The actions cite China's restriction on exports of 17 forms of rare earths, in addition to tungsten and molybdenum. They state that China administers these export restrictions through its ministries, as well as "other organizations under the State Council and various chambers of commerce and industry association." They also state that it appears that China administers the export restrictions and associated requirements and procedures "in a manner that is not uniform, impartial, reasonable, or transparent," and "through measures that are not published."
Karel De Gucht, the EU's trade commissioner, made an even more forceful statement than Obama. "China's restrictions on rare earths and other products violate international trade rules and must be removed," he said. "These measures hurt our producers and consumers in the EU and across the world, including manufacturers. Despite the clear ruling of the WTO in our first dispute on raw materials, China has made no attempt to remove the other export restrictions. This leaves us no choice but to challenge China's export regime again to ensure fair access for our businesses to these materials."
An earlier Design News article on US manufacturing implied by its title that Obama has been timid in taking action to improve US technical manufacturing jobs. I agreed with that view until I read about this WTO action. I don't entirely agree with the conclusion that we should compete with China, where so many jobs have already gone, and not litigate. The whole point of the rare earth issue is that China's stance is making it extremely difficult to compete by unfair restriction of trade. So competition alone is not enough.
Litigation presents an uneasy scenario. The purpose of global organizations such as the WTO are to hold court, in the more old-fashioned, non-judicial sense of talking things out among one's peers. The WTO's description of its settlement process includes the statement that most of its disputes have not gone further than the consultation stage, "either because a satisfactory settlement was found, or because the complainant decided for other reasons not to pursue the matter further." In other words, most of them rarely reach litigation. I hope this one doesn't. But if China refuses to cooperate on the rare earth issue, the US -- and Japan and the EU -- may have to do both: compete and litigate.
The reason China is doing so well against the rest of the world is due to their middle class being much lower than the rest of the world. As they catch up Competition will depend on inventiveness. By that point they cannot pass the USA without carrying us along their own level otherwise Jobs will start moving to the US. Also Many say that china's growing economy is bad news for the world when in reality It's just good news for the whole world. Now another billion members of earth are capable of demanding more material goods from the world economy. I can only see this helping the world economy. The problem is not their middle class getting better. The issue is the way china disregards international agreements to benefit its own people. If china maintains a free market, and they protect IP then this recession will be short lived. Yes when a large nation like china enters the free market this is expected to happen. I wish this was controlled to a degree, but in the long run every one will benefit.
Conclusion is that their middleclass cannot surpass the middle class of US or Europe. Regardless of how much they try. The only way they can do this is through war. The free market dictates this.
Paumanok Publications, I agree that we should also be looking to find another source of supply rather than let our electronics industry be held hostage. But meanwhile, I think we should also be using the process that's been set up to deal with such disputes such as this one. What's the point of entering into a trading agreement if you don't plan to keep to the terms of the contract?
ervin0072002, I'm not sure what you mean by an EU/US "larger market share." Of what? Whatever it is, it probably won't be larger for long. China either has or is acquiring/growing the largest markets in many areas: automobiles, oil, you name it. In fact, PetroChina just announced that it's become the world's biggest publicly traded oil producer, ahead of Exxon:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17556938. The population statistics driving China's growth and appetite for materials and control of resources show that China's middle class is growing rapidly and the US's is declining rapidly, since class is determined by jobs, and we've shipped those jobs over there. Estimates vary, but one says that by 2030 China's middle class will be 4x that of the US and nearly 4x of Europe's. That's only 18 years away. Meanwhile the US and Europe have aging populations overall, not just considering the size and characteristics of their middle classes.
Withholding shipments after a fishing dispute is a good example of the have my cake and eat it too attitude China has shown in several international situations. This is not a cooperative spirit, or the attitude of an adult negotiating with other adults. The WTO rules and conventions China had agreed to did not change--China's decision to comply with them changed. Yet they want to be taken seriously and treated with respect in the international arena.
China has been waging a trade war against us for decades and we have been to timid and/or stupid to do anything about it. Running to the WTO begging for help is for babies. Real sovereign nations don't ask anyone's permission to defend themselves.
The very best choice would be to come up with an alternative to the rare earth elments so that we did not need them. I realize that would be a challenge but it would also probably lead to cost reductions, and a way to be less dependant on those countries that choose to take advantage of us. Then they can eat their precious metals and other rare earths. That would be the very best solution.
New versions of BASF's Ecovio line are both compostable and designed for either injection molding or thermoforming. These combinations are becoming more common for the single-use bioplastics used in food service and food packaging applications, but are still not widely available.
The 100-percent solar-powered Solar Impulse plane flies on a piloted, cross-country flight this summer over the US as a prelude to the longer, round-the-world flight by its successor aircraft planned for 2015.
GE Aviation expects to chop off about 25 percent of the total 3D printing time of metallic production components for its LEAP Turbofan engine, using in-process inspection. That's pretty amazing, considering how slow additive manufacturing (AM) build times usually are.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.