13 March 2012 15:49 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (ICIS)--The ?xml:namespace>
In announcing the WTO complaint, US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said that “
The 17 chemical and mineral substances known as rare earths also are crucial to the manufacture of weapons and space systems, lasers and fibre optic communications, to name but a few.
Rare earth elements are not actually rare - most of them are found in almost any soil around the world - but extremely rare are those areas in which these substances can be found in concentrations that make mining them commercially feasible. China supplies about 95% of rare earthy elements worldwide.
In addition to restrictions imposed by Beijing on rare earth elements, the US complained that China puts similar restraints on exports of non-rare earth elements such as tungsten and molybdenum, and on intermediate materials.In all, said the office of the US Trade Representative (USTR),
The new multinational charges against
They also followed charges levelled at
Citing the earlier WTO findings on
In addition to the key role played by these restricted materials, often as catalysts, in petrochemicals production and refining, rare earths and the other two metals are critical to manufacturing of hybrid auto batteries, wind turbines, steel and advanced electronics, among others.
In the action filed on Tuesday, the
That request for consultations is the first formal step in the WTO dispute resolution process.
If those talks do not produce satisfactory results within 60 days, the
Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy
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