Canada Joins WTO Panel on Chinese Export Restrictions

Modification: publication date and time corrected

(No. 3 - January 6, 2010 - 9:15 a.m. EST) The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today announced that Canada will participate as a third party in a World Trade Organization panel on China’s export restrictions on certain raw materials. The panel was established at the request of the United States, the European Union and Mexico on December 21, 2009.

“Canada is concerned that China’s export restraints, such as export duties and quotas, are leading to trade distortions in the world market,” said Minister Day. “Such measures have caused uncertainty for Canadian producers. We hope that this WTO challenge will persuade China to end these practices.”

The raw materials at issue are bauxite, coke, fluorspar, magnesium, manganese, silicon carbide, silicon metal, yellow phosphorus and zinc.

Canada believes that the Chinese measures are inconsistent with China’s WTO commitments. The measures appear to violate rules on export restraints, as well as the commitment China made when it joined the WTO to not charge export tariffs on most materials.

As a third party, Canada will have the opportunity to present its views to the WTO panel and to make written submissions that will be reflected in the panel report. The Government of Canada will continue to work with industry to ensure Canadian interests are fully taken into account.

At this point, there are 12 other confirmed third-party participants in the WTO panel, namely Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Norway, Chinese Taipei and Turkey.

The timeline for the dispute settlement process, meetings and reports has not yet been finalized.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Mélisa Leclerc
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Trade
and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada