US Trade Representative (USTR) Ron Kirk announced Tuesday that a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement panel has agreed with the US, finding that export restraints imposed by China on several important industrial raw materials are “inconsistent” with China’s WTO obligations.
Kirk said in a statement that today’s panel report represents a “significant victory” for manufacturers and workers in the US and the rest of the world.
“The panel’s findings are also an important confirmation of fundamental principles underlying the global trading system,” he added.
He stressed that “all WTO Members, whether developed or developing, need non-discriminatory access to raw material supplies in order to grow and thrive.”
“China’s extensive use of export restraints for protectionist economic gain is deeply troubling,” he affirmed.
He noted that China’s policies have caused “massive distortions and harmful disruptions in supply chains throughout the global marketplace.”
According to the Office of the USTR, the export restraints challenged in this dispute include export quotas and export duties, as well as related minimum export price, export licensing, and export quota administration requirements.
It indicated that the raw materials at issue include various forms of bauxite, coke, fluorspar, magnesium, manganese, silicon carbide, silicon metal, yellow phosphorus, and zinc, and are used in a multitude of downstream applications in the steel, aluminum and chemicals industries.