Rare Earth and Basketball - The Presidential Planner

The White House is stepping up its efforts to enforce U.S. trade rights with China, announcing new plans to challenge China's export limits on rare earth and other minerals key to high-tech manufacturing.

In a Rose Garden statement this morning, President Obama will announce plans to press the World Trade Organization to force China to ease its restraints on rare earth exports.

Access to these materials are crucial to American manufacturing, the president will argue, including the production of hybrid car batteries and wind turbines.

Then it's off to Ohio, where the president and British Prime Minister David Cameron will take in one of America's most-loved sporting events: the NCAA basketball tournament.

Obama, a.k.a. the basketball-fan-in-chief, and Cameron will watch a NCAA "First Four" game between Western Kentucky University and Mississippi Valley State at the University of Dayton.

The outing, part of Cameron's official visit to the U.S., is intended to highlight the close relationship between the two nations.

"What makes our relationship special - a unique and essential asset - is that we join hands across so many endeavors. Put simply, we count on each other and the world counts on our alliance," the president and prime minister wrote in a joint op-ed in the Washington Post.

The game also gives the president another opportunity to visit the key battleground state. While Obama carried the Buckeye State in 2008, recent polls show him in a tight race for Ohio with GOP front-runner Mitt Romney.

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