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Meat Institute Commends USTR for Win in Indonesia Agricultural Restrictions WTO Case

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Washington, DC—North American Meat Institute President and CEO Barry Carpenter today expressed his appreciation to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and his staff for their success pursuing fair trade standards with Indonesia. Following a challenge by the U.S. and New Zealand, The World Trade Organization (WTO) confirmed that Indonesia’s import licensing regimes for meat, poultry and other horticultural and animal products are inconsistent with WTO rules.

“It was clear that Indonesia’s restrictive policies were in violation of WTO rules, and we are grateful that USTR pursued and succeeded in this case, said Carpenter. “As the fourth most populous country in the world, the Indonesian market is one with great potential for the meat and poultry industry.”

Indonesia maintains a complex web of import licensing requirements that restrict or prohibit imports of meat and poultry as well as many other agricultural products from the United States. These restrictions cost the U.S. millions of dollars per year in lost export opportunities in Indonesia.

In a report issued today, the WTO upheld the original panel findings in the dispute that all 18 Indonesian measures challenged by the United States are inconsistent with Indonesia’s WTO obligations and are not justified as legitimate public policy measures.

The WTO first considered U.S. complaints about Indonesia’s restrictive practices in 2015, ruling in favor of the U.S. in December 2016. Indonesia appealed that ruling earlier this year, and today’s WTO decision is the final step in the dispute resolution process.

In 2016, the U.S. exported over $2.6 billion in agricultural products to Indonesia and imported over $2.8 billion in agricultural products from Indonesia. In 2016, exports of the horticultural products and animal products affected by Indonesia’s import licensing regimes totaled $170 million according to USTR.

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