The World Trade Organization’s Appellate Body has found China’s export restraints on rare earths, tungsten and molybdenum to be inconsistent with the country’s WTO membership obligations, upholding a dispute settlement panel’s March finding and, therefore, agreeing with the United States and rejecting China’s appeal.
“By upholding rules on fair access to raw materials, this decision is a win not only for the United Sates, but also for every nation that respects the principles of openness and fairness,” said U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman in a statement Thursday. “Those principles are the pillars of the rules-based global trading system, and we must protect them vigilantly.”
The European Union and Japan joined the United States as co-complainants in the dispute.
Rare earth metals are used as key components in a multitude of manufacturing sectors, including hybrid car batteries, wind turbines and energy-efficient lighting.
China’s export restraints, the U.S. government had warned, “artificially increase world prices for these raw material inputs while artificially lowering prices for Chinese producers.”