In a recent meeting with US President Donald Trump, Justin Trudeau emphasized that Canada is a solid ally and could offer a ‘reliable supply’ of rare earth minerals, many of which today ‘originating from China.
Canada is in talks with the United States to find a way for both to reduce their dependence on China for rare earth, minerals key to high-tech products, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Monday.
He said that in a recent meeting with US President Donald Trump, “I highlight that Canada has a lot of rare earth minerals that are indispensable to modern technology.”
Trudeau emphasized that Canada “is a solid ally” and to offer “reliable supply of” rare earth minerals, many are now “coming from China.”
It is in the interests of Canada, Trudeau said, “to make sure that we have a reliable supply of essential minerals for the technology and it is a conversation that we are leading in government.”
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The statement followed a report in the Globe and Mail newspaper that Canada and the United States is preparing a plan to reduce their reciprocal dependence on China for rare earth minerals such as lithium, uranium, cesium, and cobalt.
China controls more than 90 percent of the world supply of minerals used for key components in smartphones, solar panels, and advanced military technology. It is also the world’s top producer and refining of rare earth minerals.
As the US-China trade war heating up, Beijing has signaled that it could block the export of rare earth metals.
The threat is not empty: in 2010 China temporarily halts such exports to Japan during a territorial dispute.
Canada and China are also going through an unprecedented rift in their relationship following the arrest on December 2018 in Vancouver from the top of the Chinese telecom executives of Huawei Meng Wanzhou US warrant.
Meng Washington wants to put on trial for fraud for allegedly violating Iran sanctions and lied about it to US banks – a charge his lawyer denied.
The case is currently winding its way through the Canadian court system.
Nine days after the arrest Meng, Beijing arrested two Canadians – former diplomat and businessman Michael Michael Kovrig Spavor – accusing them of spying in a move widely seen as retaliation.
China also has blocked the delivery of agricultural multibillion Canada.
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