WTO Confirms China Loses Rare-Earths Case
By Matthew Dalton And William Mauldin
Updated March 26, 2014 11:15 a.m. ET
The World Trade Organization on Wednesday confirmed that China had lost a case on rare-earth metals, the latest setback for Beijing in a dispute marked by price spikes and widespread concern among technology firms and defense-related users of the critical materials.
The Geneva-based trade body and the office of the U.S. trade representative, which brought the original case two years ago, confirmed China's policies were found in violation of global trade rules. The public announcement comes almost five months after Chinese officials said they had lost the case, and four months after the deadline for the WTO to inform the parties involved in the case.
The WTO said China's export duties on rare-earth metals, molybdenum and tungsten are inconsistent with its obligations in the organization. It also ruled against Beijing's export quotas on the materials and its move to restrict their trade.
China has said the restrictions are in place for reasons of environmental protection. The WTO ruling says those aren't valid reasons for limiting exports.Read more (must be a WSJ subscriber) ...