Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!

Rare earths market must be kept open

By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
September 22, 2011

Concern that the United States will fail to maintain an adequate supply of the minerals needed to manufacture our most advanced products is gaining traction in Washington.

Congressman Don Manzullo (R-IL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia & the Pacific, held a hearing to highlight the fact that China controls 97 percent of the rare earths market and has been limiting exports and skyrocketing costs of the minerals to the detriment of manufacturers in the U.S. and other countries.

As logistics management sources have been noting, rare earths are vital in a variety of advanced manufactured goods, such as cell phones, fluorescent lights, hybrid engines, airplanes, wind turbines, and defense guidance systems. 

China’s actions to temporarily ban exports of rare earths a year ago following a territorial dispute with Japan caused huge price spikes for certain rare earths, particularly cerium, neodymium, and dysprosium.  Currently, the prices for these elements are at astronomical levels. As a result, U.S. manufacturers can no longer expect a steady supply of these elements, and the pricing uncertainty threatens tens of thousands of American jobs. 

According to Manzullo, the U.S. Department of Energy is conducting cutting edge research into rare earth alternatives, but a more comprehensive effort is needed.

“Congress, the Administration, and our manufacturers need to come together to formulate a comprehensive strategy to end China’s monopoly on rare earths, from challenging China’s trade actions to encouraging more American production of rare earths. We must end our reliance on China for the building blocks of advanced U.S. manufacturing. American jobs and our national security depend on it.”

About the Author

Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor

Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Companies used to compete on price and service. The future of supply chain, according to Steve Melnyk, is culture. In fact, innovators like Apple, Google, and Unilever are already leading because of their cultures. Your company can too.

As evidenced by the widening gap in the United States trade deficit, which has seen imports far outpacing exports for years on end, the September edition of the “Global Trade Pulse” from global maritime and trade consultancy Hackett Associates paints a similar picture for trade activity in North America, with some overlapping themes apparent in the report’s European data, too.

Kurt Nagle, president and CEO of the American Association of Port Authorities recently voiced his endorsement of this trade legislation

While many auto executives expect more industry recalls in 2015 and 2016, just 8 percent use advanced predictive analytics to help prevent, prepare for, and manage recalls, according to a recent online poll from Deloitte.

Purolator white paper highlights common Canadian shipping mistakes. From failing to appreciate the complexity of the customs clearance process to not realizing that Canada recognizes both French and English as its official languages, U.S. businesses frequently misjudge the complexity of shipping to the Canadian market. This often results in mistakes - mistakes that can come with hefty penalties and border clearance delays, and that can result in lingering negative perceptions among Canadian consumers.

Article Topics

Blogs · Global Logistics · Global · Trade · All topics


Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA