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Essential Ingredients: Will China’s Dominance in Raw Materials Imperil the US?

The fifth briefing in a 10-part webinar series by the National Press Foundation

Event Details

07 July 2020 | 10:30 am Eastern / 10:30 pm Beijing

This briefing, titled "Essential Ingredients: Will China’s Dominance in Raw Materials Imperil the US?", is part of the National Press Foundation's series of online trainings on global trade during coronavirus. This series is sponsored by the Hinrich Foundation.

They are ingredients essential for everything from livestock feed to advanced weaponry to green technology. And they are increasingly mined or processed in China – upwards of 90% for some. From “rare earth elements” used in wind turbines and jet fighters, to vitamins used in food supplies, these raw materials are vital to American and global commerce.

Many countries – including the United States – have essentially outsourced their production to one country: China. But as China grows more powerful, more assertive and more competitive militarily, the Trump administration is eager to reduce US dependence.

In this 60-minute briefing, we’ll hear from experts on why the US gave up production of many of these vital materials, what could happen if China locks down exports of them, and the prospects for diversifying vital supply chains.


This briefing will include experts in energy security, supply chain innovation, and policy issues in Asia.

Jane Nakano

Jane Nakano

Senior Fellow, Energy Security and Climate Change Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

Jane Nakano is a senior fellow in the Energy Security and Climate Change Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Her areas of expertise include US energy policy, global market and policy developments concerning natural gas, nuclear energy and coal, and energy security issues in the Asia-Pacific region.

She frequently writes and speaks on these issues at domestic and international conferences and to media around the world. She has also testified before Congress on US liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports. Prior to joining CSIS in 2010, Nakano worked in the Office of Policy and International Affairs in the US Department of Energy, where she covered a host of energy, economic, and political issues in Asia.

From 2001 to 2002, she served at the US embassy in Tokyo as special assistant to the energy attaché. Nakano graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and holds a master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Kristin Vekasi

Kristin Vekasi

Assistant Professor, Political Science and School of Policy & International Affairs, University of Maine

Kristin Vekasi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and School of Policy and International Affairs at the University of Maine.

Her research interests focus on international political economy, and the dynamics of political conflict, foreign direct investment, and nationalism. She specializes in Northeast Asia, and has spent years conducting research in both China and Japan. Her current research looks at how Japanese multinational corporations mitigate political risk in China.

Professor Vekasi received her PhD in political science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2014. Prior to joining the faculty at University of Maine, she taught at New College of Florida, was a visiting Research Fellow at the University of Tokyo and a Fulbright Fellow at Tohoku University.

Glenn Luckinbill

Glenn Luckinbill

Director Supply Chain Innovation Forum, Iowa State University

Glenn Luckinbill is the Director of the Supply Chain Innovation Forum at the Ivy College of Business of Iowa State University.

The Supply Chain Innovation Forum provides meaningful value to members, the Ivy College of Business, and the Department of Supply Chain Management by generating ideas and solutions for creating efficient and effective supply chains.

The Supply Chain Innovation Forum serves as a forum for exchange of current and future supply chain challenges and solutions. The forum is self-sustaining and generates resources and ideas for further exploration in creating efficient and effective supply chains.