Elliot Brennan and Bert Edström
Rare Earth Elements: The Next Oil
ISDP POLICY BRIEF, No. 78, October 19 2011.
Rare earth elements (REE) are increasingly becoming a critical strategic resource. The 17 elements can be found in most high-tech
gadgets from advanced military technology to mobile phones. China currently holds claim to 95 percent of the world’s production.
Recent Chinese export reductions have forced high-tech firms to relocate to China and forced other governments, particularly in the
developed world, to pour money into their exploration and production. This month Japan’s Trade Minister met with his Chinese
counterpart, at the top of the agenda was REEs. Rare earths are fast becoming “the next oil.”
Conflict Management, Conflict Prevention, Economic Policies, Energy Security, Foreign Policy, Global Economics, Natural Resources, Sustainable Development China, Japan, USA, RRE
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