Rare Earth Ruckus

Are we at the mercy of China's mercantilist mandarins?

Earlier this year, the world was jolted when China apparently cut supplies of rare earth metals to Japan. In addition, China has announced that it is dramatically tightening its export quotas on the metals. This is big news because China produces 97 percent of the world’s supply of the 17 rare earth metals. Rare earth metals are used in everything from wind turbines to oil refineries, Priuses to iPhones, and flat screen TVs to smart bombs.

Rare earth metals are chemically similar and include cerium, neodymium, europium, and samarium. Despite the name, most rare earth metals actually are similar in abundance as more familiar elements such as copper, nickel, or zinc. However, economically exploitable rare earth ores are uncommon and they generally occur together as hard to refine mixtures. Over the past half century technologists have found many uses for these metals, one of the more important being the production of lightweight permanent magnets.

Up until the 1990s, the United States dominated the production of rare earth metals, chiefly from the Mountain Pass mine in southern California. In 1992 then-Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, allegedly declared, "There is oil in the Middle East; there is rare earth in China." Subsequently, China began ramping up its rare earth metals mining and production, flooding the market with the metals and undercutting the price of U.S. production. U.S. Geological Survey composite price data notes that rare earths sold in real dollars for just over $11,000 per ton in 1990 falling to a low of just over $3,000 per ton in 2006. In the face of Chinese competition, the Mountain Pass mine ceased operations in 2002 when its environmental operating permit expired after a series of spills of mine tailings that contained traces of radioactive uranium and thorium.

Since the early 1990s, world demand for rare earth oxides rose from 50,000 tons per year to 134,000 tons today. By 2014, global demand for rare earth elements may exceed 200,000 tons per year. As a result of Chinese export restrictions and its arbitrary export embargoes rare earth prices have soared. In the last year, according to the Metal Pages website which tracks global metal prices, the price of neodymium oxide has risen from $20,000 per ton to nearly $80,000; praseodymium oxide from $20,000 per ton to $78,000; samarium oxide from $15,000 per ton to $25,000; and lanthanum oxide from $7,000 to nearly $60,000 per ton.

This rapid run up in prices and reports of impending shortages have produced considerable anxiety around the world. However, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) last week issued a somewhat reassuring comprehensive report looking at the availability of rare earth minerals in the United States and around the world. China’s rare earth domination may continue for the short run, but the world is far from running out of these minerals.

The USGS report estimates that total proven U.S. reserves of rare earth oxides are about 1.5 million tons, and reckons that total domestic resources could be 13 million tons. Domestic consumption of rare earths peaked at 10,200 tons in 2007 which implies that U.S. supplies from known reserves would last nearly 150 years and possibly up to 1,300 years after other resources are explored and exploited. But it gets even better. Nice stable countries like Australia and Canada also have substantial rare earth resources.

In response to recent higher prices, companies around the globe are beginning to ramp up production. In fact, Molycorp Minerals, the current owner of the Mountain Pass mine, is reopening it with the goal of producing 20,000 tons of rare earth oxides by 2012 and eventually producing 40,000 tons of rare earth oxides annually by the middle of this decade. The company claims that its new milling processes will enable it to produce rare earth oxides at half the cost that the Chinese currently do. The Australian mining company Lynas Corporation aims to produce 11,000 tons of rare earth oxides anually from its new Mount Weld mine beginning in 2011. A number of other projects are being considered around the world.

It’s a depressing contemporary truism: Whenever someone declares a crisis, some Capitol Hill busybody hurries to throw taxpayer dollars at it. Last March, as anxieties about Chinese export quotas were beginning to grow, Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) introduced the Rare Earths Supply-Chain Technology and Resources Transformation Act of 2010 which includes loan guarantees to companies producing and refining domestic rare earth metals.

Another truism: If the feds offer free money, there’ll be no shortage of corporations holding their hands out for it. In fact, Molycorp Minerals has already applied for a $280 million federal loan guarantee. The Department of Energy turned down the initial application, but the company has filed again.

