[ROCKFORD] – Congressman Don Manzullo (R-IL) issued the following statement in response to the U.S. action, along with the European Union and Japan, to request consultations at the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding China’s rare earth export restraint.
Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia & the Pacific, Manzullo held a hearing in September to highlight the fact that China controls 97 percent of the rare earths market and has been limiting exports and skyrocketing costs of the minerals to the detriment of manufacturers in the U.S. and other countries. Rare earths are vital in a variety of advanced manufactured goods, such as cell phones, fluorescent lights, hybrid engines, airplanes, wind turbines, and defense guidance systems.
“We are long overdue in bringing a trade dispute against China for its restrictive export quotas and taxes on rare earth minerals critical to the manufacture of a wide range of U.S. auto, electronic, medical, and defense products. China’s near monopoly over these 17 rare earth minerals and blatant disregard for the rules of international trade place our manufacturers at a crippling disadvantage in securing economic growth in high-tech industries, growing our renewable energy sector, and developing new technologies.
“While I welcome this Administration’s decision today to finally take action against China’s manipulation of the rare earths market by filing a WTO trade complaint, not enough is being done to find alternative sources of supply outside of China, including here in the United States. Getting tough on China is one component, but equally important is removing excessive regulations that prevent production from occurring here. Sadly, conservation and recycling of rare earths is another aspect often ignored by this Administration.
“The President’s decision today to file a trade complaint against China, while welcomed, needed to occur sooner. To prevent more jobs lost and companies from relocating to China, this Administration must get serious about formulating and implementing a long-term rare earths strategy aimed at protecting U.S. manufacturers and jobs, less dependent on China.”