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Rare-Earth Complaint May Backfire for U.S., Lifton Says

A complaint filed at the World Trade Organization over Chinese rare-earth export quotas may backfire on the U.S., according to Jack Lifton, a consultant who advises rare-earth companies.

If the WTO compels China to raise exports, it will “create a monster competitor” to Molycorp Inc., the sole U.S. rare-earth producer, Lifton, co-founder of Technology Metals Research, said in a telephone interview yesterday. “Why do they want to do that?”