The United States used to mine these metals but China began offering REE at extremely low prices, which our own mine companies couldn’t compete with, so the few mines that existed in the US rapidly closed down.
Little by little, China became the major supplier of these metals in the world, producing 97% of these REE. These metals are crucial for most of our technological advances, even when we don’t realize it. When we turn on an energy saving light bulb or a microwave; when we buy a hybrid or electric car or go to have a MRI done; when we work or play at our computers or take a picture of our family, your car's battery, your cell phones and many other things wouldn't exist without REE. Actually, you are reading this because of REE, without them there would be no optic cables used for the Internet. That is why these metals are so important and China knows this very well. So now, that the whole world depends on it and China holds the control of the market they have decided to restrict the supply and increase the prices. A very old tactic that still proves effective to this day.
That is the reason for the trade case against China and that is what happens when we, in our efforts to get everything faster and cheaper no matter the consequences, become completely dependent on another nation for our success, our progress, our survival and ultimately our future. It has happened with oil, it has happened with ore, it has happened with REE and it has happened with our household items, our cars and even our clothing. We my friends, produce almost nothing!
I truly hope that one day we learn to become independent, like we used to be. We have every resource in our hands but prefer the quick way out and that my friends, puts our future in someone else’s hands. That is precisely what has corroded our economy and our autonomy. There used to be a time where we were the suppliers of the world, we lead in almost everything imaginable – except perfumes and fashion, which has always been controlled by France and Italy. We were a self-sufficient nation instead of a beggar’s nation and we need to stop our dependency as soon as possible, cold turkey. We must support our President in his quest for the United States to regain that position; we have the know-how, we have the desire, we have the people and damn it, if we don‘t have the people we can hire their knowledge from all corners of the world as we used to, but we must be the leaders of the world once more. We must lead in the socioeconomic advances, we have to be autonomous for our economy to flourish. There is no reason why we can’t do it, we can take the lead in green technology, we can open our mines and put in place the proper regulations so no damage is done to the environment; we as people can become aware of our environment, become conscious of our needs and stop our wasteful ways. This has become a society of consumption, a society that instead of repairing prefers to throw away and replace, which most likely will be an item purchased at Walmart, made in China and with a life span of 3 years!