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Discussion: (2 comments)

  1. I actually guffawed when I read Obama’s call for China to “…let the market work on its own.” If the Chinese have been watching Obama ‘administer’ America’s car manufacturing and energy markets, they must have at least chuckled. It’s too bad that it isn’t really a laughing matter.

  2. GTown Fan

    You didn’t address the underlying problems with Rare Earth Metals.

    1) They are dirty to get out of the ground, so the market will only work with proactive legislative changes. And, it will take time to re-build a plant to extract the Rare Earths. Normally, this isn’t a problem given appropriate EPA changes, but see point #2 and consider the lag time between plant construction and completion.
    2) There are definite strategic advantages to controlling the Rare Earths market, hence China will react to undercut any serious, non-government funded, foreign competitor in order to maintain the monopoly. For the advantages, see below then imagine the state of trade between two warring nations.
    3) You never address the crucial, critical, and above all others important problem with Rare Earths, especially between the US and China. Rare Earths are, as you know, necessary for most advanced weapon systems. Thus it is a matter of national security, that overused term, for the US to have a source of Rare Earths that is not controlled by the most likely superpower military adversary to the US.

    As you did not address the problems above, your article badly misses some of the key causes of the Rare Earth debate.

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