Problems of Tin and Rubber Supply

September 4, 1940

Report Outline
Possible Shortages of Tin and Rubber
Economics of Tin Supply
Economics of Rubber Supply

Possible Shortages of Tin and Rubber

Japan's Drive for Economic Domination in East Asia

Political developments in the Far East and military developments in the European War have directed public attention to the dependence of the United States on foreign sources for its supplies of two vital raw materials—tin and rubber—and have caused concern over the likelihood of a shortage of these materials should events abroad result in curtailment or stoppage of normal imports. Shortages of either tin or rubber would not only disrupt normal industrial production but would greatly impede rearmament.

Possibility that the United States may encounter difficulties in obtaining needed supplies of tin and rubber from the East Indies has been raised in recent months by the increasingly aggressive attitude of the Japanese government, coinciding with the military successes of the totalitarian powers in Europe. The newly-formed Konoye cabinet's announcement of Japan's intention to create a new order in “Greater East Asia” has been interpreted as disclosing a purpose to extend that country's domination over the Netherlands Indies, French Indo-China, and in the event of a British collapse in the West, over British Malaya as well.

General Koiso, a leading Japanese expansionist, has been quoted as saying that “the rubber of the East Indies is indispensable for the industry of the United States, and therefore the question may give rise to friction.” Japan would not monopolize the rubber, tin, and oil of the East Indies, Koiso said, but it would be “necessary to make sure that they are disposed of impartially.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
World WarII Raw Materials
Oct. 17, 1942  Silver in the War Effort
Oct. 03, 1942  European Food Resources
Sep. 14, 1942  Concentration of Production
Aug. 01, 1942  Rubber Supplies and Replacements
Jun. 05, 1942  Access to Raw Materials
Oct. 30, 1941  Enforcement of World Peace
Sep. 04, 1940  Problems of Tin and Rubber Supply
Feb. 08, 1940  Economic Weapons in the European War