Besides drawing out new supplies, shortages also spur innovation. In this case, several companies appear to be well on the way toward developing cheaper permanent magnets that don’t depend on rare earth metals. For example, the California startup NovaTorque has developed electric motors using low cost ferrite magnets that the company claims outperform much more expensive neodymium magnets. Hitachi in Japan is also developing a ferrite magnet that would be a cheap substitute for the neodymium magnets currently used in hybrid cars. Rare earth magnets are right now chiefly used for reading and writing hard drives, but that may not always be so. Researchers are working on new computer memories based on graphene oxide, a combination of common carbon and oxygen.

In the end, new supplies and innovation will ensure that the future of the world’s high tech economy will not depend upon the whims of the mercantilist mandarins who steer Chinese industrial and trade policy.

Ronald Bailey is Reason's science correspondent. His book Liberation Biology: The Scientific and Moral Case for the Biotech Revolution is now available from Prometheus Books.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    One thing to note here is that the Chinese haven't been doing anything special to get their (huge!) supplies. They've simple applied mid-twentieth century technique on a monstrous scale.

    This has been very user for neutrino physics as the cost of Gadolinium has come down by four orders of magnitude.

  • crazyfish||

    woohoo a fellow physicist!

    I heard a talk about a year ago about the use of gandolinium to increase the signal rates for neutrino detection. The speaker was a dude, an american who lived in Japan, to work on the super K experiment was like a bouncy kid in a candy store

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    That would be John Beacom talking about GADZOOKS! and possibly EGADS! (the capitals and exclamation points are part of the official names).

    Did he give you the story about taking the bringing the GdCl in his checked luggage?

    Short version. For use in a low background neutrino detection context, the Gadolinium must have essentially all of the uranium and thorium contamination removed. This is a labor intensive and slightly costly process. When formed into a salt with chlorine, it makes a fine white powder.

    A dense fine white powder that is pretty opaque to x-rays.

    So, having carefully triple bagged two kilograms of this stuff in the clear room in California, he packs it into his bags and heads to the airport to take it to Japan.

    Bag go through the scanner. TSA guy say "Huh?". They open his bag, and there is this plastic wrapped package of white powder.

    So they get John in the little room with the package. Now, GcCl is dense, quite unlike drugs or anthrax or whatever the TSA though it was, but ...

    John looks like a happy-go-lucky beach-bum and has an exuberant manner, and when they ask him what it is he tells them. And they say they're going to open it to check what it is and he says something like "Don't! It's very pure!"

    He missed his flight.

  • GroundTruth||

    I think we geeks all miss the days of putting the samples or prototype or whatever into our carry-on. Can't necessarily blame the TSA for that... ValueJet did in those days.

    (Well, yeah, I'll blame the TSA for this too. They're still schmucks.)

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    I still pack sufficiently tough materials into my checked luggage from time to time, but they are always accompanied by a prominent sign along the lines of "Scientific Equipment: Maintain laboratory cleanliness standards" and with my info and contact details for a knowledgeable PI in the originating and destination countries (including all their titles and the names of sponsoring institutions).

    And when it includes custom electronics boards, I give the guys at the check in station a heads up. So far, I've not been hassled.

  • hmm||

    The "panic" is driven by people rent seeking. Moly wants the government to pay above market for their product.

    Bottom line is if we go to war and need it, we have it. The start-up time is nil if the will is there.

  • ||

    One of the things that gets lost in the hysteria, and doesn't seem to have been addressed specifically in Bailey's post, is that although China is limiting the export of raw rare earth materials--they'll let you buy as much as you want so long as you use it to manufacture whatever you're manufacturing within China.

    So, it's not like the world is about to suffer for lack of things made from rare earth metals--it just means that China will probably continue to enjoy an enormous advantage in manufacturing things made with rare earth metals.

    They'll sell all the rare earth metals we want--so long as we're using it to manufacture something in China. The only people who should be getting excited about this are those silly fools who genuinely believe that Obama was about to remake our economy into a highly paid, unionized workforce manufacturing green technology...

    This is another excellent reason why that probably just ain't gonna happen.

