The US is preparing to file a complaint with the WTO concerning China’s export restrictions on raw materials used in steel-making, the Financial Times reported. According to sources close to trade officials, the US could be ready to make a request for consultations – the first step in the WTO dispute resolution process – within weeks. The crux of the argument is that China artificially reduces domestic steel prices – thereby increasing global prices, and putting US producers at a disadvantage – by imposing export quotas and taxes on raw materials used in the steel-making process. These include metallurgical coke, molybdenum, silicon carbide and fluorspar. The American Iron and Steel Institute claimed in a report last year that the Chinese steel industry had benefited from US$52 billion in government subsidies over the previous decade. Several Chinese companies said the claims were untrue. The EU has opened three investigations into alleged dumping by Chinese steel producers.