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EU, Japan, U.S. file rare earth trade complaints against China

03-14-2012 08:13 BJT Special Report:Rare earth restriction |

GENEVA, March 13 (Xinhua) -- The European Union, Japan and the United States on Tuesday filed trade complaints with the WTO over China's rare earth export quotas, saying the restriction has limited other countries' access to those minerals.

The three trading powers claim that China's export restriction gives it a competitive advantage while hurting producers and consumers in other parts of the world.

The filings request dispute settlement consultations with China, the first step in handling a WTO complaint. The dispute could be transmitted to a WTO panel for a ruling should no agreement be reached in 60 days.

When confirming that it has received the request for dispute settlement, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said in a statement posted on its website that it will properly deal with the issue.

China, the statement said, has no intention of protecting domestic industries by distorting its foreign trade.

Earlier in the day, Chinese Minister of Industry and Information Technology Miao Wei told Xinhua that the Chinese side would prepare to defend itself if a complaint was filed with the WTO.

Miao said China's rare earth export policy is drawn up out of concern for the development of resources and environmental damage. Some rare earth metals would last only 20 years if China does not stop excessive mining, Miao added.

China's rare earth export restriction was not targeted at any specific country, nor was it a kind of trade protectionism, the minister said.

Editor:Zhang Jianfeng |Source: Xinhua

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