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U.S. Agricultural Exports to Indonesia Could Get Boost from WTO Ruling

Monday, November 13, 2017
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The World Trade Organization’s Appellate Body has upheld a ruling that the import licensing regimes Indonesia has maintained on horticultural products and animals and animal products since 2012 are inconsistent with WTO rules, according to a press release from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. USTR states that this ruling “should result in increased export opportunities” for U.S. products such as fruits, vegetables, flowers, juices, cattle, beef, poultry, and other animal products. 

In December 2016 a WTO dispute settlement panel found that each of the 18 Indonesian measures the U.S. challenged was inconsistent with Article XI:1 of GATT 1994 because they restrict or prohibit imports of horticultural products or animals and animal products. The panel also found that Indonesia failed to demonstrate that any of these measures is a legitimate public policy measure under Article XX. Indonesia appealed a number of the panel’s findings, but according to USTR the Appellate Body confirmed them.

USTR notes that in 2016 Indonesia was the ninth-largest U.S. agricultural export destination by value ($2.6 billion) and the eighth-largest U.S. agricultural import source by value ($2.8 billion) and that exports of the products affected by Indonesia’s import licensing regimes totaled $170 million.

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