A major trade dispute is brewing between the US, Europe and China.
Washington and Brussels are launching a case at the World Trade Organisation against Beijing over the way it restricts the exportation of raw materials. Those include bauxite, coke, magnesium, manganese, yellow phosphorus, zinc and different types of silicon which are used in the manufacture of a wide range of products including steel, microchips and aircraft. The US and the EU initially want to hold talks with the Chinese to try to persuade them to ease the restrictions, which go against the pledge Beijing made when it joined the WTO in 2001 to eliminate export taxes and charges. If the talks do not produce an agreement a WTO panel would be asked to rule on the complaint.