The US and European Union (EU) on Tuesday jointly lodged a trade case against China with the World Trade Organization, the Financial Times reported. The US and EU alleged that China’s export duties on some raw materials gives China an unfair trade advantage. US trade representative Ron Kirk said he hoped the conflict could be resolved at the formal WTO consultation stage rather than requiring a panel to rule on the alleged infringement of trade rules. The US has been in negotiations with China over this issue for two years, but the global economic slowdown has intensified trade friction between the US and China. China recently enacted “Buy Chinese” provisions in its stimulus package in response to a similar action by the US. Analysts said the WTO filing may constitute saber rattling by the US and EU as they would be unlikely to win their case.