EU takes action against China at WTO over raw materials

GENEVA – The European Union has launched dispute proceedings against China in the World Trade Organization over import duties and other alleged measures involving raw materials.

After similar action against China by the U.S. last week, the EU announced the move Tuesday alleging China’s measures violate WTO rules, distort the market and unfairly favour Chinese companies.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said: “We cannot sit on our hands seeing our producers and consumers being hit by unfair trading practices.”

The EU says China imposes duties and quotas on 11 materials it exports to the EU. They include graphite, cobalt, chromium, magnesia, antimony and indium, among 20 raw materials considered “critical to Europe’s economy.”

The EU noted two previous successful legal actions in 2012 and 2014 through the WTO on similar Chinese measures.