China has recently imposed export restrictions on two metals commonly used in computer chips and solar cells, escalating the ongoing trade dispute with the United States over high-tech goods. This move comes just ahead of the visit of U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to Beijing.
The Chinese Commerce Ministry stated on July 3 that the controls on gallium and germanium are implemented in order to “safeguard national security.” As of August 1st, the new rules will require official permission for exports of these metals. However, specific details about the extent of the restrictions have not been disclosed.
China’s decision to impose export curbs on these high-tech metals further intensifies the trade tensions between the two countries and sets the stage for discussions during Secretary Yellen’s upcoming visit.