Rating: 1
chinese nationals have told me that their education system is not better, and that an american education is prized.

the value placed on education is notably higher, they recognize that it is valuable and necessary. You could say China is hungry to succeed, where the west is becoming lazy and whiny? so quit bitching everybody, get to work, boot out politicians who slow us down. technically, the west has the ability but not the motivation..

RE: the 5th option
By kattanna on 10/21/2010 4:16:14 PM , Rating: 2
chinese nationals have told me that their education system is not better, and that an american education is prized.

never meant to imply their schools per se were better, just that they have a better attitude towards it.

i also see that first hand on campus myself. it amazes me how to a good chunk college appears to more of a social gathering time then where you try to learn new things.

RE: the 5th option
By chick0n on 10/21/2010 11:31:17 PM , Rating: 1
what do you expect? kids here spend more time on FACEBOOK than their homework. and thanks to policy such as "no children left behind". even an idiot can get a 4 yr degree in community college,

I have a friend she don't know how to do simple Multiplication. Can't write an essay. She just bs with her professor after class and she got almost straight A's. Her reason was "oh, Im a designer, I don't need to know math nor language, I just gotta know how to use photoshop."

She has a point, but WTF is the point of having 4 yr college degree then? she doesn't know SHIT and she still got A's just by bsing with her professors ! Shit I know how to use Photoshop just by reading books at B&N

she got out of college, got a nice job, 60-70K a year, for doing what? LAYOUTs. a f-ing monkey can do it. after about 2 yrs she said she got bored too much stress blah blah blah and "I" am such talented material, I can find a job anytime I want, so she QUIT.

guess what, that was a year ago, she spent 4 months on vacation came back, no job. She said she didn't start looking yet, yeah right.

This is just 1 "example", we have thousands of these useless dumbass every year. our Education system just fails.

RE: the 5th option
By Iaiken on 10/21/2010 2:06:25 PM , Rating: 1
I have the sad feeling that our short sighted companies will give in, transfer the tech over to china

That would require them having Federal approval as the exchange of technology falls under the jurisdiction of the State Department.

RE: the 5th option
By JediJeb on 10/21/2010 10:13:22 PM , Rating: 2
Well not sure the State Department would put up a fight there. If you look into it, during the Regan admin it was a federal crime to export a super computer to China, yet under Clinton we shipped several of them to China and even sent people over there to teach them how to use them. Not saying that either Regan or Clinton had that much to do with either extreme, but when the overall culture of the country changes from being willing to sacrifice some money to keep our secrets to being willing to sacrifice our secrets for more money, we then find ourselves in a losing situation. Some of it started in the G.H.W. Bush admin when we began to bestow Most Favored Nation trade status on China because we thought it would be favorable for our companies to take advantage of cheaper labor. In the end we now see it was to China's advantage to receive the influx of our money to move their economy into a position where it could directly compete with ours.

Asian cultures look at business the same way the look at war, it is something to be won. Western cultures look at business as something for personal gain, yet also look for the easiest way to make that gain. Asian cultures value a loyalty to the company, western cultures value a loyalty to self. Think of WW2 and the Kamikaze, if your society has that much devotion to winning it makes it difficult to defend against. Same goes for business, when you are up against an opponent whose employees are willing to sacrifice to make the business successful, and yours are of the mind the company should sacrifice to make the employee successful it becomes nearly impossible to win. Just compare the average French employee to the average Chinese employee right now. The French are protesting because they think it is their natural right to receive retirement at 60, and in no way should they be made to work until 62 even if it will help their nation stay afloat.

Back on topic, sorry, but in the end I doubt our State Department would hold up the exchange of tech because they are more worried about short term monetary gains than the long term damage it will do to our country.

RE: the 5th option
By FITCamaro on 10/21/2010 8:47:06 PM , Rating: 2
We all know our government isn't going to expand mining or refining here in the US.

