The United States, Europe and Japan joined forces Tuesday against China's export restrictions on rare earth minerals critical to production of advanced technology and clean energy goods.

"We want our companies building those products right here in America. But to do that, American manufacturers need to have access to rare earth materials which China supplies," President Barack Obama said at the White House.

"Now, if China would simply let the market work on its own, we'd have no objections. But their policies currently are preventing that from happening and they go against the very rules that China agreed to follow," Obama said.

President Barack Obama's push to expand an Asia-Pacific trade accord gained momentum at a summit in Honolulu with agreements from Japan and Canada to join what would be the largest American trade deal since NAFTA.

Obama said nine Asia-Pacific nations aim to reach a Trans- Pacific Partnership accord within a year in what would be the biggest U.S. pact since the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement. Japanese leader Yoshihiko Noda and Canadian premier Stephen Harper told the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit they will join the talks

The violent earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan earlier this year severely rattled the technology industry's supply chain and pushed back the launch dates of several new devices. But an end is in sight: A new report predicts that the industry will be completely back up and running in about two months.

A study released Wednesday by IHS iSuppli said that electronics makers located nearest to the epicenter of the earthquake will be the last to get back online, but they are expected to make a full recovery by early September.

Will America join Japan and adopt "Super Cool Biz" this summer? That's the name of the program announced on June 1 in Japan which encourages office employees to dress down for the summer to save energy. The Japanese are famously formal in the workplace when it comes to attire and suit/tie is ordinarily de rigueur for salarymen everywhere. However, because of the tsunami-caused energy challenges, employees and managers are being urged to go casual for the hot season. We're not talking about no-tie casual, but rather Aloha shirts, jeans and sandals casual.

Japan's minister of foreign affairs Takeaki Matsumoto discusses Japan's plans for industry, manufacturing and travel after the earthquake and tsumani that crippled the country in March.

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