At the climate conference in Paris, in December 2015, China announced that, in addition to diminishing its CO2 emissions, it would also impose stronger regulations, as well as yearly maximums, on its rare earth industry, to reign in the uncontrolled and massive pollution these industries caused to their immediate environment.
In an official statement, the white house called the commitment "a dick move", accusing China of trying to manipulate prices via the guise of environmental policies. Chinese officials, however, were not impressed, and counseled their american counterparts to "suck it". "As these capitalist pigs should be well aware, the best way to make sure people have less of something is to artificially raise its price", said Hu Jin To, chinese minister for environmental protection. "That goes for pollution as well".
In the years that followed, prices for most technical devices more than doubled, and consumption of said devices decreased significantly. China offset the drop in demand for manufacture with the price increase, and, thanks to lower industrial output, is well on its way to overachieve on its emissions pledge.
The U.S.A., on the other hand, have desperately tried to convince other countries, especially in Africa, to create their own rare earth mining centers, and save the american tech industry, which relies heavily on cheap electric components. But until now, massive popular protests, some of which have turned violent at times, have hindered their efforts.