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WTO to Probe CN's Rare Earth...

Author:admin Published time:2012-8-27 17:05:17 Read:Number

WTO to China's Probe Rare-Earth Policies

By CHUIN-WEI YAP

rare earth mine

A laborer works at the site of a rare earth metals mine in China, in March.
BEIJING—The World Trade Organization has set up a panel to probe China's rare-earth export policies, a widely expected move following requests by the U.S., the European Union and Japan, the trade body said in a report on its website Tuesday.
The trade dispute centers on China's dominance of the production of 17 metallic minerals that are essential for a range of sensitive cutting-edge technologies, including missile-defense systems, wind turbines and smartphones.

A laborer works at the site of a rare earth metals mine in Nancheng county, Jiangxi province, China, in March.
The WTO Dispute Settlement Body's decision moves forward the request made in March to have the agency probe China's export quotas, duties and other restrictions on rare earths, as well as minor metals molybdenum and tungsten.
But since China set quotas to restrict its rare-earth exports, global suppliers have made considerable headway in reducing dependence on Chinese supply, and the findings of the trade body are expected to have limited impact on prices as the world relies less on China for rare earths.

Flagging global demand and rising private stockpiles, coming amid worries over China's control over output, have dented international trade in these commodities. Chinese exporters used up only 62% of last year's quota. Industry websites show only a quarter of this year's initial quota has been used so far.


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