The US is playing catch-up in the quest for the future of energy


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For decades, General Motors was the global leader in manufacturing the so-called “rare-earth” magnets that have become essential components of the electric vehicles now powering the global transition to a greener future. But in 1995, the company sold its entire magnet division, along with all its patents, to a consortium of Chinese partners, including one led by the son-in-law of former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping. As veteran investigative journalist Ernest Scheyder explains in his book, “The War Below: Lithium, Copper, and the Global Battle to Power Our Lives (Atria Books), the deal was a Faustian bargain of epic proportions. Although...