RE: the 5th option
By CharonPDX on 10/22/2010 1:16:06 AM , Rating: 2
...while it would never really happen in reality, the mere threat, if perceived as genuine...

And that's why it won't work. It own't be perceived as genuine. China knows we're too dependent on Chinese manufacturing. Stopping trade with China would *KILL* the U.S. economy. (Not to mention that if we do that, China would immediately cash in all their U.S. bonds, crashing the dollar, making us unable to trade at reasonable rates with any other country, either. According to the U.S. Treasury, China holds over $868 billion in U.S. debt. Japan is second at $836 billion.)

RE: the 5th option
By BZDTemp on 10/22/2010 5:32:20 PM , Rating: 2
what we really need to be doing is to be re-investing in our own ability to produce a product here in the US, not just "services".

I don't see US workers willing to work for anything near Chinese wages so this would mean pretty much anything from electronics to furniture costing way more. Not something which would be welcomed by the consumers that are addicted to buying new stuff all the time.

RE: the 5th option
By Reclaimer77 on 10/24/2010 10:13:05 AM , Rating: 2
I don't see US workers willing to work for anything near Chinese wages so this would mean pretty much anything from electronics to furniture costing way more. Not something which would be welcomed by the consumers that are addicted to buying new stuff all the time.

sigh *smashes head against wall*

Labor costs are NOT the reason companies close up shop and move to China.

Simply put, our Government has made it too expensive to do business in our own country. We have the highest corporate tax rate in the world for one thing.

RE: the 5th option
By eddieroolz on 10/22/2010 11:12:02 PM , Rating: 2
I've been following this issue since September 23rd, when Japanese authorities released the ship's captain, bowing to pressure. As a Japanese, this topic interests me intensely - not only did it mark the first time we've bowed to Chinese pressure, it also meant that Japan is quickly losing its influence worldwide.

Anyhow. When it was reported that China had cut off all export of rare earth metals to Japan, another news story broke out; one that gave me hope that we won't have to rely on China for everything soon.

Japanese researchers apparently developed a hybrid motor which uses absolutely no rare earth metals. I think that this developmental motor could prove crucial in preventing undue Chinese influence on both Japan and the US.

To go along with more efforts to reduce our dependence on China, all companies should be withdrawing from the Chinese market and relocating its production base elsewhere. India is particularily mentioned in Japanese press lately; it is a growing economy and the only military counterbalance to China in Asia.

Also, like other posters have mentioned, China only controls 95% of the current worldwide production of rare earth metals. China only has ~30% of the world's known deposit of these. Kazakhstan and Australia both have significant amount of deposits. Sure, it will cost more to begin production, but at least we are not providing a rogue economic superpower with more cash to grow their military, destabilizing East Asia.

My $0.02.

RE: the 5th option
By Reclaimer77 on 10/24/2010 10:09:05 AM , Rating: 2
Can you really not capitalize the start of a new sentence? It makes it REALLY difficult to read or follow your train of thought. Honestly I'm not trying to be a grammar cop here, but maybe you shouldn't be starting threads if you can't even capitalize.

Pretty obvious why china is doing this
By rudolphna on 10/21/10, Rating: 0
RE: Pretty obvious why china is doing this
By gamerk2 on 10/21/2010 11:36:03 AM , Rating: 5
Why are you complaining? China is finally enbracing Capitalism! They invested for decades in a resource no one wanted, and when its suddenly in high demand, they have every right to try and corner the market.

Lets face it, this is in direct response to criticisms of China manipulating its currency. China is prepared to enter a trade war with the West, and unfortunatlly, its a war the West, in its current economic state, will be unable to win.

RE: Pretty obvious why china is doing this
By chromal on 10/21/2010 11:40:46 AM , Rating: 2
What I have always found interesting is how China has specifically embraced the very sort of exploitative capitalize they used to warn their children about during the early People's Republic days. Irony. You'd think they'd've been wise enough to learn from the mistakes of their industrial revolution predecessors.

