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WTO: China’s rare earth restrictions ‘unfair’

Asia – China has lost an appeal at the World Trade Organization (WTO) relating to its strict limits on rare earth exports. Restrictions imposed by one country exclusively seeking to protect its own metals market are in fundamental conflict with global trade rules, the WTO has confirmed in its latest ruling on the matter.

′China has not demonstrated that the export quotas that China applies to various forms of rare earths, tungsten and molybdenum by virtue of the series of measures at issue are justified,′ a WTO panel has concluded.

The world trade body has called on China, which produces 90% of globally-available rare earths, to accept the official WTO decision and immediately rectify its ′unfair′ export restrictions. It adds: ′China did not appeal any of the final conclusions of the WTO panel, but appealed only limited aspects of the panel′s reasoning and certain intermediate findings.′

China initiated a significant reduction of its rare earth exports in 2010, with the Beijing government introducing export duties too. In this way, domestic businesses are said to have received preferential treatment in the supply of rare earths. The matter of this ′protectionist move′ was brought before the WTO in 2012 by Japan, the USA and the EU.

For more information, visit: www.wto.org

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