gordm writes "News of Apple manufacturing A5 chips in Texas begs question: Which hi-tech goods can be economically manufactured in North America, and which ones can not? Why A5, and not iOS devices?
It may be due to China's near-monopoly on Heavy Rare Earths, used in the manufacture of iPads, iPhones... solar panels, wind turbines, hybrid car batteries and weapons guidance systems. China has been very effective at leveraging their supply of Heavy Rare Earths into manufacturing jobs.
No doubt wages and environmental regulation are important factors. But are HRE being overlooked when manufacturing jobs are being discussed? (Would love to hear from someone involved in manufacturing similar products on how critical this is!)"
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