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EU, U.S., Japan launch rare earth WTO case against China
By Doug Palmer and Sebastian Moffett | 03/13/2012
WASHINGTON/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The United States, Europe and Japan joined forces on Tuesday against China’s restrictions on exports of rare earth minerals that are critical to production of advanced technology and clean energy goods expected to provide the jobs of the future.“We want our companies building those products right here in America. But to do that, American manufacturers need to have access to rare earth materials which China supplies,” President Barack Obama said at the White House.
“Now, if China would simply let the market work on its own, we’d have no objections. But their policies currently are preventing that from happening and they go against the very rules that China agreed to follow,” Obama said.
He cast the decision to take action with the European Union and Japan at the World Trade Organization as part of stepped-up U.S. effort to make sure countries play by global trade rules.“Our competitors should be on notice. They will not get away with skirting the rules,” Obama said.