By  on June 23, 2009

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration filed its first World Trade Organization case against China on Tuesday over export restraints on raw materials that it charges provide an unfair advantage to Chinese industries, while limiting access and raising costs for countries importing the goods.

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said the U.S. requested formal consultations with China over export policies that include putting caps on the volume of raw materials that can be exported out of China, imposing duties on exports of raw goods and for a variety of other administrative measures, including export licensing and price requirements for certain categories. The European Union also requested a formal consultation with China about the same issue on Tuesday.

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