China has a monopoly on rare earth metals and Americans suffer
Thanks to US lawmakers the labor-intensive compact fluorescent lightbulb production is thriving – in China.
By closing or nationalizing dozens of the producers of rare earth metals — which are used in energy-efficient bulbs and many other green-energy products — China has sent the price of compact fluorescent bulbs soaring in the United States.
But democrats don’t care.
Its democrat policy that has allowed China to monopolize the rare earth metals market.
The Tatler reported:
The administration’s harsh regulatory environment is harming yet more sectors of the American economy, rare earth minerals mining and electronics manufacturing. We use these minerals every day in cell phones, high tech industries and leading edge medical tech, even jet engines. DoD uses them in some of our most sophisticated information systems and weapons. American businesses want to purchase these minerals from domestic sources, and the US is among the world’s leading sources of rare earth minerals. A huge new source for one rare earth element, niobium, was announced in Nebraska just this week.
It currently takes up to five times longer to get approval to mine for minerals here than it does in other countries, driving investment, production and jobs away from America. From the time a project request is submitted to the time a final ruling is made, a decade can slip by and paperwork as much as 6 feet high filed and reviewed – repeatedly. Not surprisingly, when investors are ready to move on a project, they turn to countries that are ready to do business, rather than tackle the Byzantine regulatory review process here in the United States.
One of those countries is China, which also possesses large quantities of these minerals. American businesses are finding it easier to do business with the ChiComs than with the American government to get these minerals. Democrat Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania writes that China is leveraging its position (and the Obama administration’s regulatory hostility to mining) to hold a monopoly.
How does China maintain its control over rare earth elements? For one thing, it controls production. The only mine currently producing rare earths is based in China. They also ensure that most of the supplies remain in China by deliberately limiting exports through strict quotas and stiff duties. These illegal measures operate to chill exports and drive global prices through the roof.
As a consequence, today American manufacturers struggle with ever-escalating costs of production, compromising the ability of American companies to compete and create jobs.