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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Ministry 'ready' to face rare earth push (2)

By Ding Qingfen and Li Jiabao  (China Daily)

09:31, February 01, 2012

Responding to the WTO ruling, EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said that "China now must comply by removing these export restrictions swiftly and furthermore I expect China to bring its overall export regime - including for rare earths - in line with WTO rules".

The ruling is "a tremendous victory for the US - particularly its manufacturers and workers", US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said in a statement.

Yu expressed her concern that developed nations will now demand that China compromises on rare earth exports.

"They will probably request that China loosen export restrictions on rare earth in the coming months" and even present their case to the WTO, she said.

"But we don't fear this because we are fully prepared."

China is the largest producer of rare earths and controls 95 percent of global supplies. Rare earths are a group of 17 elements used in industries like hybrid cars. The government began to control output in recent years, citing resource depletion and environmental degradation.

The US and the EU have repeatedly asked China to loosen the restrictions on rare earth exports.

Export restrictions will now come under fire, Zhou said.

"They were flying a balloon with the case. They will be more aggressive after the ruling," Zhou said.


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