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The White House says China’s restric­tions cre­ate an unfair advan­tage for Chi­nese pro­duc­ers, which could harm domes­tic indus­trial pro­duc­tion of green tech­nol­ogy and force some fac­to­ries to move over­seas.  China mines 97 per­cent of the world’s sup­ply of rare earths, which are not nec­es­sar­ily rare but costly to extract. Rare earths are 17 met­als respon­si­ble for mak­ing tech­nol­ogy smaller, more effi­cient and portable. They are also used in oil and gas drills.

The U.S. Trade Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Ron Kirk says China has unfairly restricted the export of rare earths, key ingre­di­ents for hybrid and elec­tric car bat­ter­ies, energy effi­cient light bulbs, as well wind tur­bine con­struc­tion.

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