By superPC on 10/21/2010 12:14:23 PM , Rating: 4
i don't care if you all rate me down. but the real irony is in similar circumstances, we would've probably do the same thing with a bunch of different reason.

RE: Pretty obvious why china is doing this
By drycrust3 on 10/21/10, Rating: -1
RE: Pretty obvious why china is doing this
By rennya on 10/21/2010 2:23:28 PM , Rating: 1
USA is still ahead of China by a million miles. What product that is invented in China that is high demand in USA/EU? Silk?

RE: Pretty obvious why china is doing this
By roboray on 10/21/2010 4:17:07 PM , Rating: 5

By JonnyDough on 10/21/2010 4:47:41 PM , Rating: 2
Perfect answer. :)

By Redwin on 10/21/2010 4:49:00 PM , Rating: 2
This deserves a 6 for truthfulness + hilarity!

RE: Pretty obvious why china is doing this
By kyp275 on 10/21/2010 5:04:25 PM , Rating: 1
did you bother to take a few steps outside the coastal cities and look at the inland regions?

I didn't think so.

By drycrust3 on 10/21/2010 7:40:22 PM , Rating: 2
did you bother to take a few steps outside the coastal cities and look at the inland regions

Do the Amish people live in America? Yes. And do the Amish people use "modern" technologies? No. And does the presence of the Amish people mean America has less ability to invent? No, all it means is that one section of American society is not using modern technologies. In the same way the use of "olde" technologies in rural China does not mean China is behind America, all it means is that the people in the rural areas aren't using the latest technologies.
In 2008 there were roughly 23 million "e-bikes" sold world wide, with 90% being sold in China ( I don't know where that 90% were made, but my guess is in China. Since research is before design, which is before manufacturing, then where that research and design was done is unknown to me, but my guess is that it was China because it seems to me an e-bike / electric scooter to trivial for Americans to bother with.
As I said before, my observation when I was in China in 2007 was that they were then ahead of where the rest of the world is now. Despite all the rhetoric, no one has offered any proof that this is not so.

By sorry dog on 10/25/2010 10:29:33 AM , Rating: 1
Ahead of the rest of the world?

While you've been there a couple of years more recently than me, you obviously never left the city. It usually only takes a few miles to go from high density high rise apartments to Litchi and pig farmers living bamboo and mud houses.

Photographing? Why?
By JonnyDough on 10/21/2010 12:26:21 PM , Rating: 4
Minerals firm Molycorp Inc. announced similar to reopen a rare-earth mine in Mountain Pass, California that has been shuttered since 2002.

People have been snapping photos of it? With all the interest why aren't they mining it already?!!

RE: Photographing? Why?
By Kurz on 10/21/2010 12:35:19 PM , Rating: 1
High taxes, High Regulation (In the form of EPA, Nature Preservation) Tends to kill all domestic investment.

RE: Photographing? Why?
By MrFord on 10/21/2010 1:36:17 PM , Rating: 4
A big part of it was China's undercutting global market prices, as always.

RE: Photographing? Why?
By Kurz on 10/21/10, Rating: 0
RE: Photographing? Why?
By MrFord on 10/25/2010 12:15:29 PM , Rating: 2
Not necessarily below costs, if your costs are much lower than your competitors, because salaries are much lower and the currency is still under-evaluated.

RE: Photographing? Why?
By lennylim on 10/21/2010 2:48:19 PM , Rating: 2
I guess your joke is lost on most :)

RE: Photographing? Why?
By JonnyDough on 10/21/2010 4:39:25 PM , Rating: 2
I tried. 1 in 3 isn't too bad I guess. :P

RE: Photographing? Why?
By JediJeb on 10/21/2010 10:20:46 PM , Rating: 2
I thought it was pretty good, guess most just heard a woosh over their heads because they are too young to remember anything but digital cameras :)

RE: Photographing? Why?
By Kurz on 10/22/10, Rating: 0
The article implies...
By Motoman on 10/21/2010 11:50:22 AM , Rating: 2
...that other countries, including the US, actually *have* the natural resources within their borders...but just aren't mining/refining it.

