China's export restrictions on rare earth elements

18-07-2013

Reserves of rare earth elements are, as is their mining, unevenly distributed across the world. China has about 50% of known world reserves and until very recently was behind 95% of global supplies. It has reduced its export quotas drastically since 2010, arguing that the country had paid a heavy price for its mining activity in the form of resource depletion and severe environmental damage. In March 2012, together with Japan and the US, the EU demanded dispute settlement consultations in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on China's REE export restrictions.

Reserves of rare earth elements are, as is their mining, unevenly distributed across the world. China has about 50% of known world reserves and until very recently was behind 95% of global supplies. It has reduced its export quotas drastically since 2010, arguing that the country had paid a heavy price for its mining activity in the form of resource depletion and severe environmental damage. In March 2012, together with Japan and the US, the EU demanded dispute settlement consultations in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on China's REE export restrictions.