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Trade war

China moves to shut spigot on rare earths for first time in 5 years

US vows 'unprecedented action' to boost domestic output

Soil containing rare earth elements are transported in a port in China's Jiangsu Province. The materials are used in a wide range of products.   © Reuters

BEIJING/NEW YORK -- The Chinese government signaled Tuesday that it will take steps toward restricting rare-earth metal exports in its deepening trade war with the U.S., a step that could disrupt key supplies for high-tech industries even at the risk of isolation from the international community.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Commerce promised "unprecedented action" to reduce dependence on foreign sources of "critical minerals" and recommended urgent steps, including boosting domestic production.

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