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China makes move in rare earth trade spat

(AP) SHANGHAI - China has set up a rare earths industry association to fend off trade complaints and help promote development of the sector that is critical to high-tech manufacturing globally.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced the group's founding Sunday, saying it would coordinate mining, smelting and processing and seek to form a "reasonable price mechanism" for the materials, used in many high-tech applications.

China has about a third of the world's rare earth reserves but supplies about 90 percent of what is consumed.

US fighting China stranglehold on rare earth production
US, EU and Japan challenge China on rare earths

It has imposed limits on its exports, citing a need to impose order on an unruly domestic market and to reduce environmental damage, raising protests from Japan, the U.S. and other countries relying on supplies from China.

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