In The White Gold War China Leads: Implications for the United States’ Lithium Market”
In The White Gold War the United States and China are two of the largest consumers and producers of lithium. However, recent developments suggest that China may be gaining the upper hand in the ‘white gold’ war.
China currently controls more than 60% of the world’s lithium refining capacity and has been actively acquiring lithium mines and investing in lithium production in countries like Australia, Argentina, and Chile. This has enabled China to secure a steady supply of lithium, giving it a competitive edge in the market.
On the other hand, the United States is heavily dependent on lithium imports to won this white gold war, with over 80% of its supply coming from overseas, particularly from Chile and Argentina. The country has been slow to develop its own domestic lithium production, and as a result, risks falling behind in the global race for ‘white gold.’
Furthermore, in the white gold war ongoing trade tensions between the US and China have further put the US at a disadvantage, with China imposing tariffs on American lithium imports. This has led to American companies struggling to compete with Chinese counterparts in terms of cost and supply.
Despite these challenges, the US government has recently shown interest in developing its own domestic lithium supply chain. In September 2020, the Department of Energy announced a $20 million investment in lithium extraction research, with the aim of reducing dependence on foreign imports.
However, this may not be enough to catch up with China’s dominant position in the lithium market. China’s aggressive investments in lithium production and refining, coupled with its strategic partnerships with lithium-producing countries, have given it a significant advantage.
In conclusion, the race for ‘white gold’ is heating up, with China currently ahead in the game. The US needs to ramp up its domestic production and invest in strategic partnerships to catch up and secure a steady supply of lithium for its own economic growth and sustainability.”
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