U.S. begins collecting higher tariffs on Chinese goods arriving by sea

"Safeguarding" its interests in this case refers to a defensive measure in which China would cut off rare earth mineral exports to American tech companies.

After the US announced sanctions against Huawei, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited a rare earths magnet manufacturer in Ganzhou, in southeastern Jiangxi province.

As trade tensions escalated, United States indices shed more than one per cent in a bitter conclusion to a bruising May, the first month of 2019 with losses.

Mr Dong Yang, a former executive director at the China Association of Automotive Manufacturers, said at the seminar that U.S. auto parts suppliers will also be hard hit if the trade war continues and that competitors from Germany, Japan, South Korea and France can provide strong substitutes to serve the Chinese market. The worry is that a trade war fought on multiple fronts around the world will be a drag on corporate profits and on a USA economy that's been supported by a solid job market. "I don't see any body language from the Chinese that they're about to do that", Kennedy said.

"It's hard to reconcile these", Dai told a seminar on US-Sino trade relations, noting that trade friction between China and the United States was a long-term issue.

Correction: China's border war with India was in 1962 and the China-Vietnam War was in 1979.

Blue Line CEO Jon Blumenthal on rare earths and the mounting trade war with China. Bloomberg has learned that China is also ready to plan to restrict rare earths metals to the US if the two sides are forced to dig in.

Having held largely steady for the past several months, the export prices of an array of rare earth elements have rallied strongly since Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to a rare earth processing firm in southern China on May 20 brought the sector under the spotlight.

Editorials in the Global Times and Shanghai Securities News took similar tacks in their Wednesday editions.

Markets in Europe were already spooked by news the USA would hit Mexico with tariffs in an anti-immigration measure.

Other active stocks in the rare earth space included Ucore Rare Metals Inc. -China trade battle, which previously contributed to a May selloff in stocks that saw major indexes post their first monthly decline of 2019.

ANALYST'S TAKE: The new tariffs on Mexican goods shocked investors who were already nervous about a global trade war crimping economic growth.

Adding to the downbeat mood was Beijing's warning on Friday that it would unveil an unprecedented hit-list of "unreliable" foreign firms, as a slate of retaliatory tariffs on imported US goods was set to kick in at midnight.

What Are Rare Earth Metals? .

Meanwhile, the most abundant are cerium, lanthanum, neodymium and yttrium, all of which have about the same abundance such as more common industrial metals, such as chromium, lead, molybdenum, nickel, tin, tungsten and zinc. However, concentrated and economic deposits are scarce, and production is dominated by a handful of countries. That would account for 10% of global production, according to the company. The nation has a template in using the elements to make a political point.

In 2010, they did it against Japan, over a territorial dispute. Hong Kong-listed China Rare Earth Holdings Ltd. spiked as much as 41 percent and has doubled in value in May. Experts note that U.S. consumers and importers bear the brunt of tariffs on products coming into the United States. The WTO ruled in favor of America, while prices eventually slumped as manufacturers turned to alternatives.

The first rare earth mineral to be discovered was "ytterbite" (later renamed to gadolinite) in 1787, a mineral composed of iron, silicon, yttrium and cerium, among other elements.

  • Leroy Wright