Obama steps up pressure on China to loosen export restrictions

The effort is aimed at leveling "the playing field for America’s businesses and workers," according to the White House.

Obama's remarks follow an announcement by Ambassador Ron Kirk, the United States Trade Representative, on Tuesday that the United States had filed a case requesting talks with China at the World Trade Organization (WTO). Kirk specifically cited concerns about unfair trade practices regarding rare-earth materials tungsten and molybdenum, which are vital to numerous high-tech products and used throughout the manufacturing sector.

“America’s workers and manufacturers are being hurt in both established and budding industrial sectors by these policies. China continues to make its export restraints more restrictive, resulting in massive distortions and harmful disruptions in supply chains for these materials throughout the global marketplace,” said Kirk in a statement.

For more coverage on the White House's effort to take tougher action against China's trade practices, visit The Hill's On the Money blog.

Vicki Needham contributed. This event has concluded and has been updated to include video Obama's remarks.