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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Why EU challenges China’s rare earth export policy

(The Economic Daily)

15:14, March 22, 2012

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

The United States, European Union, and Japan recently brought a new trade case against China to the W.T.O. over Chinese limits on exports of rare earth minerals, reflecting the urgency of reforming the existing outdated and unfair global economic and trade system.

In 2009, the European Union launched a case at the World Trade Organization over China’s export caps on nine rare earth minerals such as bauxite and fluorite. The W.T.O. ruled against China in that case on Jan. 31 this year, encouraging the union to join the United States and Japan in tougher action against China.

The recent trade case was first revealed by the E.U. headquarters in Brussels, which said on March 12 that the union would soon file a case at the W.T.O. over China’s restrictions on exports of rare earth minerals. On March 13, the European Union, United States, and Japan jointly filed the W.T.O. case. According to European media reports, the European Union joined its partners in the trade case risking a trade war with China because it believes it has high chances of success.

E.U. Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said in a statement that China’s restrictions on exports of rare earths and other products “violate international trade rules and must be removed.” The European Union said that China’s increasingly strict rare earth measures such as export duties and quotas have greatly increased the prices of rare earth minerals. International rare earth prices rose 1000 percent in 2011 from 2009. In addition, the union said that foreign companies pay up to twice as much as Chinese firms for rare earth minerals.

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Leave your comment7 comments

  1. Name

PD User at 2012-03-30220.255.2.*
In perspective Rare Earth may be likened to a horse owned by China.Should not the Owner be allowed to close stable door smaller before the horse is stolen ?
MICHAEL at 2012-03-24209.203.70.*
The key issue is whether there is discriminatory pricing and access. Environmental restrictions should not be an issue. Thank you
Nic at 2012-03-24124.13.101.*
Simple logic. Recently USA also increased its fighter jet prize to be sold to Japan why?Double standard EU!Yes, you can have acces to RE but all the parts must be made in China and sent to your country for installation.You don"t want to sell your high tech products to China so why should China sells her high tech minerals to you?Again, why not mine them yourselves as the world has other 70% more of RE.You can always ask from Australia who has a lot of RE but will not process it in its own backyard.You saw the picture of how a Chinese labourer carrying the RE soil on his head! He is exposed to danger unknowingly! But will pay a high prize for it. Don"t you pity him by paying a little bit more rather than to force China to process more and sell you more?China must factor in the environmental damage cost, human damage cost.... into the final costing of RE and make sure that it would be HIGH! Else, the world will not process their own RE but live a comfortable life by importing from China and let the Chinese suffer the consequences of it.
wende at 2012-03-2271.255.86.*
China just needs to study ways to slow the export of rare earth from China. As the saying goes, "there are 1,000 ways of skinning a cat".
OKD at 2012-03-22184.56.168.*
The Chinese officials are right.Hey west! Go mine them in your soil!

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