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Rare Earths: The Trend Could be Coming Back
Pinnacle Digest writes: On Wednesday, the United States government asked the World Trade Organization (WTO) to take steps to settle a trade dispute between itself and China over its export quotas on Rare Earths and other materials.
This has been a long, fruitless struggle by the United States. The United States has requested the WTO establish a dispute settlement panel to decide whether US claims regarding China’s export restraints on Rare Earths, tungsten and molybdenum are legitimate.
US Trade Representative Ron Kirk stated, “It is vital that US workers and manufacturers obtain the fair and equal access to raw materials like rare earths that China specifically agreed to when it joined the WTO.”
Requesting a panel is the next step in the WTO dispute settlement process after requesting consultations. The US move was joined by the European Union and Japan.
Chinese experts have reported that China has only 20% of the world’s Rare Earth reserve but is producing 90% of the supply. Whether or not the 20% figure is accurate is highly debatable. Either way, the US and the western world is clearly not out of the woods yet in regards to securing a steady short term supply of rare earths.
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