Tag Archive : U.S.

China Threatens to Cut U.S. Off From Rare Earth Minerals

Beijing is threatening to cut Washington off from rare earth minerals, according to media reports in China’s papers that included quotes from the state planning agency. The stocks of rare earth producers were up following the news.

One newspaper included the Chinese phrase “don’t say I didn’t warn you”, which the country used before it went to war with India. The paper wrote “those familiar with Chinese diplomatic language know the weight of this phrase.” The language, which appeared in the Global Times, a newspaper affiliated with the Communist Party, was also employed ahead of conflict between China and Vietnam in 1979.

The People’s Daily made it clear China would use the elements as retaliation in its trade war. 80% of U.S. rare earth supplies come from China.

The editor-in-chief of the Global Times tweeted that China is “seriously” weighing the restriction of rare earth exports to the U.S. and could also implement countermeasures.




A National Development & Reform Commission official told CCTV that people in the country won’t be happy to see products made as exported rare earths are being used to suppress China’s development. Editorials in the Global Times and Shanghai Securities News took similar stances in their Wednesday editions.

The U.S. is dependent on importing rare earth minerals from China, which are used in electronics, hybrid vehicles, and energy storage systems. The U.S. imports the rare earth materials because it’s cheaper than producing them domestically.

This is driving rare earth stocks up with the help of President Xi Jinping, who visited a plant earlier this month along with his chief trade negotiator with the U.S.

China already raised tariffs on America’s sole producer of rare earths from 10% to 25%. The U.S., however, excluded rare earths from its list of prospective tariffs on roughly $300 billion in Chinese goods.

In December 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order to reduce the country’s dependence on external sources of critical minerals, including rare earths, which was aimed at reducing U.S. vulnerability to supply disruptions.

China’s rare earth market:

  • China Northern Rare Earth Group
  • Minmetals Rare Earth Co.
  • Xiamen Tungsten Co.
  • Chinalco Rare Earth & Metals Co.

Shares of JL Mag Rare-Earth increased by 10% while Innuovo Technology increased by 9.95%. The shares of Australia rare earth miner Lynas also increased by more than 10%.

Lynas Stock May 29

“We’ve been here before,” Fraser Howie, an independent analyst, told CNBC’s “Street Signs” on Wednesday. China banned the export of rare earth minerals to Japan after Tokyo detained a Chinese fishing trawler captain.

Norway’s exports of salmon plummeted after Beijing curbed them. That move was seen as retaliation to a Norwegian committee’s decision in 2010 to award a Chinese dissident the Nobel Prize.

U.S. Imposes Sanctions Against Iran Financial Network

The U.S sanctioned a network of Iranian companies worth billions on Tuesday, including banks and funds accused of financing the country’s paramilitary apparatus. Washington’s move increases pressure on Tehran, sending a message to governments and companies still working with Iran to stop or face penalties.

The U.S.’s goal in targeting the Basij militia’s financing network, emphasizing the network’s use of child soldiers and other humans rights abuses in its announcement of the sanctions, is to undermine the financing of the prominent Islamic Revolutionary Guard corps unit and disincentivize the doing of business with the nation.

“The IRGC is pervasive within the Iranian economy,” a senior administration official said. “This is precisely the kind of activity that we have warned other companies and governments about extensively.”

Firms are leaving Iran as the U.S. increases sanctions meant ensure Tehran renegotiates a new nuclear and security deals that addresses Trump administration concerns, writes the Wall Street Journal.

Companies and governments in China and Europe may still trade with Tehran in order to have access to the country’s oil – effectively amounting to an opposition to Washington’s having left the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

U.S. Treasury sanctions claim Basij’s ownership of banks and companies spans across the entire Iranian economy. These entities are subject to U.S. sanctions effective November 5 – the second phase in Washington’s new pressure campaign meant to cut Iran from financial and trade ties to the world.

Human-rights groups condemned the sanctions, which were announced on Tuesday. The European Union and other Western governments blacklisted the sanctions. Companies or banks could face U.S. penalties for preserving ties with Iran.

Alireza Miryousefi, spokesman for Iran’s mission to the United Nations, called the sanctions a “unilateral campaign of bellicosity against Iran.”

The Treasury says Mehr Eqtesad Bank is integral to the Basij network. U.S. officials claim it provides hundreds of millions of dollars to the militia’s foundation through dividends and interest-free credit lines.

Bank Mellat, which in part financed Iran’s nuclear program, sent similar amounts to Mehr Eqtesad Bank, claims the U.S..

“This vast network provides financial infrastructure to the Basij’s efforts to recruit, train and indoctrinate child soldiers who are coerced into combat under the IRGC’s direction,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. “The international community must understand that business entanglements with the [Basij] network and IRGC front companies have real world humanitarian consequences.”

A senior U.S. official added: “We’re going to make sure, whether it’s through SWIFT or through other means, that sanctions are enforced. If there are prohibited transactions, going through SWIFT or any other entity, we’re going to make sure we enforce those sanctions quite vigorously.”