Rare earth metals are minerals which are very hard to extract and in which China is one of the world’s biggest supplier of, these metals are used in various products like mobile phone cameras and automobile catalytic converters.
The US is one of the world’s biggest consumers of rare earth metals coming from China. Media in China has now suggested that China may limit exports of rare earths to the US escalating the trade war even further, after the US banned Chinese telecommunications company Huawei.
80% of Chinese rare earth metal exports are to the US and the limitation of these metals will spark price increases for a number of tech products made by US companies. President Donald Trump avoided putting rare earth metals on the tariff list for this very reason.
So far consumer and producers in both countries are bearing the brunt of the US-China Trade war, which is also propelling a negative outlook on global and tech markets. The trade war is escalating and both sides are claiming to have the upper hand, with no end in sight while holding the world hostage.
By Mokgethi Mtezuka