Minister Fast Welcomes World Trade Organization Panel Findings on Chinese Export Restrictions

Combatting trade-distorting measures is vital for Canadian jobs and growth

(No. 191 - July 7, 2011 - 4:40 p.m. ET) The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today welcomed recent findings of a World Trade Organization panel report on China’s export restrictions on certain raw materials. Canada participated as a third party in a WTO panel established at the request of the United States, the European Union and Mexico in December 2009.

“We are pleased that the WTO has confirmed Canada’s position that China’s export restrictions were inconsistent with its WTO commitments,” said Minister Fast. “Canada joined this WTO challenge as a third party as it was concerned that China’s export restrictions were creating uncertainty in the marketplace and having an adverse impact on international trade.”

The raw materials at issue are bauxite, coke, fluorspar, magnesium, manganese, silicon carbide, silicon metal, yellow phosphorus and zinc. The Canadian steel, aluminum and chemical industries use these raw materials.

As a third party, the Government of Canada worked closely with industry to develop its argument that these export duties and quotas were inconsistent with China’s WTO obligations.

“We were pleased that the Government of Canada joined as a third party in the challenge of these measures,” said Ron Watkins, President of the Canadian Steel Producers Association. “China must respect the rules to which it agreed when it joined the WTO. Enforcing the trade rules is necessary to continuing to build a strong and sustainable steel industry, providing thousands of high-paid jobs in Canada.”

As per WTO rules, China now has about 60 days to indicate if it will appeal the findings. Canada, as a third party in the dispute settlement proceedings, will be able to make a written submission and be heard by the Appellate Body, should China decide to appeal the WTO findings.

For the full findings, please visit Panel reports out on China’s export measures on various raw materials.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Adam Taylor
Director of Communications and Tour
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
613-992-7332

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000
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