Smart Phones, Hybrid Cars, and the Global Competition for "Rare Earth Elements"

Smart Phones, Hybrid Cars, and the Global Competition for "Rare Earth Elements"

Ninety percent of "rare earth elements" comes from China. We explore the science and politics of "critical materials" in advanced manufacturing...

"Rare earth elements" are essential raw materials for today's smart phones, wind turbines, and hybrid car batteries. Today, more than 90% of "rare earths" like lanthanum and neodymium come from China. The United States recently asked the World Trade Organization to investigate whether China is abusing that market dominance. Kojo explores the science and politics of "rare earth" materials.

Guests

Stephen W. Freiman

President, Freiman Consulting; Member, National Research Council Committee on Critical Material Impacts on the U.S. Economy

Richard McGregor

Washington Bureau Chief, Financial Times; Author, "The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers"

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The Kojo Nnamdi Show is produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC.