Congress Hears Testimony on Rare Earths

Posted on September 22, 2011 by Minerals Make Life

The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee held a hearing yesterday on the domestic implications of China’s tightening grip on world rare earth supplies.

“We now have customers considering whether they should move their production to China,” said Robert Strahs, vice president and general manager at Arnold Magnetic Technologies, which produces rare earth magnets. Strahs stated that growing demand for the minerals coupled with China’s production cuts and export restrictions could be “crippling” to domestic manufacturers.

In other testimony, Mark A. Smith, president and CEO of Molycorp, Inc., told the subcommittee that China’s actions only increase the urgent need for rare earth production in the United States.

And increased domestic production would bring job growth nationwide.

“The job‐creation engine that rare earths have fueled in China can also be a job‐creation engine here in the U.S. We have the resources, the technology and the markets to make this a reality,” said Smith. He encouraged the United States to “take a page out of China’s strategic playbook and leverage its rare earth resources to attract manufacturing that relies upon these critical materials.”

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