This just caught my eye as I was catching up on Slashdot. Does the media and the public not envision what this means? I don’t mean to evoke hysteria, but I do expect this to create some sort of stirring as it is very unsettling news. As China is the world’s provider of minerals needed to manufacture any sort of technology developed from the 1960s on, such a limitation on the US market will eliminate our capabilities to produce modern goods. Sure we could still create lumber, food, concrete, and steel–but we would no longer be able to manufacture items like computers, cell phones, batteries, solar panels, and any other electronic gadget you could imagine. Sure you could argue that the US longer makes such products today, but chip companies like Intel and Micron would disagree with you. What this is is an deliberate move to entice manufacturing to move to China. A move that will likely be successful as the current executive management trend is to shorten supply lines, hire cheaper labor, avoid complex regulations and lawsuits, and generally move everything except executive management overseas. While this works well for the executive managers and the investors, it is devastating for the economy as it removes skilled labor positions, entry and mid-level engineering positions, and junior level management positions from the work force. I don’t mean to move into a labor rant, but you see where I’m going with this? Removing manufacturing from the US economy has always been a Bad Idea(tm), and China is leveraging a tool to accelerate a trend already occurring within the US.

China Now Halting Shipments of Rare Earth Minerals To US

blackraven14250 writes with news that China, after putting at least a temporary stop to rare earth exports to Japan, is now doing the same with exports to the US; according to the linked article, this is in response to recent US promises to investigate certain Chinese trade practices.
Posted by timothy on Tuesday October 19, @10:44PM
from the not-the-band-rare-earth dept.