On 26 October, the European Union has requested that the World Trade Organisation (WTO) establish a dispute settlement panel to examine Chinese export restrictions on 12 raw materials, including magnesia. Magnesia is one of the main materials in the production of refractories, an industry with €3.4 billion sales, involving about 20,000 direct jobs in the EU.
China’s leading position as a producer of these raw materials means that its exports quotas and duties enable it to influence global supply and pricing. The EU believes that the Chinese restrictions on raw material discriminate against foreign users and provide Chinese firms with unfair advantages.
Through this third WTO action, the EU expects China to finally remove its WTO inconsistent export restrictions on the challenged raw materials as well as on all other raw materials still subject to such restrictions.