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ECONOMICS REPORT - Limits on Rare Earth Exports Get China in Trade Dispute

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Rare earth oxides from top center clockwise: praseodymium, cerium, lanthanum, neodymium, samarium, and gadoliniun
Rare earth oxides from top center clockwise: praseodymium, cerium, lanthanum, neodymium, samarium, and gadoliniun

This is the VOA Special English Economics Report.

The United States, European Union and Japan have called for talks with China under the dispute settlement system of the World Trade Organization. They want to discuss China's export limits on rare earth metals and two other minerals, tungsten and molybdenum. WTO rules give talks sixty days to work. If they do not settle the dispute, a WTO panel can then be requested to help reach a settlement.

Rare earth metals are used in the manufacture of almost every high-technology device -- from mobile phones and computers to batteries for electric cars. And demand is only growing.

China says it follows WTO rules in exporting the minerals. In twenty ten, China mined about one hundred thirty thousand metric tons of rare earth metals. That was about ninety-seven percent of world production.

But information from China's government and the United States Geological Survey shows that China has reduced its export limits sharply in the past two years. Critics say this unfairly helps Chinese companies in the production of high-technology products. And, they say, it is a violation of World Trade Organization rules.

This week, President Obama explained why the United States is involved in the case.

BARACK OBAMA: "This case involves something called rare earth materials, which are used by American manufacturers to make high-tech products like advanced batteries that power everything from hybrid cars to cell phones. We want our companies building those products right here in America. But to do that American manufacturers need to have access to rare earth materials, which China supplies. Now, if China would simply let the market work on its own, we'd have no objections. But their policies currently are preventing that from happening, and they go against the very rules that China agreed to follow."

President Obama added that the United States has a productive economic relationship with China. But he said he would take action if American workers or businesses were facing unfair trade policies.

China says it has restricted rare earth exports to meet needs at home. And it says its policy helps limit the environmental damage caused by over-mining.

China now faces a slowing economy. In February, the nation had its biggest trade deficit in ten years. Experts expect China's central bank to increase the money supply to aid economic growth. At the same time, inflation remains a threat.

On Wednesday, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao discussed the need for reform. He said China "must continue to strike a balance between maintaining steady and robust economic development, making economic structural adjustments and managing inflationary expectations."

And that's the VOA Special English Economics Report. I'm June Simms.

Reader's Comments (6):
Author: 博文009
I translated the artical and put it on the xinglangboke bowen009.
Author: 博文009
美国、欧盟和日本要求中国在世界贸易组织的框架内解决争端。他们力图讨论中国的稀土和其他矿产,钨、钼的出口限制问题。世界贸易组织规定可给予60个工作日的谈判时间。如果他们解决不了争端,世贸组织的一个专家小组将被请求来帮助(各方)达成一致。稀土几乎被运用到每一项高技术仪器设备制造中,从手机、电脑到电动汽车电池。其需求量继续增长。中国说,在矿产出口领域,他们遵守世贸组织的规则。20年来,中国已开采了130万公吨稀土矿,约占世界的97%。但是,来自中国和美国的地质调查资料显示,在过去的两年里,中国锐减了其出口限制。批评者说,这种不公平,在高技术产品生产中,帮助了中国公司。同时,他们说,这种行为严重违背了世贸组织的规则。本周,奥巴马总统解释了美国被卷入到这一案件中的原因。奥巴马说:“这个案件涉及叫做稀土材料的一些事情,它被美国用在制造高技术产品中,如混合动力汽车电池、手机。
Author: 博文009
我们需要我们的公司在美国制造这些产品。但是美国制造这些产品需要可利用的稀土材料,就是中国供应的。现在,如果中国简单的只供应自己的市场,我们不反对。但是他们当前的政策正在防止这些事情的发生,他们违反了中国承诺的规则。”奥巴马强调,美中保持着有效地经济关系。但是,当美国的工人和企业面临不公平的贸易政策时,他将采取行动。中国说,他们限制稀土出口以满足国内市场的需求。他们的政策对改善因过度开采而造成的环境威胁有所帮助。现在,中国面临经济放缓的局面。在二月份,国家拥有近10年来最大的贸易赤字。一些专家希望中国央行增加货币供应量以刺激经济的增长。同时,通货膨胀的威胁依然存在。在星期三,中国总理温家宝商讨了改革的必要性。他说“中国必须正确处理保持稳定和经济强劲增长的关系,进行经济结构调整和管理好通货膨胀预期。”
Author: 博文009
According to the context, this word"that China has reduced its export limits sharply in the past two years" would be "that China has increased its export limits sharply in the past two years". right? or no?
Author: zhudan
It is important to prevent businesses and workers from over-miniing. We must insist on the principle of sustainable development.
Author: liyiruo
谁能送个会员啊
Author: Sunday
I do not understand why economics reports are easier to be read out than other articals. Maybe the vocabularies in such kind of articals are simple for me.
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