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April 7, 2015

U.S. Challenges Indonesia’s Import Licensing Regime for Agricultural Products in the WTO

On March 18, 2015, the United States and New Zealand brought a case against Indonesia’s import licensing regime for agricultural products challenging the measures as quantitative restrictions prohibited under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, and the Agreement on Agriculture.  The U.S. first requested World Trade Organization consultations over the regime in January 2013, followed by two more sets of consultation in August 2013 and May 2014.

The U.S. charges that Indonesia’s import licensing is limiting the ability to export U.S. horticultural and animal products.  U.S. fresh produce exports were valued at nearly $125 million in 2012, but with the implementation of Indonesia’s restrictive import regime the export value has fallen to just under $110 million for calendar year 2014.

The United States Trade Representative states that it wants to send a firm message that it will not stand by when countries use import licensing to restrict U.S. exports.