U.S. takes Indonesia to WTO over plant, animal import rules
January 11, 2013 6:21 PM EST
The United States has filed a complaint at the World Trade Organization challenging Indonesia's rules for imports of horticultural products, animal products and animals, the WTO said on Thursday.
The complaint says Indonesia's non-automatic import licenses and quotas "have significant trade-restrictive effects on imports and are used to implement what appear to be WTO-inconsistent measures", a WTO statement said.
Details of the complaint, which could lead to a request for arbitration if not settled within 60 days, were not immediately available and are likely to be published within the next few days.
Indonesia's Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan said the government was "preparing materials" and will communicate directly with U.S. government officials about the matter.
"We will prepare all the needed steps to resolve these problems," he said in Jakarta.
Indonesia, which has fielded a candidate to be the next head of the WTO, has also upset some trading partners and some of its own citizens with a plan to become self-sufficient in food commodities and which involves cutting back on imports.
Southeast Asia's largest economy suffered trade deficits for four straight months last year, from April to July, and racked up a record monthly deficit in October.
Agriculture contributes around 15 percent to the GDP of Indonesia, employing about 42 million people of a population of roughly 240 million.
Late last year, the OECD grouping of the world's top economies urged Indonesia to reform export taxes and import curbs on farm commodities.
Soon after, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono signed a new food law that puts domestic output and demand, and the control of imports and exports, at the heart of self-sufficiency efforts.
Indonesia is also separately being challenged by Australia, Turkey and Sri Lanka to explain its decision to slap a 20 percent emergency tariff on wheat flour after an appeal from Indonesian mills who said imports were hurting their business.
(Additional reporting by Yayat Supriatna in JAKARTA; Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Miral Fahmy)
Most Popular Slideshows
- From Fat To Fit: Celebrities Who Were Overweight Before They Became The Beauties That They Are
- Kendall Jenner Could Be Next Victoria's Secret Angel [PHOTOS]
- Taylor Swift Named People's Best Dressed Stars Of 2014 [PHOTOS]
- Champions League Results: Barcelona Barely Escapes With A Win, Chelsea Fails To Hold On To The Lead [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Google Nexus 6 Release Date on Q4 2014 Confirmed by T-Mobile Featuring Wi-Fi Calling
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs. BlackBerry Passport — Specifications, Features, Release Date And Price Showdown
- 3 Signs Apple iPhone 6 Could be in Short Supply Following its Sept 19 Release Date
- Australia Actively Rallying Support For International Coalition Against ISIS
- iOS 8 Jailbreak Release Update: Pangu Devs Will Outrace Evad3rs in Rollout of iPhone 6, iPad Unlocker
- Micromax Canvas A1 Vs Spice Dream Uno Vs Karbonn Sparkle V: A Choice On Which Android Is The Best
- Australian Liberals Urge Expat Kiwis To Favour John Key In New Zealand Election