Issuu on Google+

Stanford Advanced Materials

China Loses its Bid to Maintain Limits on Rare Earth Exports Rare earth elements are defined as one of a set of seventeen chemical elements in the periodic table, specifically fifteen lanthanides plus scandium and yttrium. Very few countries in the world have abundant resources of rare earth elements. China is the most dominant player in the rare earth market. Other important rare earth element producers in the world are Canada, India, USA, Brazil, Malaysia and Australia. China has the largest rare earth element reserves in the world. In the recent past, China limited exports of these metals but it has since lost the dispute at the World Trade Organization handing Europe and United States of America a victory over what they see as Beijing’s unfair trade practices. The ruling showed that no single country can hoard its raw materials from the global market place at the expense of its other World Trade Organization (WTO) partners. China produces more than 90% of the world’s rare earth, key elements in the defense industry components and modern technology. In 2010, it imposed strict rare earth export quotas saying it was trying to curb pollution and preserve resources. Through this method, Chinese companies tend to have an unfair advantage. The US said the export limits allowed China to artificially increase world prices for raw materials crucial to make products like hybrid car batteries, wind turbines, and energy efficient lighting, while it lowers prices for the local producers. At some point, it was speculated that if china does not reform its policies regarding rare earth metals, it could be subject to trade sanctions from the United States, European Union and Japan. China’s predominance in the market led the US to file a case against it at the WTO in 2012. This is what led to the above ruling. The WTO ruled that Chinese pretenses about environmental protection obscured the real point of export quotas, taxes and bureaucratic rules and boosted China’s domestic industry. For years, the US and Europe seem to never agree to the trade tactics used by their Chinese counterparts, targeting everything including steel imports in the US and cheap solar panels landing in the EU from China. Experts who argued against China’s policies said that the production of rare earth metals rather than their exports pollutes the environment.

About SaMaterials: Stanford Advanced Materials (SAM) Corporation is a global supplier of a series of pure metals, alloys, ceramics and minerals such as oxides, chlorides, sulfides, oxysalts, etc. Our headquarter, located in Irvine, California, USA, was first established in 1994, starting to provide high-quality rare-earth products for research and development (R&D).

China loses its bid to maintain limits on rare earth exports sam