According to an Automotive News report, the U.S. government has launched a trade case that focuses on ending Chinese subsidies of its automotive industry, which threaten American auto industry jobs.
It's not a secret that China has a near stranglehold on the world's supply of rare earth metals, but when President Obama spoke out against that country's control of the market today, the information probably spiked a bit on people's "is that true?" meters.
Chinese-market 2010 Buick Regal – Click above for high-res image gallery
The European Union made noises last year about having the WTO verify that the U.S. auto industry assistance package doesn't violate any international trade rules. Now French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said he will ask the World Trade Organization to stick their hands into the matter.
The US Congress is contemplating a bailout of $25 billion or more for US automakers, and the European Union is watching closely. European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso, told Europe 1 Radio that he is prepared to rat out the US government to the World Trade Organization if the EU considers the bailout illegal.