#China’s secret #Trump card: Could #Beijing deprive our military of critical defense components?
The 17 materials, known as #RareEarth elements (#REE), are essential to the production of the high-performance permanent magnets used in both those systems, as well as in motors and missiles, GPS systems, satellite imaging, night vision goggles, and consumer products like smartphones and flat television screens. And for precisely the reasons Candidate #Trump cited for the decline of #American manufacturing and the loss of #US jobs, #China is now in a position to cut off our supply of processed rare earth elements if it feels Trump is pushing too hard on trade and economic issues—or anything else.
“Absolutely, China could cut off the supply,” said Jeff Green, a defense industry analyst in Washington, D.C. “Processing rare earths is the end of the hose. China controls the spigot the hose is attached to.”