NEW YORK China said it will comply with a ruling by the appellate body of the World Trade Organization that its export restrictions on rare earths, tungsten and molybdenum violated WTO rules.
China nevertheless questioned some aspects of the WTOs rules. "China thought that the WTO not only emphasizes free trade but also respects the sovereignty of natural resources and permits members to take necessary measures to reach the goal of resources protection," the Ministry of Commerce said.
China had taken steps to restrict its exports of the products partly due to domestic environmental concerns and "global sustainable development," the ministry said.
The United States, the European Union and Japan challenged Chinas export duties and export quotas, as well as related export quota administration requirements, in 2012 after China reduced its export quotas for the metals, causing spikes in world prices and disruption to the rare earths supply chain. The WTO ruled in the United States favor in late March, and Chinas appeal of that ruling was turned down last week (amm.com, Aug. 8)