World Trade Organization set up expert group to investigate China's rare earth exports

The United States, Europe and Japan v. I have re-upgraded the rare earth case. On July 10th, China refused the request of the United States, the European Union, and Japan to request the establishment of an expert group by the WTO dispute settlement body for two weeks. According to the relevant rules, the US, Europe and Japan have the right to request the establishment of the expert group again two weeks later, and the respondent China has no right to object again. According to the relevant person in charge of the WTO, the expert group is expected to be established at the meeting of the trade dispute settlement body held on July 23. Some people in the industry think that the United States, the European Union, and Mexico have filed a lawsuit against the WTO on the export of nine kinds of raw materials such as China's bauxite three years ago. The WTO dispute settlement body set up an expert group to conduct an investigation. On January 30 this year, the World Trade Organization Appellate Body issued a ruling report dismissing China’s appeal based on environmental protection or supply shortage on the preliminary ruling, and finally ruled out nine kinds of raw material export restrictions. At that time, some experts pointed out that the above-mentioned lawsuits were indeed the "study of the stone" in Europe and the United States. The final ruling is likely to make Europe and the United States take the next step soon: the return of China's rare earth export restrictions to the WTO. Subsequently, this prediction was confirmed. On March 13, the United States, the European Union and Japan jointly filed a lawsuit against the WTO, accusing China of restricting rare earth exports from violating WTO rules. The parties concerned subsequently conducted consultations but failed to reach an agreement. Therefore, on June 27, the US, Europe and Japan submitted a request to the WTO Dispute Settlement Body to become an expert group to investigate, but it was rejected by China. People who have "close to the case lawsuit" said that at present, China is under great pressure in litigation. Li Chunding, assistant researcher of the Institute of World Economics and Politics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Nanfang Daily reporter that the nine raw materials cases have played a role in fueling this ruling. At present, it is indispensable to further enter the review and other measures. Intensive policies have been introduced to ease international pressure. However, many ministries, including the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Environmental Protection, and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, have given confidence to the industry market for the “combination boxing” of the rare earth market order. On March 19 this year, the Ministry of Land and Resources issued the Interim Measures for the Management of Mineral Resources Controlled by Total Mining to Prevent Over-exploitation of Rare Earth and Other Minerals. On March 22, the Ministry of Environmental Protection conducted in-depth environmental protection verification in key industries to further strengthen industrial pollution prevention. Work, where rare earths are among them. Following the State Council’s publication of the first white paper on China’s Rare Earth Conditions and Policies in early July, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology will implement stricter control over rare earths. At the same time, the third batch of special inspections by the environmental protection department on environmental pollution of rare earths is still in progress. Not only is the review process more stringent, but the inspection results are linked to the Ministry of Commerce's rare earth export quota. The Ministry of Land and Resources, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Commerce and other ministries have drawn up new "access conditions regulations" for rare earth mining rights. The Ministry of Land and Resources announced on July 16 that the national rare earth mining rights will be reduced to 65. At the same time, the enterprise access conditions will also be increased to large enterprises with annual main business income of more than 1 billion yuan. “The relevant departments have intensively introduced relevant policies to strengthen the management of domestic production and trade links of rare earths. This aspect demonstrates the government’s determination to control rare earth pollution and regulate the development of the industry. On the other hand, it also helps to alleviate the international pressure facing China.” Ministry of Commerce Bai Ming, deputy director and researcher of the International Market Research Department of the International Trade and Economic Cooperation Institute. For the time being, it will not have a great impact on China's rare earth market. In the above policies, Bai Ming is more concerned about the control of rare earth mining rights by many ministries. He believes that this is the bargaining chip between China and the United States, the European Union, Japan and other countries. Bai Ming explained to the Nanfang Daily reporter: "When accused of China's quota on rare earth resources, China can emphasize that China is for environmental protection on the grounds of controlled production of rare earths, and that the country only enjoys such a small amount of resources. This has realized the pressure of dispersion in the production process.” Li Chunding believes that in addition, China should also state to the WTO and more countries during the negotiations that China’s rare earth export quota measures are for long-term sustainable development. And pointed out that the developed countries have also protected the rare earths, and this is for legitimate reasons. "Even if an expert group is set up, the relevant survey results will come out for one or two years, and it will not have a big impact on China's current rare earth market." Li Chunding told the Nanfang Daily reporter that even if the lawsuit is lost, the US, Europe and Japan will adopt trade measures against China. As a supplier of rare earths, the market dominance is still in China.

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