The move is an apparent rebuttal to the formal complaint with regards to China's restricting exports of rare-earth metals that President Obama filed with the World Trade Organization in partnership with the European Union and Japan less than a month ago. It's unclear how the new government agency will regulate rare earth-metal exports. Nevertheless, the event provides a good opportunity to take a step back and put into context exactly how desperately we might might miss these natural resources should China decide to clamp down on access further. If you're still confused about why this is becoming such a hot international and environmental issue, we've pulled together the uses of the top nine rare earth-metals, and we bet you'd miss them if they were gone.
- Nature & Environment