EU opens WTO dispute panel on China export restrictions

05 November 2009 11:05  [Source: ICIS news]

BRUSSELS (ICIS news)--The European Commission has requested the establishment of a World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute panel to look at Chinese export restrictions on a number of raw materials that are key to the chemical industry, the EU executive body confirmed on Thursday.  

The Commission said it considered the restrictions to be “in clear breach of international trade rules” and that it has been unsuccessful in trying to settle the issue through formal WTO consultations.

China's restrictions on raw materials continue to distort competition and increase global prices, making conditions for our companies even more difficult in this economic climate,” said EU trade commissioner Catherine Ashton.

“I regret that the formal consultation process and significant EU engagement on this issue has not led to an amicable solution which would have been our preferred course of action,” she added. 

European industries have raised concerns for a number of years on export restrictions – including quotas, export duties and minimum export prices – that China applies to key raw materials such as yellow phosphorous, bauxite, coke, fluorspar, magnesium, manganese, silicon metal, silicon carbide and zinc. 

The US and Mexico on Thursday also requested a panel on the same issue, said the Commission.

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By: Philippa Jones
+44 20 8652 3214



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