China, the world’s largest producer of rare earth elements, is tightening reporting controls on these critical minerals.
China initiated this move to choke off America’s supply.
Announcing on Tuesday, China’s Commerce Ministry said the move will force exporters to report their shipment orders.
The government did not specify which minerals would be subject to the new rule.
However, it is a message to Washington about Beijing’s potential to target specific industries.
Rare earth elements are used in various products, from electric cars and solar panels to missiles and smartphones.
The decision to tighten reporting controls comes at a time of heightened tensions between China and the United States.
In July, China imposed export restrictions on two rare earth minerals crucial for semiconductor manufacturing.
The move by China is a counterblow against Washington’s control of China’s access to high-end computer chips.
Experts have warned against the implication of China’s tightening grip on rare earth elements.
The impact will affect the U.S. economy and national security.
However, they also note that China would likely hurt itself economically if it imposed outright bans on exports of these critical minerals.
Only time will tell how China’s new reporting requirements will impact the global rare earth market.
But one thing is clear: Beijing is sending a message to Washington that it is not afraid to use its economic leverage.