HONG KONG — The Chinese government plans a further reduction, of up to 30 percent, next year in its quotas for exports of rare earth minerals, in an attempt to conserve dwindling reserves of the materials, the official newspaper China Daily said Tuesday.
Plans for smaller export quotas come just four days after U.S. trade officials announced they would investigate whether China was violating international trade rules with a wide range of policies to help its clean energy industries. One of the policies under investigation involves China’s steady reductions in rare earth export quotas since 2005 and its imposition of steep taxes on the exports.
China mines 95 percent of the world’s rare earths. They are crucial for compact fluorescent light bulbs, hybrid gasoline-electric cars, large wind turbines and other clean energy technologies, as well as for mobile phones and a number of military applications, like missiles, sonar and range finders on tanks. More at: