CSPA Welcomes WTO Panel Ruling on China’s Raw Materials Export Restrictions

Ottawa -- The World Trade Organization (WTO) today released a panel report that found several Chinese export restrictions on raw materials violate WTO rules.  The panel found that a number of specific measures were contrary to China’s WTO Accession agreement and to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).  The effect of such restrictions is to drive up the cost of raw materials used in the global steel and other industries, thus bestowing unfair advantage to China’s producers.   

The WTO case was launched in 2009 by the U.S., the E.U. and Mexico against China’s export restrictions on bauxite, coke, fluorspar, magnesium, manganese, silicon carbide, silicon metal, yellow phosphorus and zinc.  These materials are widely used in the steel, aluminum and chemicals industries.  Canada participated in the case as a third party because of the trade-distorting impact of the Chinese measures. 

"We welcome today's ruling.  It underscores that China must respect the rules to which it agreed when it joined the WTO," said Ron Watkins, President the Canadian Steel Producers Association (CSPA).  "Contravening the WTO rules creates an artificial advantage for China’s own industries in export as well as domestic markets.”

Watkins noted that this ruling is further evidence that China continues to engage in non-market practices that affect steel and other advanced manufacturing sectors.  He added that CSPA was pleased that the government of Canada had joined as a Third Party in challenging these measures, commenting that “we can only be successful in continuing to build a strong and sustainable steel industry, providing thousands of high-paid jobs in Canada, with fair trade practices by all countries."

The CSPA insists that Canada maintain a strong trade remedies regime and aggressively challenge other countries when their unfair trade practices injure Canadian industry.

The CSPA is the national voice of Canada's $12-14 billion steel and steel pipe and tube industry, employing some 25 thousand people with steel mills in five provinces.

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Ron Watkins

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