China to Cut Down on Rare Earth Exports
For the first time in two years china expressed its plan in seeking to trim their exports of rare earths despite a shrinking share of the global output as their rivals are gearing up production. China is still producing 80 percent of the world supply of 17 minerals even when it has only one third of global reserves used in making components to make everything from car components, defense systems and consumer electronics.
The ministry of commerce stated that it will be setting its first batch of rare earth exports quotas for 2014 at 15,000 metric tons which is a 2.5 percent decrease compared to last year. The quotas for the first half which was generally sets the trends for the year is usually set as a whole then the government issues a second rare earth quota by July. When the second quota is announced in line with the trend of the past quotas its reduction will be the first to happen since 2013 when the country reversed is course in steadily slashing down the quota in 2005.
The World Trade Organization is ruling against in October after a case that will challenge the legality of Chinese restrictions on the exports of rare earth metals. China is arguing that the rare earth industry is polluting and needs to be controlled. The World Trade Organization purpose is to ensure that there will be equal treatment to other nations on the imports of goods and services but not to the limit of the jurisdiction of countries over the export of the natural resources and will not treat any free trade as an important issue.
The October ruling that China is appealing the World Trade Organization ruling will hopefully replace the quota with other exports control if the appeal fails. China cut their export quota in 2010 down to 40 percent that caused an alarm among several developed economies and industries that uses these metals that are used in manufacturing technologies from smart phones to missile defense.