China has refuted claims that it is being protectionist with regard to restricted exports of raw materials used for steel-making, which have been levelled at the Asian giant by the European Union and the USA. The EU and USA this week went to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to report on China's restrictions, which they say will enable China to make steel and other metals cheaper for their domestic producers and dearer for others. "The main objective of China’s relevant export policies is to protect the environment and natural resources," said Yao Jian, spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Commerce, saying everything has been "in accordance with WTO rules". China has retaliated by asking the WTO to look into US restrictions on Chinese poultry products. It has also begun an investigation into methanol imported from Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Saudi Arabia. Australia has also alleged that Chinese producers have dumped aluminium products in Australia at below market prices.