China’s US tariff hike to target condoms, wine, pianos

Chinese mines accounted for 71% of the world's rare earths production in 2018.

The Trump administration has issued orders to curtail Huawei’s access to American components it needs for its equipment – though a 90-day reprieve was issued.

Chinese state media suggested this week that Beijing could hit back by stopping exports of rare earths to the United States, cutting off key materials used to make everything from smartphones to televisions and military equipment.

Chinese mines accounted for 71% of the world’s rare earths production in 2018, according to the US Geological Survey, down from 80% in 2017 and 95% a decade ago.

Cutting off exports to the US could give Beijing leverage in trade talks as China supplies 80% of the rare earths imported by the United States.

But analysts say China may be reluctant to target the materials because it could hasten a global search for alternative supplies of rare earths.

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