By The Associated Press
ENVIRONMENTAL EXCUSE? A China Cabinet official rejected complaints that Beijing is using the environment as an excuse to support fledgling Chinese producers of rare-earth products by limiting supplies to foreign rivals.
RARE COMMODITY: China has about a third of the world's rare-earth deposits but accounts for over 90 percent of their production. Beijing alarmed global manufacturers by imposing export quotas in 2009.
TRADE TIFF: The U.S., EU and Japan filed WTO complaints in March accusing Beijing of violating commitments to the free-trade body. They say export limits raise rare-earth prices abroad and give China buyers an unfair advantage.
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