ABSTRACT

World Trade Organization (WTO) members are generally free to impose export duties, though some of them may be restricted in doing so by special commitments. Although China maintained export duties on only 58 products at the time of its accession, it began in 2006 to impose them on so-called high-energy-intensive, high-pollution, and resources-based products including both raw materials and other products such as aluminium, steel, coal, chemical products, and fertilizers. This chapter introduces the facts and key issues of those duties in dispute. In late 2009, the US, EU, and Mexico brought the first case, which became known as China—Raw Materials because the products at issue included such raw materials as bauxite, coke, fluorspar, magnesium, manganese, silicon carbide, silicon metal, yellow phosphorus, and zinc. WTO law is silent on the relationship between GATT Article XX and China’s export duty commitments in its accession protocol.