Is that true, or is it really that China has 95% of all the actual deposits of said stuff within their borders?

RE: The article implies...
By aegisofrime on 10/21/2010 11:59:08 AM , Rating: 3
In fact, rare earths are scattered throughout the Earth. However mining in the US and Europe ceased when China undercut them. The US and Europe will (and should) be able to restart production, but it's not going to happen overnight.

RE: The article implies...
By kattanna on 10/21/2010 12:04:15 PM , Rating: 2
the US has many reserves of these elements, it has simply been cheaper to buy them from china then to mine them ourselves for the past couple decades. so we have closed mines here that could produce, but with this action from china, might spur them to be re-opened.

RE: The article implies...
By HrilL on 10/21/2010 2:41:51 PM , Rating: 2
Lots of places have them. The US has large deposits but like the article states 2 of them will be reopening but they were closed due to not being able to compete with China at the time. China has the infrastructure in place to refine these minerals and that is their key advantage. They're not the only place that has the resources they just have the refineries already working.

RE: The article implies...
By catavalon21 on 10/21/2010 3:49:14 PM , Rating: 2
As was mentioned previously, a difficulty is that it's not a level playing field. It costs money to run factories that OSHA and the EPA and hosts of others allow to run. When the competition doesn't have to have safe, or environmentally friendly, factories, they are hard to compete with. I'm not at all advocating their process, I actually like clean air and a safe work place, I just think it's going to be touch to catch up given a steeper hill to climb.

RE: The article implies...
By JediJeb on 10/21/2010 10:28:39 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if asteroids contain these minerals. If so, maybe this embargo can spur the private commercial space race many of us dream of that will usher in space travel as a common thing instead of something reserved for the select few.

Where can I sign up to be a space freighter pilot :)

RE: The article implies...
By Veerappan on 10/28/2010 2:58:00 PM , Rating: 2
Look up Eve Online :)

WE should thank China
By GruntboyX on 10/21/2010 12:19:23 PM , Rating: 1
I have never been too sold on Battery tech for electric vehicles. Maybe we should thank them, and move to Hydrogen fuel cell. The only thing I am not very educated on is the amount of rare earth material to make the fuel cell. Is it a viable alternative?

I had to say this, I much rather buy oil from the saudi's then electronics from China.

RE: WE should thank China
By JonnyDough on 10/21/2010 12:28:27 PM , Rating: 2
If we're talking about Lithium deposits I'm pretty sure Bolivia or Brazil or some south American country has a pretty good unmined amount of it. Is it enough? I don't know. I was reading about it on DT I thought. Can a moderator find/post the link?

RE: WE should thank China
By AssBall on 10/21/2010 2:00:31 PM , Rating: 2
Belize has some huge deposits, is this the link you were looking for?

RE: WE should thank China
By gamerk2 on 10/21/2010 3:50:42 PM , Rating: 2
Brazil is a country the US needs to get on better terms with; they are fast becomming a major world economy, and their supply of rare-earths, if ever exploited, could prove a counter-balence to china.

RE: WE should thank China
By JonnyDough on 10/21/2010 4:38:09 PM , Rating: 2
I think maybe I read it in a Popular Science mag or somewhere else. But it seems that might be the right country. Anyway, its relevant so its good to have it posted here. Thanks.

RE: WE should thank China
By Redwin on 10/21/2010 4:52:53 PM , Rating: 3
A lot of the need for the rare earth minerals in questions is for permanent natural magnets to be used in the electric motors.

Those motors still need that magnet whether the electricity comes from a battery, a hydrogen fuel cell, or a hamster on a wheel.

