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U.S. and EU take China to WTO over restrictions on exports of raw materials

July 20, 2016

The European Union (EU) and the United States launched cases at the World Trade Organization (WTO) against China's restrictions on export of raw materials.

Following successful similar actions in 2012 and 2014 on Chinese measures, the EU and the U.S. are focusing this time on restrictions concerning antimony, chromium, cobalt, copper, graphite, indium, lead, magnesia, talc, tantalum, and tin.

China currently imposes a set of export restrictions, including export duties and export quotas that limit access to these products for companies outside China.

The Chinese government applies export duties to various forms of antimony, chromium, cobalt, copper, graphite, lead, magnesia, talc, tantalum, and tin. Quantitative restrictions, such as export quotas, are applied to antimony, indium, magnesia, talc, and tin.

Formal consultations - the first step in the WTO dispute settlement - will be conducted with China, in parallel by both complainant. In the absence of a satisfactory solution within 60 days, the EU and the U.S. may request the WTO to set up panels to rule on the compatibility of China's measures with WTO rules.

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