China Intensifies Rare Earth Export Policies

Law360, New York (May 20, 2011, 7:12 PM EDT) -- The Chinese government revealed plans Thursday to strengthen its controversial quota system for rare earth exports and to hike taxes on the valuable minerals that have provoked ire from U.S. politicians in recent months.

In a pair of announcements, China's Ministry of Commerce and State Council both cited concerns about the scarcity of the minerals — which are used in electronics, clean energy, defense technologies and other industries — and the risks of serious environmental damage from mining and processing rare earths.

As of Friday, alloys...
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