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Export Restrictions on Strategic Raw Materials and Their Impact on Trade

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  • Jane Korinek
  • Jeonghoi Kim

Abstract

Barriers to trade come in a variety of forms. This paper examines one such barrier, export restrictions, and how it impacts trade and global supply in selected strategic metals and minerals. The metals and minerals examined in the paper are of particular interest for a number of reasons: they are generally geographically concentrated in a few countries, many are used in the production of high-technology goods in strategic sectors and there are few substitutes for these raw materials given the present state of technology. For all these reasons, importing countries are dependent on a reliable supply of these raw materials. Export restrictions may be applied for a number of reasons: protection of the environment, preservation of natural resources, protection of downstream industries, or as a response to a number of different market imperfections. This paper examines the motivations for using export restrictions and finds varying impacts on trade and global supply. In one case, the export restrictions put into place did not fulfill their objective of environmental protection. In another, the presence of export restrictions in one country put pressure on other exporters to apply restrictions suggesting the potential for competitive policy practices in restricting exports. In a third case study, export restrictions were seen to impact investment decisions by potential suppliers worldwide by introducing an added element of risk in the industry. The impact of export restrictions on strategic metals and minerals are exacerbated in many cases because producing countries have a quasi-monopoly on supply. Since these metals and minerals are essential in the production of some high-technology products and are not easily replaceable in the medium term, industry participants in some importing countries are concerned about future access at sustainable prices.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5kmh8pk441g8-en
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Trade Policy Papers with number 95.

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Date of creation: 29 Mar 2010
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Handle: RePEc:oec:traaab:95-en

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Related research

Keywords: trade; quantitative restrictions; environmental technologies; trade policy; export quotas; export licensing; natural resource preservation; Chromite; strategic metals; raw materials; minerals trade; export taxes; Rare Earths; export restrictions; export duties; VAT Rebates; Molybdenum; Chromium; Trade policy instruments; mineral reserves; geographical concentration;

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Cited by:
  1. Pothen, Frank, 2014. "Dynamic market power in an exhaustible resource industry: The case of rare earth elements," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-005, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  2. Pothen, Frank, 2013. "The metal resources (METRO) model: A dynamic partial equilibrium model for metal markets applied to rare earth elements," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-112, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  3. Hayes-Labruto, Leslie & Schillebeeckx, Simon J.D. & Workman, Mark & Shah, Nilay, 2013. "Contrasting perspectives on China's rare earths policies: Reframing the debate through a stakeholder lens," Energy Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 55-68.
  4. Jolejole-Foreman, Maria Christina & Mallory, Mindy L. & Baylis, Katherine R., 2013. "Impact of Wheat and Rice Export Ban on Indian Market Integration," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C., Agricultural and Applied Economics Association 150595, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  5. Pierre-Louis Vezina, 2014. "Illegal Trade in Natural Resources: Evidence from missing exports," OxCarre Working Papers, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford 139, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  6. Liefert, William M. & Wescott, Paul & Wainio, John, 2013. "Modifying Export Taxes and Quotas To Make Them Less Market-Distorting," Working Papers, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium 155284, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.

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