I agree with you Barb. I think its not fair to expect from China to give up its hold on the resources. Actions on the part of other alliances of the world is necessary. Also all the countries need to realize that imposing regulatory restrictions on China may be a short term solution; the long term solution can only be that the other countries ensure that they are active contributors to global production of rare materials as well. Also its surprising to see that despite so much dependance of Chinese revenue on exports in US and EU, the Chinese are not being dictated the terms by WTO and other world bodies.
This is the same as imposing visas on foreigners. In order to protect the domestic economy, every country imposes visas to outsiders who wish to come in and get a job. The Western countries are very familiar with this system. Almost everyone finds this treatment to be fair and economically logical because jobs are rare and the nationals should have the priority access to them.
Why shouldn't China give priority to the local businesses when it comes to rare earth metals? Why shouldn't China look after its national interests when it comes to its natural resources? The West always have and always will look after its own interests so can anybody blame China for doing the same? Not really.
Furthermore, China did not force anybody to shut down its mines and to stop digging for rare earth metals. The West did all that willingly and even at the painful cost of many local people losing their jobs and fleeing their home towns to take a chance in the big cities. The 1996 British movie called "Brassed Off" is all about this tragedy in the northern England. I am sure there were similar tragedies in other parts of the world too.
Progress of a civilisation is very much dependent on the availability of natural resources and how well these are used. Technological progress cannot change that fact as we are seeing today.
It sounds like the West will have to go back to the good old pickaxe and spade at some point.
Right on, Bolaji. Once again we see too little, too late. A year ago, this move could have been applauded as aggressive, proactive and prescient. Instead, for the US at least, it looks like politicking. Japan has actually been trying to make a move like this for a long time but didn't have the economic clout to make it stick. The EU clearly has a lot tied up in advancing green technology. The US is the biggest export market for China. An alliance is a no brainer. Now, we should look to a different kind of alliance: these nations can band together to develop and subsidize alternative sources of REEs. China has demonstrated over and over that it won't cave to economic pressure. Why should it? They are holding all the cards.
Part of China's argument does make sense: "cheap export prices cannot make up for the environmental damage caused by the exploitation of rare earths." What does the West say about that? The west does not always set a good example when it come to implement rulings. Pressing China to sell its rare earth at cheap prices, is certainly not the best solution as China has now more influence in deciding the prices for many commodities.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.