WTO Case Against Indonesian Import Restrictions Advances Despite Claims of Reform
The World Trade Organization approved April 24 the establishment of a dispute settlement panel to hear the United States’ allegations that Indonesia applies certain trade-restrictive measures to horticultural products, animals and animal products. The U.S. contends that Indonesia has created a complex web of import licensing requirements that, along with quotas, have the effect of unfairly restricting U.S. exports and protecting Indonesia’s domestic agriculture industry.
The constitution of the panel came two days after Indonesia’s trade ministry replaced its previous rules on imports of horticultural products. Eighteen products have been removed from regulation, including garlic, garlic powder, chili powder, cabbage, chrysanthemum flowers, heliconia flowers, orchid flowers and several processed products, bringing the total of covered goods down to 39. The new rules also prescribe a simplified procedure to apply for and receive import permits.