U.S. targets China’s possible tariffs on rare earth magnets


The Biden administration is considering investigating whether imports of rare earth magnets, mainly manufactured in China, constitute a national security threat that may require tariffs.

The White House said that the Department of Commerce will review whether to investigate neodymium magnets, which are used to manufacture everything from smart phones to smart phones. Electric car motor.

President Joe Biden is considering the move as part of the measures announced by the White House on Tuesday Improve the resilience of the U.S. supply chain For fear of over-reliance on China, in the fields of rare earths, food and medicine.

The government will decide whether to investigate the impact of neodymium magnet imports on national security under Section 232 of the Trade Act of 1962, which was rarely used before former President Donald Trump used it for investigations. Prove that it is reasonable to impose tariffs on steel As well as importing aluminum from American allies.

“As far as neodymium magnets are concerned, these tariffs will directly target China, which is dominant in its manufacturing,” said Martijn Rasser, a technical expert at the Center for New American Security in Washington. “If the tariffs are high enough, this may provide economic incentives to establish domestic industries in the United States.”

Washington is increasingly worried China’s leading position in the field of rare earths, 17 metal elements are used to manufacture commercial products such as computer hard drives and military products such as radar, sonar and precision guided missiles.

The British “Financial Times” reported in February that China is Consider restricting exports Rare earths used in the production of F-35 fighter jets.

“We are very dependent on the import of neodymium rare earth magnets, especially from China. Section 232 is another tool we can use to help… reduce our dependence,” a senior US official said.

“We are not planning to launch a trade war with our allies and partners,” the official added.

When Biden ordered a review of the supply chain, he prioritized semiconductor, Rare earths, pharmaceuticals and electric vehicle batteries.

Officials said the government would use the National Defense Production Act, a 1950 Korean War-era law that allowed the United States to force industry to prioritize government contracts to help national security—return the production of 50-100 key drugs from overseas .

The Department of Energy plans to release a 10-year plan to develop the domestic supply chain of lithium batteries, which are vital to electric vehicles, and will immediately use a loan facility of US$17 billion to support this effort. The Department of Agriculture will invest $4 billion each to help strengthen and diversify the US food supply chain.

Biden will also try to hold a forum with allies to promote supply chain cooperation.He too Hope to discuss this issue After the Cornish G7 meeting, the EU-US summit in Brussels next week.

The official said that the government will also form a “trade strike force” led by U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, proposing to take enforcement actions against countries that engage in unfair trade practices and weaken the resilience of the U.S. supply chain.

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