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Labourers work at a site of a rare earth metals mine at Nancheng county, Jiangxi province March 14, 2012.
Labourers work at a site of a rare earth metals mine at Nancheng county, Jiangxi province March 14, 2012.
(Stringer China/Reuters)

China’s WTO defeat over metals is really victory

China has lost a key trade dispute over its restrictions on exports of rare-earth metals, after a World Trade Organization panel rejected dubious arguments that the stiff quotas and duties it imposed in 2010 were needed to conserve the precious resources and safeguard the environment. Yet China’s love for the WTO, with its interminable bureaucratic delays, likely remains undimmed.