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China to appeal WTO rare-earth restriction ruling

(Global Times)
Updated: 2014-04-18 08:47

A Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) spokesperson said Thursday that China will appeal a World Trade Organization (WTO) rare-earth ruling in late March that China's restrictions on rare-earth materials violated global trade rules.


The appeal would be filed Thursday, Shen Danyang, the MOFCOM spokesman, told reporters at a news conference.


Last month, the WTO ruled in favor of a complaint filed by the US, the European Union and Japan in March 2012, accusing China of unfair trade practices by imposing export duties and quotas on exports of rare earths, tungsten and molybdenum.


The US also lodged a notice of appeal regarding its WTO dispute on April 8, questioning China's rare-earth export restrictions.


China will spare no efforts in the appeals process, Shen said.


"Whatever the appeal's outcome might be, China won't change its policy objectives to protect resources and the environment."


The country will continue to strengthen management of resource products in a way that stays in compliance with the WTO rules and uphold fair competition as well, the spokesman emphasized.


The Chinese government's imposition of rare-earth export restrictions is mainly out of concern for environmental protection given the scarcity of rare-earth metals, Huo Jianguo, director of the Chinese Aca-demy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, a government think tank, told the -Global Times on Thursday.


It's still hard to predict the outcome of China's appeal, as the WTO panel might insist on its stance on the ruling, Huo said.


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