NPR : News

Filed Under:

U.S. Accuses China Of Causing 'Massive Distortions' In Rare Earths Trade

Saying that "America's workers and manufacturers are being hurt in both established and budding industrial sectors" by Chinese trade policies that cause "massive distortions and harmful disruptions in supply chains," U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk confirmed this morning that the U.S. is challenging China over its alleged restrictions on trade of some materials that are important in the manufacture of cellphones, hybrid car batteries, electronics, cars and other products.

The U.S. is joining Japan and the European Union in seeking "consultations" with China at the World Trade Organization over trade in "rare earths." President Obama Just outlined his administration's case at the White House.

The Financial Times says that "China produces more than 90 percent of the world's rare earths. Its stranglehold on global supplies caused alarm in 2010 when it temporarily halted exports to Japan after a diplomatic dispute. Beijing on Tuesday rejected the claims by the US, EU and Japan, saying China would 'continue to implement effective management of rare earths exports in accordance with WTO regulations.' "

The U.S. is also accusing China of unfair trade involving tungsten and molybdenum.

According to the Mother Nature Network, rare earths get that collective name because of "their elusive nature, since the 17 elements rarely exist in pure form. Instead, they mix diffusely with other minerals underground, making them costly to extract."

What are the 17 elements? The network has the list here. How many have you heard of?

And for those of you of a certain age, here's a link to that other Rare Earth. You can sing along if you wish.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Rita Dove: "Collected Poems: 1974 - 2004"

Rita Dove's poetry career has spanned more than forty years. During that time she won a Pulitzer Prize and became the first African-American poet laureate of the United States. Now she's released a new edition of collected works. Rita Dove on a life lived in verse.

NPR

U.S. To Ship Peanuts To Feed Haitian Kids; Aid Groups Say 'This Is Wrong'

On paper, the USDA's plan to send surplus peanuts to feed 140,000 malnourished Haitian schoolchildren sounds heroic. But aid groups say it could devastate Haiti's peanut farmers.
WAMU 88.5

Back From The Breach: Moving The Federal Workforce Forward

A year after a massive cyber breach compromised the databases of the Office of Personnel Management, Kojo talks with OPM Acting Director Beth Cobert about her agency and key issues facing the federal workforce.

WAMU 88.5

Why Medical Error Is The Third Leading Cause Of Death In The U.S.

New research shows medical error is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., killing more than 250,000 people a year. Why there are so many mistakes, and what can be done to improve patient safety.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.