US welcomes WTO decision against China in rare earths dispute

Written by PTI | Washington | Updated: Mar 28 2014, 22:23pm hrs
The US has welcomed the ruling of the dispute settlement body of World Trade Organization (WTO) against China in its dispute on rare earths, tungsten and molybdenum.

"China's decision to promote its own industry and discriminate against US companies has caused US manufacturers to pay as much as three times more than what their Chinese competitors pay for the exact same rare earths," US Trade Representative (USTR) Mike Froman said.

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WTO rules prohibit this kind of discriminatory export restraint and this win today, along with our win 2 years ago in an earlier case, demonstrates that clearly, he said.

Forman expressed hope this will discourage further breaches of WTO rules that hurt US manufacturers.

The US initiated this WTO dispute in 2012, in cooperation with the European Union (EU) and Japan, after China drastically reduced its export quotas for rare earths and caused a spike in world prices and considerable disruption to the global rare earths market.

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The dispute builds on and expands an earlier victory that the US achieved in 2011 challenging China's use of export restraints on a different set of raw material inputs used in the steel, aluminum, and chemicals industries.

Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman applauded the latest WTO ruling.

"...But in order for our industry to compete, it needs a level playing field. That means holding countries like China accountable when they violate trade policy by hoarding rare earth and other materials.

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