By bug77 on 10/21/2010 11:34:51 AM , Rating: 2
1. Anyone could see this coming.
2. No one can do anything about it.

But hey, at least we'll be oil-free.

RE: So?
By Flunk on 10/21/2010 11:50:04 AM , Rating: 2
1. Yup.
2. There are plenty of other sources of rare-earth minerals on earth. China controls a high percentage of production, not overall sources. We just need to build more mines.

RE: So?
By bug77 on 10/21/2010 5:40:10 PM , Rating: 2
2. Yes. But if we act today, it will take us how many years to get the first mine open?

6th option - non-magnetic AC induction motors
By rbuszka on 10/21/2010 1:07:07 PM , Rating: 2
We already have the motor technology to overcome an artificial shortage of magnetic material. Vehicle motors until now have been of the permanent-magnet type because they are a constant-torque device. However, constant-speed AC induction motors can be adapted to perform the same duty as long as there is a way of monitoring and controlling the motor's voltage and RPM (both of which are easy to do) to provide similar behavior to a permanent magnet motor. The upside to the use of induction motors is that there is no magnetic material in them at all, only copper windings (which is a mineral we already produce in significant quantities, or can source from countries other than China.) In addition, their armatures can withstand higher speeds without flying apart, which means more power from a smaller package. By using a switch-mode inverter to provide a very high AC drive frequency, we can build very compact, very efficient AC motors that are more than competitive with even the smallest permanent-magnet motor.

This just shows the unbelievable stupidity of the Chinese for thinking they can hamstring our production of EVs by shutting off the delivery of rare-earth metals, and that we won't just be able to innovate our way out of the issue, since that's what we do best. As for me, I proudly drive an efficient gas vehicle, because right now anything with a battery just doesn't make financial sense.

RE: 6th option - non-magnetic AC induction motors
By Jeffk464 on 10/21/2010 11:49:27 PM , Rating: 2
How long are we going to leave our economy freely open to China while they play every trick in the book to make sure they win the trade war?

By roadhog1974 on 10/22/2010 12:46:41 AM , Rating: 2
A) your economy is not freely open.

B) the people who control your economy are already
relocating to shanghai.

goodbye thanks for the fish.

Germans aren't affected too much
By jeffbui on 10/21/10, Rating: 0
RE: Germans aren't affected too much
By Leper Messiah on 10/21/2010 5:12:35 PM , Rating: 2
That kind of contradicts the fact that Porsche is pushing hybrid technology from top to bottom in their product line. They're the same company.

By roadhog1974 on 10/21/2010 7:25:27 PM , Rating: 2
Porsche is a majority shareholder in VW they are
two seperate companies.

Here's a thought...
By Golgatha on 10/21/2010 2:42:25 PM , Rating: 2
Who buys the most cars in the world? The USA.

In the short term, the rare earth metals are all China's property. Since the USA has around 136M out of 600M passenger vehicles (commercial vehicle percentage is higher) on the road today, I'd say we can eventually recycle all the rare earth metals we need. We just need to buy enough vehicles to get there. The US should stop all exports of rare earth metals now.

RE: Here's a thought...
By Kurz on 10/22/2010 2:37:50 PM , Rating: 2
"The US should Stop all exports of rare earth metals now."

This line and the reasoning behind it, Market manipulation, playing with destinies of billions of people is a major reason why we are in such an economic mess.

I say free up the trade, at the same time reduce the taxes, spending, and regulation. That way prices on everything will go down for the common man. And We can start mining our own resources.

By JonnyDough on 10/21/2010 12:21:28 PM , Rating: 2
China Quietly Looks to Strangle U.S., Japanese EV Production

"China Quietly Looks to Strangle U.S., Japanese EV Production by stealing trade secrets and disregarding intellectual property laws of other nations that have been in place for decades. Oh, and they're also not selling rare minerals to us anymore."


In related news China was quoted as saying "All your trade secrets are belong to us, and all our rare minerals are belong to us. Muahahaha!"

