AISI Commends WTO Panel for Finding that China’s Raw Materials Export Restrictions Violate its WTO Obligations

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Applauds USTR Ron Kirk for Strongly Advocating for U.S. Manufacturers

For Immediate Release     
January 31, 2012

Washington DC — The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) today commended a World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body ruling for affirming an earlier dispute resolution panel’s conclusion that China’s restrictions on the exports of nine raw materials violate its international obligations.  AISI welcomed the WTO decision and applauded the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) for its strong advocacy over several years of involvement in the dispute resolution proceeding.

In response to challenges by the United States, the European Union, and Mexico, the WTO Appellate Body examined China’s use of export quotas, export taxes, and other measures to limit exports of coke, bauxite, fluorspar, zinc, silicon carbide, and other materials.  The Appellate Body’s favorable ruling found that China’s imposition of these measures violated WTO rules, including various provisions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and specific commitments China undertook when it joined the WTO.

“We are very pleased that the Appellate Body has recognized that China’s restraints on exports fundamentally contravene the obligations China assumed when it joined the WTO,” said AISI Chairman John Surma, Chairman and CEO of United States Steel. “This should send a strong message to all WTO members that restraints on exports are not permitted. We want to congratulate Ambassador Ron Kirk, the U.S. Trade Representative, and his team for their hard work and successful efforts.”

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice.  AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology.  AISI is comprised of 25 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 124 associate and affiliate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.  AISI's member companies represent approximately 80 percent of both U.S. and North American steel capacity.  For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI’s Web site at

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Nancy Gravatt
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Washington, DC 20036