The Argentine government ratified its trade policies before the World Trade Organization, following the criticism of Argentine trade restrictions from twelve countries, including the US, EU and Japan, and assured it will continue to decide on its trade policies in a sovereign manner.
“It is remarkable that the initiative was brought forward by countries that have increased their exports to Argentina by 25%, thus raising their export average to the rest of the world and in a year in which Argentina was the country that increased the most its imports of G20 member products, as a way of contributing to the economic recovery of countries in economic crisis” reads the communiqué.
According to a communiqué released by the Foreign Ministry, in Friday’s WTO Goods council meeting, “some of the aspects of Argentina’s foreign trade were discussed” following the presentation done by International economic relations Secretary Cecilia Nahón.
The critical comments to Argentina were subscribed mainly by countries from the developed world among which Australia, Korea, US, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Mexico, Panama, Switzerland, Thailand, Taiwan, Turkey and the EU.
However it must be underlined that Argentina’s main trade partners such as Mercosur members, most Latin American countries, China, Russia and India did not support the statement.
The Argentine communiqué also highlighted the fact that “none of the countries that participated in the goods committee meeting was able to mention a circumstance in which Argentina had violated the WTO regulations and that complaints are based upon vague information printed in local newspapers is notorious.”
Also, according to the Foreign Ministry, the press release of the complaining countries states that “we are not aware of any official regulation that determines this trade balance or investment requirement. However, Argentine Government officials have been quoted in local media saying that the purpose is to improve the trade balance by means of imports and the promotion of exports.”
“Argentina is alarmed with the insistence of countries that keep on creating artificial barriers to make it harder for developing countries’ agro-industrial products to enter, and as they politically pressure these countries to receive the products that their own domestic markets cannot absorb due to the economic crisis they are undergoing since 2008. These are the real obstacles in creating a more balanced economic system.”
“Argentina will keep on exercising the sovereign decision of its trade policies which have driven the most important economic growth in our history. We will comply with the WTO regulations but we will not accept any kind of external interference”.
The earlier release from the WTO countries remarked that the import-restrictive measures and practices that Argentina has put in place are unbefitting any WTO Member, particularly a member of the G-20 who has committed to refrain from raising new barriers to trade and investment. In light of the shared goal of making every effort to sustain global economic growth, Argentina’s measures, which clearly limit the growth-enhancing prospects for trade, are particularly troubling.
Finally the signatories of the document request that Argentina take immediate steps to address the concerns raised and that many Members have raised in the past, by removing or terminating these import-restrictive measures and practices.
If 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.