China has denied several requests from the US to drop export barriers on rare earths as the two nations remain at loggerheads over several trade issues, Reuters reported. In an annual report, the US trade representative’s office said "the United States will continue to pursue vigorous engagement with China on this issue and will not hesitate to take further action, including WTO dispute settlement, if appropriate." China currently controls 97% of the world’s supply of rare earths – which are used in the manufacture of high-tech equipment – and has cut its export quota by 40% this year, with plans to lower total exports further next year. The US this week also accused China of illegally subsidizing its wind power sector.
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