By JonnyDough on 10/21/2010 12:23:53 PM , Rating: 1
Need breeds innovation. It's ok China. We'll find something you need, like air. Oh wait, you're already ruining yours.

Well, then we'll find some other way to build EVs using water or something. You can't hog all the water!

Electric Vehicles Show Current Mass Stupidity
By Thelookingglass on 10/21/10, Rating: 0
By ender21 on 10/21/2010 4:46:50 PM , Rating: 3
Ummm... this doesn't necessarily have *anything* to do with global warming.

I for one do not want my sky to look like Beijing's whether it has an impact on the earth or not. I know it has an impact on mine and my children's lungs, and that's already enough to convince me. And I'll pay a premium, do without chrome spinners, or manage without a $1400 nav package to pay for it. And on top of it, use the car as little as possible too, since it was a need contrived by the oil and car industry in the first place.

I like having a sub-$100 per month gasoline bill because any car I drive will be more and more efficient over time.

Oh, and oil is FINITE. Therefore prudence demands you PROGRESS and evolve to something else, lest you run a higher risk of perishing. If you wait until you NEED it, then it's too late.

You can put all your eggs into one basket all you want, but you're putting it into obsolete tech and then burying your head in the sand, all while chanting "the world is flat, the world is flat."

China's Actions are Logical
By Chantaine on 10/21/2010 12:38:58 PM , Rating: 2
What China is doing makes sense. Exporting raw materials and the fruits of cheap labor is no path to sustainable wealth. China isn't content to be a colony for the West. They want the technology, the patents, and the control over industry that will put them on an equal footing with the US, Germany, and Japan.

Rare Earth in the US
By rvd2008 on 10/21/2010 12:43:19 PM , Rating: 2
Article did not mention that production of rare earth materials in the US was destroyed by low prices from China a couple of decades ago. Now, with China throttling RE export prices will go up and US mines should become profitable to operate. Also, EV motors can be made without RE, google it.

rare earth metals
By texbrazos on 10/21/2010 12:44:42 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure how much rare earth metal is needed for making hydrogen vehicles. Has anyone else noticed Exxons new commerical stating that they have made hydrogen for years, in order to make gasoline, and now are poised to make units that fit in vehicles to make hydrogen on demand? If not look it up, because I saw it.
I mean there are already people that have taken it into their own hands to do so, you can find tons of info on You Tube of people already doing this. I know that I have made hydrogen very easily, and did not use any kind of metal other than stainless steel. Seems like the way to go.

By ZGrinch on 10/21/2010 1:30:47 PM , Rating: 2
Or we could invest in electrified trains instead of autmobiles.

By jgtechman on 10/21/2010 1:37:14 PM , Rating: 2
China has long been mismanaged the mining of its rare earth, which causes the over-mining and environmental problems. Economically, over-mining reduces the price, which is definitely not wanted by China. And China's deposit is about 1/3 of the total deposit in the world, but produce over 95% of the world rare earth. This will run out of China's deposit earlier, and China won't want it either. As a result, it will control the mining amount and also the price, which is the very reasonable thing that human beings can do (comparing crude oil and iron ore, for example). This is not an act to make enemy.

English as a 2nd language?
By ScotterQX6700 on 10/21/2010 3:12:58 PM , Rating: 2

And hey does anyone at DailyTech return emails?

Maybe one of the readers can help me. How do I get to an account settings page where I can change username, pw, or email address? I think I looked everywhere. I finally found a form where I could email a proposed article to DailyTech so I used that form to ask for where I can find an account settings page. No answer yet.

like the 5th option as well as...
By truepeace on 10/21/2010 6:30:45 PM , Rating: 2
...the big picture, first,hopefully those who are in charge of dealing with this use intelligence in terms of the balance that the chinese seem to have lost grasp of, either way, the big picture would suggest that the "earth-supply wars" like you seen in science fiction movies have unofficially began, SPACE (really) is the real investment here, whats rare on earth is not neccessarily in space, and culturally, we figure how to expand to those worlds being discovered, those who want to live so different, (like women who prefer to be in cultures that dont give them equal standing to men) can actually choose to go whereever they want to, etc etc etc...

all american
By Locrian on 10/21/2010 7:09:44 PM , Rating: 2
We need to figure out a way to power cars with hamburgers and country music.

