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US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, “China’s Rare Earths Industry and its Role in the International Market,” Nov. 3, 2010

This staff background report was written by Lee Levkowitz and Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga.
November 3, 2010


China produces 97 percent of the world’s rare earth elements, a key component in a large assortment of advanced military and civilian technologies. Increasing global demand and Chinese reductions in export quotas over the past six years have led to international concerns about future supply shortages. Although the United States currently is seeking alternative sources for rare earths, the Government Accountability Office has stated that it may take up to 15 years before the United States is able to rebuild its U.S.-sourced rare earth supply chain. In addition, China’s monopoly over rare earths has led to fears of China using its dominance as leverage to influence other nations’ foreign policies. The following backgrounder seeks to provide an overview of China’s rare earth industry and how it affects the United States.

This report can be found in pdf format below and here.


Related articles:


Congressional Research Service, "Rare Earth Elements in National Defense," March 31, 2011

Congressional Research Service, “Rare Earth Elements in National Defense: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress,” Sept. 5, 2012

Congressional Research Service, China’s Rare Earth Industry and Export Regime: Economic and Trade Implications for the United States, April 30, 2012