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Complaint Filed Against China for Rare Earth Minerals Export Restrictions

Apr 10, 2012

Last month the U.S., Japan, and the European Union filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization regarding China’s export restrictions on rare earth minerals, which are essential in manufacturing items such as computers and wind turbines.  According to Reuters, China is accused of reducing rare earth mineral prices for Chinese manufacturers, which puts pressure on international companies to manufacture products in China.

However, China says that the export restrictions are necessary to “control environmental problems caused by rare earth mining and to preserve supplies of an exhaustible resource.”  Meanwhile, according to the National Journal (subscription required), the Pentagon has delivered a report to the Senate Armed Services Committee claiming that all but one of the seven rare-earth minerals that the military requires to support defense weapon systems could be produced by the U.S. by next year.

As a consequence, China has set up a rare earth industry group, called the Association of China Rare Earth Industry, composed of 155 members and formed on Sunday April 8, 2012.

BILAT-USA (Grant Agreement no: 244434) and Link2US (Grant Agreement no: 244371) Projects are co-funded by the European Union’s Capacities Programme on International Cooperation under the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Cooperation.