  • ||

    ...and by the way, this is an issue that's been known about for a long time.

    I remember commenting on this a year ago or more.

  • JoshINHB||

    They'll sell all the rare earth metals we want--so long as we're using it to manufacture something in China.

    Until they don't.

  • ||

    Monopoly is a valid concern--even for libertarians. But this hasn't been a problem yet, and it's nothing new. This has been the way it's been for years. We adapt to that.

    This really became news when Australia blocked the majority purchase of THE operating rare earth metals mine in Australia...

    What should we do about that? Invade China? Refuse to trade with China? ...how's that gonna change the situation?

    So far? China's happy to sell us all the rare earth metals we want, so long as we're manufacturing in China--some people seem to be interpreting this as if China were prohibiting the export of products containing rare earth metals...

    ...and that just isn't so.

    The fact is that if you're a company that wants to make things containing rare earth metals--and you don't want to pay an arm and a leg for it--you're gonna have to manufacture in China.

    Why is that a big deal?

    Because it throws a monkey wrench in Obama's stupid plans for a green economy? I never gave a crap about Obama's stupid plans anyway.

    So, what are the options here?

    1) Trade war with China over rare earth metals?

    That's self-destructive.

    2) Invade China?

    That's stupid. It's in their ground! How would you like it if they wanted to do that to us?

    3) Let industries who want to manufacture in China do so.

    Well that makes sense.

    The only things that really make sense here are 1) making it less expensive for companies to import those products from China and 2) making the environmental impact of mining for those materials elsewhere less cumbersome and costly.

    This is a non-issue for everybody except for Barack Obama and his stupid plans. The biggest threat to our economic well being from this is our politicians overreacting to facts--years after industry and the markets have already been adapting.

  • ||

    our politicians overreacting to facts--years after industry and the markets have already been adapting.
    reply to this

    Doesn't the pretty much describe the whole Green Energy movement in recent gov't? Everyone was already investing in more efficient and renewable technologies, and then years later the gov't decides to make it a priority.

    Greening-up at our own pace just wasn't good enough apparently, so let's ban incandescents and raise the cost of power! It'll create/save/not-lose-as-many jobs and save Gaia!! Recession? So what? Why do you hate Gaia, you greedy parasitic capitalist yankee pigdog scum?

  • ||

    It is striking how a lot of environmentalists first reaction is the anti-capitalist one.

    If America's bright green future is even more highly dependent on trade with China, and other places with rare earth metals, then shouldn't they be arguing for even freer trade with those countries?

    Shouldn't they be fighting tooth and nail to do away with prohibitively expensive permitting processes to search for and mine rare earth metals here in the United States?

    ...but noooooOOOOOOOoooooooo.

    It's like they think our environmental problems are so big and dangerous that our economic well being should be sacrificed to avoid them. ...but apparently they're not big and dangerous enough that we should stoop to using free market capitalism to solve them?!

    How can that be?

    It really does make you wonder. Maybe they really are just using environmentalism as safe cover to throw rocks at capitalism. 'cause judging by their actions, they seem to be a lot more afraid of capitalism than they are of any environmental disaster.

  • ||

    The Chinks are smarter than the crop of Teabagging Medicare lobbyists now rutting for power in the House.

    They (Chinks) smartly emphasize growth - the TeaBaggers wish to hang on to entitlements.

  • Obama||

    I like that part of the teabagger agenda, don't you? Now spit my cock out and tell Baracky.

  • Trespassers W||

    Do you have to think before you write, or do you just relax and it kind of comes out on its own?

  • ||

    shriek's casual homophobia, racism, and flat out lies come straight from his heart. No thinking involved.

  • ||

    Well, goddamn me! I reject the Big Gov Teabaggers!

    Fuck me to death!

  • ||

    I wish I could start drinking and taking meth as early as you can, shriek. Alas, I have to work. I don't have all those fictional market successes to enable a laid back lifestyle like you do.

  • ||

    I never drink or partake of substance before 4pm est.

    And meth sucks anyway. You should avoid it as a lifestyle choice.

