Preservation of rare earth is essential for future
The complainants being USA, EU, Japan and Mexico. The Dispute Settlement Body of WTO agreed that China has violated its commitments towards accession to WTO and must take appropriate steps to facilitate unhindered exports so that finished products using these raw materials can be produced. Earlier, Indonesia had put an embargo on the export of iron ore without further processing to be implemented from 2014. But the Chinese restriction on the export of rare earths, which has around 90% of the world reserve, has taken a curious turn.
Studies have shown that rare earth elements are used in mature markets of catalysts, glass-making, lighting, defence equipment and metallurgy to the extent of around 60% and the balance 40% is used for high growth markets in battery alloys, ceramics, permanent magnets and smartphones.
Various elements such as Lanthanum, cerium, dysprosium are also used in various proportions. The issue that is currently being talked about is that rare earth elements, being in short supply outside China, need to be conserved for the sake of production of mature and high-growth markets that are of high technology and have environment application.
China is planning a significant increase in the production of electrically-operated vehicles, solar energy, energy-efficient lighting
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