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Trade war

China unsheathes rare-earth dominance in trade war

Officials suggest cutting off supplies to US, which relies on Beijing for 80% of imports

WASHINGTON/BEIJING -- Chinese officials are dangling the possibility of banning exports of rare-earth metals to the U.S. as trade tensions mount, exploiting American dependence on China for materials that play a crucial role in modern technology.

"If anyone wants to use the products made from our rare earth exports to try to counter China’s development... the people of China will not be happy," a representative of the powerful National Development and Reform Commission, the country's planning agency, said in a statement Tuesday, alluding to the possibility of cutting off rare-earth supplies. 

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