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US and EU considering WTO actions against Argentine ‘protectionist practices’

Wednesday, April 11th 2012 - 17:04 UTC
Full article 85 comments
In March US Ambassador Michael Punke and forty other countries made a joint statement on Argentina’s trade restrictions  In March US Ambassador Michael Punke and forty other countries made a joint statement on Argentina’s trade restrictions

The US and forty countries which formalized a joint statement before the World Trade Organization complaining about Argentina’s trade restrictions are considering moving a step further and begin a “disputes settlement” process which could lead to an open condemnation if the administration of President Cristina Kirchner does not lift the protectionist network.

According to Buenos Aires daily Clarin quoting WTO sources in Geneva, “expectations are that it will be the US that presents the “disputes settlement” process since the White House was the main sponsor of the joint statement. The process could end with a formal condemnation of Argentina opening the way for commercial reprisals”.

In the March joint statement presented by the US and forty other leading countries the main complaints against Argentina included the non automatic licences system; the previous sworn statement registry to obtain the approval of an imports operation and the policy forcing companies to apply the ‘dollar-to-dollar’ mechanism which means they have to export a dollar for each dollar import.

Once the disputes settlement begins there is a period of consultations in which in this case Argentina must prove it has not infringed WTO rules, and if no agreement is reached a three member panel is named, chosen by the litigants or WTO Director General Pascal Lamy.

The panel has 180 days to reach a decision which can be appealed, but if at the end of the whole process it is contrary to Argentina, the countries which initiated the action can adopt commercial reprisals.

The joint statement was originally presented by US ambassador Michael Punke and sponsored by all EU members, Australia, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey. The initiative was later joined by Chile, Colombia, Peru, China, Hong Kong and Malaysia. However no Mercosur member figures in the list.

The joint statement concludes saying that “despite the concerns described, Argentina continues to maintain these import-restrictive measures and practices, Argentina should provide a detailed written explanation of why in its view these measures and practices are consistent with WTO rules. Members reserve their rights to pursue this matter further”.
 

Categories: Economy, Politics, Argentina.

Top Comments

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  • Truth_Telling_Troll

    “Once the disputes settlement begins there is a period of consultations in which in this case Argentina must prove it has not infringed WTO rules”

    Oh, so the system is “guilty until proven innocent”?

    I hope we get out of that tyrannical body ASAP.

    Apr 11th, 2012 - 05:10 pm 0
  • Xect

    'all EU members, Australia, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey. The initiative was later joined by Chile, Colombia, Peru, China, Hong Kong and Malaysia'

    So much for Peru, Chile, Mexico, Spain and everyone else support Argentina as various Argentinian posters have been proclaiming recently....

    Apr 11th, 2012 - 05:27 pm 0
  • Pugol-H

    Guilty or innocent, that is an impressive list of countries (as a % of the worlds economy!) to have pissed off all at the same time, on the same issue.

    China is probably the most immediately worrying for Argentina, although none of this is good or even faintly winnable.

    Be interesting to see if CFK & Co treat this issue with the same rabid nationalism as the Malvinas.

    If they do, then the Islanders can probably put there feet up for the next few generations, as Argentina perforce will be busy with other things, like not starving.

    Apr 11th, 2012 - 05:45 pm 0
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