Feeds

WTO to probe China rare earth stranglehold claims

Better late than never

New hybrid storage solutions

The World Trade Organisation has finally agreed to investigate claims by the US, EU and Japan that China is unfairly strangling rare earth exports in order to favour its domestic manufacturing industry.

The three complained back in March that China was pushing up prices and restricting exports of the minerals – which are essential to the production of a range of hi-tech goods – via tougher export quotas, increased duties and minimum export price systems.

The WTO said it has now decided to set up a panel on its Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) to discuss China’s export of rare earths, specifically tungsten and molybdenum.

The proceedings are likely to take several months, with several WTO members including Vietnam, Norway, Oman, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and India all announcing they wanted to exercise “third-party rights” – meaning they will be able to have a say in proceedings.

In a statement announcing its decision, the WTO explained China’s stance – repeating the explanation that its rare earth strategy is aimed at “protecting natural resources and achieving sustainable economic development”.

“China said it has no intention of protecting domestic industry through means that would distort trade,” the WTO continued.

China argues that although it produces over 90 per cent of the world’s rare earths, it has barely a third of global reserves.

The outcome of the WTO investigation may be a moot point given that prices of the not-so-rare minerals have dropped significantly over the past year.

In the meantime, other countries are stockpiling supplies and pushing ahead with their own mining programs.

Mountain Pass mine in California is gearing up for full production soon while Japan and Vietnam are set to dig for the deposits in the area of Lai Chau to the north-west of Hanoi. ®

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.