"A trade war is imminent, James Burnell of the Colorado Geological Survey explained in the Geosociety report:
“China is preparing to build 330 giga-watts worth of wind generators. That will require about 59,000 tons of neodymium to make high-strength magnets — more than that country’s annual output of neodymium. China supplies the world with a lot of those rare earth elements, like neodymium, and will have little or none to export if it moves ahead with its wind power plans…So the source for the West is problematical. [sic]”"
November 6, 2010
Geologists And Tech Industry Leaders Fear Mineral Trade Wars Imminent:
China has a stranglehold on the high-tech world with control of the rare earth minerals market. They can squeeze the market anytime they desire and offer dozens of reasons why they aren't manipulating it.
Rare earth minerals are available elsewhere but at substantially higher cost which provides one more economic advantage to China in addition to cheap labor.