WTO Panel Sides with the U.S. in Trade Spat with Indonesia

The Office of United States Trade Representative Michael Froman announced today that a World Trade Organization dispute settlement panel has found in favor of the United States’ challenge to Indonesia’s wide-ranging restrictions and prohibitions on horticultural products, animals, and animal products.
The United States, working closely with New Zealand as co-complainant, filed this dispute to address trade barriers in Indonesia that restrict the importation of American fruits and vegetables (such as apples, grapes, and potatoes), animal products (such as beef and poultry), and other agricultural products.
The WTO Panel agreed with the United States on 18 out of 18 claims that Indonesia is applying import restrictions and prohibitions that are inconsistent with WTO rules.
“The Obama Administration has again prevailed on behalf of U.S. farmers, ranchers, and businesses,” said fromanAmbassador Froman. “Today’s panel report will help eliminate unjustified trade restrictions on American agricultural products, allowing U.S. farmers and ranchers to sell their high-quality products to customers in Indonesia – the fourth-most populous country in the world. This major victory is the fourth WTO win announced by USTR this year. It again affirms the Administration’s commitment to enforcing U.S. rights to ensure Americans benefit from all the opportunities the United States has negotiated under our trade agreements.”
“This is a slam dunk for American agriculture,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Since 2012, Indonesia has maintained an untenable import licensing program, harming the ability of U.S. producers to sell aVilsack talks wide range of American-grown products in the Indonesian market – from potatoes to beef to grapes to oranges to poultry. Importantly, the WTO Panel findings will discourage Indonesia from simply substituting new trade-distorting approaches for the measures repealed, restoring American farmers’ and ranchers’ ability to compete.”