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
- Prince Harry & Camilla Thurlow Getting Serious, St. Tropez Holiday Before The Prince’s 30th Birthday [PHOTOS]
- Prince William & Kate Middleton Caught Flirting In A Countryside Dinner Date [PHOTOS]
- UEFA Champions League Draw Result and Replay: Arsenal Joins Toughest Group, Cristiano Ronaldo Named Best Player In Europe [PHOTOS and VIDEO]
- Prince William & Kate Middleton Boards London Train in Casual Disguise, Royal Couple’s Incognito Plan A Huge Hit [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Apple iPhone 6 Actual Release Date after September 9 Confirmed 128GB Variant with New Resolution
- Pricey iPhone 6 on Release Date Likely but with 3X Retina Resolution & Mobile Payment Service – Reports
- Google Nexus 8 Confirmed as HTC T1 aka Volantis/Flounder with Freshly-Leaked Specs & Features – Reports
- Moto G2 Release Roundup: Specs, Pricing, and Release Date Details
- PlayStation 4 Killing Xbox One Costing Microsoft Millions But It's Fine
- Nexus 6 on Release Date Confirmed with Phablet-Size Display as FCC Filing Hints of 5.9-Inch Screen
- Europe, US Next on ISIS’ Hit List, Says Saudi King; Seized ISIS Laptop Reveals Terrifying Bio-Warfare Plans