Friday, 6 November 2009

déjà vu: The case on coke and other raw materials

The US, EU and Mexico have requested for the establishment of panel against China's restrictions on certain minerals and other raw materials. One of the items at issue is coke, on which I wrote a paper analyzing another similar complaint against China by the EU a few years ago. The paper could be downloaded free of charge here (of particular relevance are pages 334-348). 

Some key points I made in the paper:
1. Contrary to popular belief, the WTO does not just regulates imports. It also regulates exports;
2. In general, quantitative restrictions (on both imports and exports) are per se illegal in the WTO;
3. However, there are exceptions that the country imposing the restriction could invoke to justify its restrictions;
4. But the country would have to meet stringent requirements in justifying that the measure is necessary, and doesn't constitute unjustifiable or arbitrary discriminations, or is otherwise just protectionism in disguise.

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