US Prepares to Block Import of Rare Earth Metals From China

US senators have drafted a bill that would ban US companies from buying rare earth metals from China. According to Reuters, the bill aims to ban such purchases after 2026.

The only supplier of these metals should be the Pentagon, which, in turn, should create their strategic reserve. Two senators initiated the bill – Arkansas Republican Tom Cotton and Arizona Democrat Mark Kelly.

The main goal of the developed measures is to deprive China of control over the market for rare earth metals. In addition, American legislators expect to revive the production of these chemical elements in the US.

Rare earth metals are 17 chemical elements dispersed in the earth’s crust, which are actively used in the defense, electronics and energy industries (for example, neodymium and holmium) and for the treatment of certain types of cancer.

Half of these metals are mined in China at the Bayan Obo deposit, and there is only one mine left in the US for the extraction of these metals.

In 2010, China blocked the export of rare earth metals to Japan. The US feared that Beijing would take similar measures against Washington.

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