EU, U.S., Japan Want More WTO Steps Over China Rare Earths

The European Union said on Wednesday it had requested the establishment of a dispute settlement panel at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to try to resolve China's export restrictions on rare earth minerals, tungsten and molybdenum.

The move followed formal WTO consultations on the dispute that were held in April in an attempt to find a solution with China. The EU executive said the bloc - together with its partners in the case, the United States and Japan - would proceed to the next step in WTO litigation in order to seek compliance by China with its international obligations.

"China's restrictions on rare earths and other products are violating its WTO commitments and continue to significantly distort global markets to the disadvantage of our companies", EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said in a statement.

"Despite the very clear WTO ruling earlier this year in the first raw materials case, Beijing has not taken steps to remove these export restrictions. We regret that we are left with no other choice but to solve this through litigation."