Here are couple great news artilces showing that WTO has taken gloves off and finally getting tough with new member …… China after EU and Mexico joined complaints from US. The appeals from China were still trying use environmental loop-hole on export curbs was struck down for Rare Earths and other products (like coal coke) that its used manipulate prices in past.
The EU forcefully joining complaints by US & Mexico definitely helped put the issue over the top and WTO to start enforcing regulations all other members have to live by to stay in good standing. Its only first step since China still has issues on currency manipulation (it is slowly addressing), government subsidy and bared private investments among others to get its trade more in line with other member restrictions.
China has even used Rare Earths exports as retailation against Japan when it had dispute in other trade matters – it was probably another one reasons the complaints gained action in WTO panel as well.
China was recently upset when one of its companies was sanctioned by the UN for buying Iran oil despite rest of world community trying to bring Iran nuclear arms race to close.
Hopefully the continued forceful messages will get thru and that if China wants to continue have access to world markets and raw materials it must abide by same rules as rest of WTO community.
The initial reaction has of course been negative & disbelief with some anger that they are finally being held accountable.