How U.S. tariffs on China minerals could hurt industry, consumers

BEIJING (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs on another $200 billion of Chinese goods threaten a niche trade in minor metals and rare earths used in everything from stomach remedies and jet engines to consumer electronics. More than 6,000 items have been earmarked for a 10 percent import tariff, including – in some form – 32 of the 35 minerals the United States in May designated as “critical” to its economic and national security. These minerals and products based on them accounted for well over $1 billion of U.S. imports from China in 2017, and traders warn U.S. consumers will end up paying a premium if tariffs are put in place, albeit one cushioned by the recent devaluation of the yuan. Below is a list of mineral products in the tariff list where the United States relies heavily on China. (GRAPHIC: U.S.-China minor metals and minerals – tmsnrt.rs/2LwZWbE) * Bismuth No primary refined production of bismuth has taken place in the United States since 1997. Applications for this white metal with a pinkish hue range from stomach remedies to sprinkler systems, and China accounted for 77 percent of U.S. bismuth imports over 2013-2016, according to the United States Geological… continue reading

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