5 Nov 2009 11:49

WTO asked to probe China's raw material export restrictions

Shanghai. November 5. INTERFAX-CHINA - The United States, European Union and Mexico have requested that the World Trade Organization (WTO) look into China's self-imposed restrictions on its raw material exports including bauxite, coke, magnesium, manganese and zinc, according to an announcement by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Nov. 4.

"We believe the restraints at issue in this dispute significantly distort the international market and provide preferential conditions for Chinese industries that use these raw materials," Debbie Mesloh, a USTR spokeswoman said in the announcement.

The USTR said China has quotas for raw material exports including bauxite, coke and zinc, as well as for certain products containing these raw materials. China also has duties and other restrictions on export procedures for its raw materials, both of which the USTR believes are against WTO rules.

In regard to the inclusion of zinc in the complaint, an official, surnamed Peng, from the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association, told Interfax that "there may be some misunderstanding, because China currently has no quota on zinc exports."