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China appeals WTO decision on raw material exports

China has appealed against a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling that it illegally restricted exports of key raw materials, according to China Post, quoting the WTO.

According to the report, China has notified the Dispute Settlement Body, which consists of all WTO members, of its decision to appeal the panel reports. The WTO has up to three months to conclude its report on the matter.

China is appealing against a WTO decision reached in July -- which upheld complaints by the United States, the European Union and Mexico -- that China had failed to abide by accession commitments when it imposed quotas and duties on several types of mineral exports.

The complainants charged that export quotas and duties imposed by Beijing on the raw materials were illegal and against commitments China made when it joined the world trade body.

The July 5 WTO ruling applies to elements including bauxite, coking coal, fluorspar, magnesium, manganese, silicon metal, silicon carbide, yellow phosphorus and zinc, all key industrial materials.

WTO arbitrators backed the complaints, ruling that China had failed to abide by its accession commitments when it imposed quotas and duties.

They rejected Beijing's arguments of conservation concerns as China failed to prove that it imposed export restrictions in tandem with limits for domestic consumption of the same raw materials.

Earlier this year Beijing also caused an international outcry after it moved to tighten its grip over rare earths — 17 elements critical to making many high-tech products — including slashing exports and imposing higher taxes.

China, the world's largest producer of rare earths, also cited environmental concerns and domestic demand for tightening restrictions on the key ingredients for making everything from iPods and wind turbines to missiles.

Source: China Post