Trump, Trudeau seek collaboration on critical minerals

President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau walk along the Colonnade outside the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, D.C. Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ordered officials on Thursday to develop a plan for U.S.-Canada collaboration on “critical minerals,” the White House said in a statement after a meeting of the two leaders.

Washington has grown concerned about its dependence on imports of rare earth minerals from China after Beijing suggested using them as leverage in their trade war.

Rare earths, a group of 17 elements that appear in low concentrations in the ground, are used in a wide variety of products ranging from lasers and military equipment to magnets found in consumer electronics.

China supplied 80% of the rare earths imported by the United States from 2014 to 2017.

Trump and Trudeau “instructed officials to develop a joint action plan on critical minerals collaboration,” the White House statement said.

(By Eric Beech; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Jonathan Oatis)

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