  • ||

    You would know. And besides, you prefer yohimbine because it helps you with...that problem you have. With the ladies. You know the one I mean.

  • ||

    You Beckerheads crack me up.

  • ||

    Every time I think you can't get any stupider, shriek, you defy my expectations and achieve the impossible. You're the world champion of idiocy. Congratulations. I'm sure some state lotteries would like to hire you for endorsements.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I'm sure some state lotteries would like to hire you for endorsements.

    "You christ-fags can't win if you don't play!"

  • ||

    LOL

  • ||

    yeah - Altough I am a caucasoid white guy you call me "racist" when I refer to the tactical advantage the Chinooks play.

    Why are faux Libertarians/conservatives always the first to play the race "butt-hurt" card?

  • GOOK||

    Light on, roo tear 'em, blothel!

  • ||

    And you win again! How do you do it?!?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: shrike,

    Altough I am a caucasoid white guy you call me "racist" when I refer to the tactical advantage the Chinooks play.

    "Caucasoid"? "Chinooks"?

    You're past the time for your Risperidone, shrike.

  • sevo||

    shrike|11.23.10 @ 5:54PM|#
    "yeah - Altough I am a caucasoid white guy..."

    Boy, that's enough to make a lot of us embarrassed to share the characteristics.
    Can't you be some alien life-form like you act?

  • ||

    Yep, he's now bowl-eligible...

  • Barney The Frank||

    I'll make it so!

  • sr7||

    Chinks? Just how fucking old are you, grandpa? Did you have to dust that turd off before you flung it?

  • ||

    Look - I see Rand Paul (I loves me some fucking Medicare) win on a Big Gov platform and the chinky-boys are running to state capitalism while Teabaggers embrace Big Gov GOPismBush ala' crap.)

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: shrike,

    Please don't forget to take your Risperidone - it's that time and you're already showing symptoms again.

  • Almanian||

    "Grandpa, the term these days is 'Chi-Comms'..."

  • Brother Wolf||

    I sure hope you're a bricklayer or something, because you don't have any future in anything intellectual.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: shrike,

    The Chinks are smarter than the crop of Teabagging Medicare lobbyists now rutting for power in the House.

    "Chinks"? What, are you fixed in the 60s or something?

  • ||

    shrike = Harry Reid? ("Negro dialect")

  • ||

    No. Harry Reid was a little less blatant with his racism.

  • JoshINHB||

    And more drool on his chin.

    Wait a minute, that's not drool....

  • ||

    Oops! Sorry, let me get that for you.
    *sluuuurrrppp*

  • Yonemoto||

    The correct term is oriental

  • Realist||

    Nice racist comment. The chinese are a lot smarter than the shit for brains in the White House.

  • ||

    Rare earth isn't that rare, actually. Its just very environmentally damaging to mine it. The US has enormous deposits that are partially mined in (wait for it) California.

    If there's a crisis, we can get them. In the meantime, my modest investment in rare earth mining companies is doing quite well, thanks for asking.

  • ||

    Should have mentioned: that CA mine is the Mountain Pass mine. I thought about investing in Moly, but decided against it, given the low probability that CA will actually allow large-scale extraction.

  • ||

    Looks like, not: In the face of Chinese competition, the Mountain Pass mine ceased operations in 2002 when its environmental operating permit expired after a series of spills of mine tailings that contained traces of radioactive uranium and thorium.

  • ||

    Gah. I must read the entire article next time.

  • omg||

    >California
    >China
    >Canada

    So basically, the supply of rare earth minerals is completely controlled by communists?

  • ||

    That's not fair. China hasn't been truly communist for quite some time.

  • BakedPenguin||

    China hasn't been truly communist for quite some time.

    No, they allow market activity, however the government can come in at any time and demand pretty much anything they want.

    That's fascism.

  • Thomas Friedman||

    That's called gettin' shit done, bitch!

  • BH Obama||

    Give me time Tom, give me time.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Sorry, missed the original post by omg. I'm Not Always So Stupid.

  • ||

    What are countries that start with a 'C'?