By FITCamaro on 10/21/2010 8:44:14 PM , Rating: 2
A Chinese economic policy I somewhat support. Hopefully this kills hybrid production.

By Mlothiss on 10/21/2010 11:27:10 PM , Rating: 2
AaA soap in my eyes.
Don't be fooled, US had to give up EV tech.
Few months ago if memory serves me correct, it was demanded as part of repayment of the huge trade defecit.
Last year US gave up missile tech and China gained over 20 years of research for free.
It is in the best interest of the western nations to keep mining in China. They don't report to UN. Just last year alone more than 2,500 miners died on the job. Something like this would close all the mining operations in the US.
All that this article does is preparing (pre-programing) us for the inevitable. More Chinese EV's in the future.

Just to clarify.
By tixx on 10/22/2010 3:12:52 AM , Rating: 2
China is currently maintaining 95% of "active" rare earth mining productions. The US and many other nations could supply/self supply rare earth resources if they wanted to. Domestic productions have ceased being active (temporarily shutdown, or untapped minerals) because of very competitive pricing. I read somewhere that USA's own rare earth resources could even supply the world demand for such materials a good +100 years. Imagine how many years longer if it was solely used domestically.

Point is, if China starts to strangle this market then the market will move or disperse. Whether another place takes the role of being the major supplier or nations ending up self-supplying from their own land. The more they choke, the faster it'll happen.

I wouldn't worry yet. China may have a slightly upper hand as the market player, but given the entire situation they need us as much as we need them, for now. Lets hope everyone can be a bit more self-dependent in the near future as this reality starts to unfold.

Boycott made in China
By masamasa on 10/22/2010 10:55:55 AM , Rating: 2
What goes around comes around.

I see a market for "false products"
By goku on 10/22/2010 3:38:14 PM , Rating: 2
Setup a manufacturing company that makes cubes out of rare earth metals and then ship the product to Japan and the U.S where the metals can then be processed for other uses. Once the government catches onto this idea, then it could be further processed into making door knobs, cutlery, etc. out of these rare earth metals which are then shipped to Japan and the U.S to where they're re-purposed.

By wookie1 on 10/21/2010 3:26:39 PM , Rating: 1
It's somewhat ironic. Our rulers have been pounding the table about reducing our dependency on foreign oil by going to hybrids. Now will they say that we need to reduce our dependence on rare earth elements by going to gasoline? Nobody controls 95% of the oil deposits.

just some refreshing thoughts...
By ganmao on 10/21/2010 4:57:43 PM , Rating: 1
Find some rare facts here:

china rare earth earth metals
By dona1 on 10/21/2010 5:48:22 PM , Rating: 1
When the current typhoon hits china and they request help slip them the rare earth bird.

By azcoyote on 10/21/10, Rating: -1
By raumkrieger on 10/21/2010 2:41:48 PM , Rating: 2
Pirating is not evil and I don't think China has anything against the Jews or any ideas about conquering Russia, but yes, their government is evil. As all are.

By HrilL on 10/21/2010 3:10:38 PM , Rating: 2
The Chinese are actually some of the most racist people on earth. They may call it traditional over there but really its just racism. While they probably don't have the intention to go on a murdering rampage like the Germans, because they've already got complete control over their people and the Germans needed a scapegoat to blame for losing WW1 in order to unit the rest of their people.

Pirating is evil last I checked. We're not talking about downloading movies, music, games, and software for personal use which it clearly seems you're referring to.

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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