Regulatory intelligence for US exporters

ITC Warns About Chinese Controls on Gallium, Germanium

The International Trade Commission is preparing for new Chinese export controls on germanium and gallium to have a potentially “significant” impact on global supply chains, it said in a recently issued executive trade briefing (see 2307050018).

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The ITC said gallium is used to make semiconductors vital for computers, telephones and electric vehicles, and the U.S. is “heavily reliant on imports” of both critical minerals, especially from China. From 2021 to 2022, the “general customs value” of gallium imports into the U.S. rose by almost $1.7 million, the ITC said -- a 997.5% increase. The paper cites the U.S. Geological Survey as saying that a “supply chain disruption in gallium could have the potential to impact the electronics and computer industries as well as the automotive sector.”

The effect of Chinese export controls on germanium exports may be “more muted” compared with controls on gallium, the ITC said, partly because the U.S. has been extracting the mineral in Alaska and Tennessee and has a government stockpile. The U.S. has “no strategic stockpile of gallium.”