  • Carl||

    well if the EPA holds firm enough with permit issues they will be able to drive the price up so much that california will be able to pay off their 20 billion dollar deficit. nothing like gov't market intervention.

  • Almanian||

    Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

    *that's the ecret-say*

  • Rich||

  • ||

    Well then, Get Ready.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Holy crap. I don't think I've heard them in 20 years or so.

  • TSA||

    Those stank motherfuckers can go right on through.

  • T||

    I also seem to recall there's lots of rare earth deposits in Africa, but nobody is willing to go dig it out because, well, it's Africa.

  • Trespassers W||

    I'm pretty sure iTunes also has rich, funky deposits of Rare Earth.

    Ah, and now I can guess what Rich just linked to.

  • ||

    Yeah I was way too late to make my comment:

    "All we need to get more Rare Earth production is to find more Smokey Robinson songs."

  • Ted S.||

    You can shop around for those.

  • ||

    Will someone tell me who won Korean War II? I was busy today.

  • Max||

    My advice is to learn Manderin and let Ronald jerk himself off in flawed English.

  • xaM||

    Me jerk you off rong time, sayror.

    Max ruv you rong time. Me so hawwwwwwwwny.

    You forrow me for good time, sayror?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Max,

    Max, H&R's pet [and banal] yorkie.

    Here Max! Here, boy! Go fetch! That's a good boy!

    NO Max, not in the carpet! Don't stain the carpet with your banalities! Bad boy, Max! Bad boy!

  • Old Man with Candy||

    When can we expect a panic article about Peak Praesodymium?

  • ||

    Right after the 2012 elections. They'll need something to deflect the media from the 1st 3rd-party President Elect.

  • C'mon man||

    This, of course, is the real reason China is winning the 'green energy race" (sigh, poot).

  • ||

    This country could learn a thing or two from China about acting like a nation-state in the interests if the nation-state.

    That's why by 2040 they'll have the biggest, most extensive high speed rail network in the world and the US (may) have a short "high speed" line from Tampa to Orland and that's it.

    China is the new superpower, and we're declining. That is, if we don't change course and invest in the future!

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Kenneth,

    This country could learn a thing or two from China about acting like a nation-state in the interests [o]f the nation-state.

    Sounds so fascist...

    China is the new superpower, and we're declining.

    What's with this "we" business, Kimosabe?

  • ||

    Wow, Kenneth. Even Dan T. managed to go a few weeks before it was obvious he was a troll, you barely lasted a day.

  • ||

    Hey, I was hating on Kenneth before it was cool! As in, on Saturday!

  • C'mon man||

    That's why by 2040 they'll have the biggest, most extensive high speed rail network in the world and the US (may) have a short "high speed" line from Tampa to Orland and that's it.

    Because nothing says superpower like perpetually subsidized high speed rail.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re" C'mon man,

    Because nothing says superpower like perpetually subsidized high speed rail.

    Hey, perpetually subsidized and UNIONIZED high speed rail. Don't leave that out as Kenneth may turn loco...

  • ||

    We wouldn't have a middle class in this country without unions, and that's just the facts.

    I'm not in a union myself but next time you enjoy paid vacation, or workrer's comp, or overtime, thank a union member.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Kenneth,

    We wouldn't have a middle class in this country without unions, and that's just the facts.

    Actually, that's not the facts, it's actually a big lie. You CAN'T have a "middle class" as such a thing does not exist; it's just a statistical construct.

    I'm not in a union myself but next time you enjoy paid vacation, or workrer's comp, or overtime, thank a union member.

    Every time I see plants closing due to beyond-market labor costs, I ALWAYS thank a Union member, very effusively...

  • Tony||

    You CAN'T have a "middle class" as such a thing does not exist; it's just a statistical construct.

    OM one day you will make the leap from freshman logic 101 mental masturbation to reality, and it will blow your mind. I have faith.

  • sevo||

    Tony, many concepts are beyond your limited abilities.
    So your confusion is no surprise,.

  • Realist||

    Unions are bad, have always been bad and will always be bad! Unions are for those that have no marketable ability.

