SHORTAGES: Risky Race for Minerals

A durable conceit of the industrialized world was that it could always rely for its raw material needs on the cheap and bounteous natural resources of less developed countries. That notion has gone aglimmering in recent years. The voracious demand of booming U.S., European and Japanese economies stepped up the competition for basic materials, causing some global scarcities. A continuation of this increasingly cutthroat competition among major consuming nations could lead to strained political alliances, disruptions in the distribution and production of raw materials and further inflation. American businessmen are concerned because, while the...

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