Shikar Darbari

Shikar Darbari has 1 articles published.

Shikar Darbari
Shikhar Darbari is a senior majoring in Energy Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University. As a Koch Fellow, he is currently working at the Independence Institute as an energy policy analyst.

Future Of Technology In China’s Hands – What Can The USA Do?

The USA depends almost entirely on Chinese imports of rare earth elements (REEs) that are used in cellphones, military weaponry, TVs, cameras, lasers and in magnets, among many other things. Over the past few years, China has established a worldwide monopoly over these materials, claiming 89 percent of all REE production in 2015. Given the escalating tensions between the two nations along the South China sea, many believe that the US should reduce its dependency on China’s REEs through government intervention. However, such an approach would be misguided as history has shown that government interference in the free market is invariably detrimental, and eventually leads to waste of money and resources. Before China had a monopoly on the REE industry, the US was the world’s largest producer. Domestic producers only shut down their operations because they could not remain competitive faced with cheaper labor and lax environmental rules in China. To further add to the troubles of domestic producers, it takes an average of 7-10 years to obtain a… Keep Reading

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