  • iamtheeviltwin||

    When I found out that the idiot next to me who's idea of working consisted of flirting with the women in the shop while I did my job was getting the same raise that I did...I thanked the union...

    When my company started closing a shop that should have been staffed by high school and college grads for $10-12/hr, but was instead staffed by 30yr old-timers making $30/hr because the union would not let the company re-classify the shop...I thanked the union..

    When I spent every day working on the shop floor, instead of in an office, while doing an engineering job because the union would not let a "salaried" employee run a drill once or twice a month...I thanked the union...

    When I lost my job in May because of the union-forced seniority-based layoff contract that would not allow my boss to retain me, even though I performed duties no one else in the shop could...I thanked the union...

    God save the union...

  • Trespassers W||

    That's why by 2040 they'll have the biggest, most extensive high speed rail network in the world

    Just like Ogdenville, North Haverbrook, and Brockway!

  • MWG||

    ...and it put them on the map!

  • ||

    Will there be lots of jobs for men?

  • stuartl||

    I'm sure the high speed trains will run on time.

  • ||

    That's why by 2040 they'll have the biggest, most extensive high speed rail network in the world

    Forward into the future, comrades, with the transportation tech of the late 1880s!

  • ||

    In all fairness, the Chinese high-speed trains rock. They make it one hell of a lot easier to get to the middle of nowhere. And, they are nice, new, inexpensive, clean, etc...

    Every time I'm on one I give thanks to the Chinese dirt farmers whose meager incomes are being stolen to help fund my luxurious travel.

  • Amakudari||

    Ah, but that's the beauty of it. China has a very low income tax, and they're not really deficit-funded either. They're not taking incomes. That's a Western mindset, where most confiscation comes directly from our incomes.

    They're taking whatever they want.

    Also, anyone who thinks China is an example of smart growth needs to die in a fire.

  • ||

    The same people who were impressed by the Austrian beer hall guy in the 30s

  • Realist||

    "That is, if we don't change course and invest in the future!"
    And stop electing assholes like Obama.

  • ||

    "China is the new superpower, and we're declining. That is, if we don't change course and invest in the future!"

    The funny part of that is? Everybody that wants to use the nation-state to act like a nation-state in this country? Wants to use it curb the forces of capitalism--not enhance them.

    Do you know what the nation-state of China does to people who try to start a labor union? ...and that's just one example.

    Show me a group of people who want to use the nation-state to go super-capitalist? ...and I might even think about it for a few seconds.

    But there isn't anybody anywhere on the political spectrum who's advocating for the nation-state to act like a nation-state so it can be as capitalist as China is.

    Anywhere.

  • John Law||

    But there isn't anybody anywhere on the political spectrum who's advocating for the nation-state to act like a nation-state so it can be as capitalist as China is.

    Anywhere.

    I do! I do! I do!

  • Ted S.||

    Kenneth's current residence gets condemned through eminent domain to build the new high-speed rail.

    Wherever he moves to gets condemned through eminent domain to build the new high-speed rail.

  • ||

    You'd think Kenneth would appreciate the easy access that living in the train station would afford. Fucking Ingrates.

  • Old Mexican||

    In the end, new supplies and innovation will ensure that the future of the world's high tech economy will not depend upon the whims of the mercantilist mandarins who steer Chinese industrial and trade policy.

    The profit-seeking forces and the market, at work.

    Whenever someone declares a crisis, some Capitol Hill busybody hurries to throw taxpayer dollars at it.

    "Because that is what I do," said the scorpion, while the frog drowned...

  • Old Mexican||

    For example, the California startup NovaTorque has developed electric motors using low cost ferrite magnets that the company claims outperform much more expensive neodymium magnets.

    I looked at their demonstration video - seems like their stator design improves magnetic efficiency. Very ingenious.

    Again, the profit-seeking forces and market at work.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    That assembly animation is very nice.

    But the first question that comes to my mind is: if they can do that with ferrite magnets, how much better could they do with rare earth magnets?

