The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has just issued a panel ruling against China’s export restrictions on 17 rare earths, as well as tungsten and molybdenum that are used as essential components by a wide range of European industries. In line with the previous ruling on other raw materials, the WTO found that China’s export duties and quotas were in breach of China’s WTO commitments and were not justified for reasons of environmental protection or conservation policy.
The outcome of this case obliges China to bring its measures into compliance with the ruling. This only applies, however, to the raw materials considered in this case. Nonetheless, the EU hopes that China will revise its export restriction policy more broadly, in the light of the repeated conclusions of the WTO panels.
You can get more details on this from the European Commission web-site at http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1051.