The U.S. will take steps to ensure it doesn’t get cut off from the supply of rare earths used in everything from the production of computer screens to missile systems and mobile phones, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said.
The Commerce Department on Tuesday released a report requested by President Donald Trump in December 2017, when he asked officials to look into U.S. access to so-called rare earths, a group of 17 elements including lanthanum and terbium.
“These critical minerals are often overlooked but modern life without them would be impossible,” Ross said in a statement. “Through the recommendations detailed in this report, the federal government will take unprecedented action to ensure that the United States will not be cut off from these vital materials.”
Beijing has readied a plan to restrict exports of rare earths to the U.S. if the trade war between the two nations deepens, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News last month.
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