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China Scraps Tungsten Export Taxes
Jun 25, 2009 01:20AM
The European Union and the U.S. complained at the WTO about Chinese export restrictions on raw materials such as magnesium, their third joint complaint against the Asian nation.
The EU and the U.S. said they filed a request for consultations at the WTO in Geneva today, setting off a period of discussions with China aimed at resolving the dispute. If talks fail, WTO judges can be asked to rule on the issue.
"We are most troubled that it appears this is a conscious policy to subsidize Chinese industry," U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk told journalists in Washington. "China is a leading global producer and exporter of the raw materials in question, and access to these materials is critical for U.S. industrial manufacturers."
The complaint accuses China of using special taxes intended to discourage the export of 20 metals or chemicals as a way to provide domestic manufacturers with inexpensive access to those raw materials. The materials include antimony, bauxite, indium, yellow phosphorous, magnesium, molybdenum, tungsten and rare earths. Trade tensions between China and the two Western governments have grown as the economic crisis crimps exports and sparks job cuts.
"China has made a specific commitment not to apply export restrictions on certain products and it is applying those restrictions, so it'll lose," said Daniel Crosby, a trade attorney at Budin & Partners in Geneva, who has represented clients on WTO compliance issues.