President Barack Obama has put China on notice that it won't get away with "skirting the rules" on international trade.
During remarks in the White House Rose Garden Tuesday, Obama said the United States is bringing a new trade case against China because of its export restrictions on key materials used to manufacture hybrid car batteries, flat screen televisions, and other high-tech goods.
"We want our companies building those products right here in America. But to do that, American manufacturers need to have access to rare earth materials, which China supplies," he said.
"Now, if China would simply let the market work on its own, we'd have no objections," Obama continued. "But their policies currently are preventing that from happening, and they go against the very rules that China agreed to follow."
Under the terms of the complaint with the World Trade Organization, China has 10 days to respond, and must hold talks with the U.S. and other countries affected by its trade policies within 60 days.
A China Foreign ministry spokesman responded saying the country believes it's within the rules of the WTO.
China has a hold on the global supply of 17 rare earth minerals and Obama administration officials say the People's Republic export restrictions give China a competitive advantage by providing them access to more of these rare materials at a cheaper price.
However, Obama wants to level the playing field for other companies outside of China.
"When it is necessary, I will take action if our workers and our businesses are being subjected to unfair practices," the president said.