    (Mind you, my knowledge of motor engineering goes about as far as the cutaway drawings in a basic physics text or the encyclopedia...)

  • ||

    China is growing at 10% a quarter while our economy is stuck in "neutral".

    Why?

    Because China's stimulus was much bigger as a percentage of GDP and was spent on building things while ours was too small and mostly filled with tax cuts and welfare programs instead of making things and rebuilding our failing infrastructure.

  • ||

    Cesar, if this is your new version of Neil, I have to admit it's pretty fucking good. Even if it's not real, I just want to beat on it.

  • MWG||

    China's growing 10% a quarter!?

  • ||

    Between 8 and 10%, yup.

  • ||

    sauce plox?

  • ||

    I think you mean per year dude.

  • ||

    Nope, 10% more or less a QUARTER:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11593613

    That's what investing in the future, in infrastructure, in making things, and green technology gets you!

  • ||

    I'm sorry, but please explain why anybody should give a shit if China's economy surpasses ours in GDP growth or manufacturing?

  • Amakudari||

    (1 + 0.1) ^ 4 - 1 = 46% per year

    Pretty soon they'll reach infinity. Herp derp.

  • Amakudari||

    Actually, I should stop rewarding obvious troll.

  • sevo||

    You'd think anyone who uses math once a week would see that the claim is preposterous, but, hey, trolls troll.

  • ||

    http://www.indexmundi.com/chin....._rate.html

    The article that you linked to was talking about annualized GDP growth. Moron.....

  • ||

    Also, China's rate of growth was just as high or higher before the infrastructure spending.

  • Fabius||

    That's an annualized growth rate for the quarter, dipshit. BBC erroneously assumed you'd be smart enough to figure that out.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Kenneth,

    China is growing at 10% a quarter while our economy is stuck in "neutral".

    Why?

    Because China's stimulus was much bigger as a percentage of GDP[...]

    Spending money is not the same as Production. That's why the current concept of "GDP" is flawed.

  • ||

    China's real estate bubble is something to behold. I'll be interested to see what happens when it comes crashing down.

  • JoshINHB||

    Yeah,

    What kind of shithole country doesn't have high speed rail?

    Could the Africans have won the civil war without high speed rail?
    No Way.

    Could the Krauts 'ave bombed Pearl Harbor without High Speed Rail?
    Hell No

    Could East Germany have absorbed Western Europe without HIGH SPEED RAIL?
    No fucking way.

    Could Barack Obama have reversed the rise of the seas without HIGH SPEED RAIL?
    Are your fucking kidding me.

  • ||

    holy sh!t that made me laugh.

  • Mad Max||

    Haven't those alchemists discovered the Philosopher's Stone *yet*? What are we paying them for? Get a good Philosopher's stone, turn lead into rare earth metals, no more need to rely on Chinese imports.

    Didn't Harry Potter discover the Sorcerer's Stone recently?

  • Carl||

    excuse me kind bibliopegist waaayyyre may i find books and maahnuscripts on allllchemy?

  • Carl||

    im all for recycling materials to recover these rare earth elements but oh wait thats right the enviro wackos who force us to recycle dont let us actually process the material because for us to do so is too environmentally damaging to mother gaia so we ship it in compressed cubes to china. ahh thank you ruling agencies!

  • Al Gore||

    Researchers are working on new computer memories based on graphene oxide, a combination of common carbon and oxygen.

    Did someone say CARBON!? NOOOOOOO!

  • JoshINHB||

    Is that kinda like CO2?

  • ||

    Paper money shows how human ingenuity invented a cheap substitute for a crippling shortage of gold. We just need to figure out how to come up with similar substitutes for rare earth metals.

  • strat||

    So there really is a mine shaft gap!

  • ||

    Buck Turgidsen says there is.

  • ||

    All subsidies for wind turbines and electric cars should be canceled so we can preserve supplies of rare earths. :) After all, using them for those purposes is a complete waste of resources.

  • ||

    So it looks like China need only drop the price on REMs again to decimate global competition. My only question then is why wouldn't they do exactly that? They already know it works.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement