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China accused of restricting rare earth metal exports

10 July 2012 Last updated at 08:21 BST

The European Union, United States and Japan bring a complaint to the World Trade Organisation on Tuesday.

They allege China is restricting exports of so-called rare earth metals and that distorts the global economy.

Rare earth metals are used to make high-tech devices and the restrictions make it more expensive to make such goods outside China.

Philip Hampsheir reports.