Argentina on Thursday officially lodged a dispute against US restrictions on imports of Argentinean beef and other meat products, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said on Friday.
A week ago, the United States and Japan filed complaints against Argentina with the WTO, alleging that its import licensing rules is protectionist because they discriminate against foreign goods.
”Argentina has notified (August 30) the WTO Secretariat of a request for consultations with the United States on measures applied to the imports of Argentine meat and other products of animal origin. Argentina claims that the restrictions, applied on sanitary grounds, don't have scientific justification“ said a brief release from WTO.
The European Union brought a complaint against Argentina in May, accusing it of limiting imports, and drew a tit-for-tat complaint from Buenos Aires in August denouncing a ”de facto prohibition on imports of bio-diesel from outside the Community”.
Argentina also claims that measures of the United States appear to cancel or impair the benefits for Argentina derived from the relevant WTO Agreements.
The request for consultations formally initiates a dispute in the WTO. Consultations give the parties an opportunity to discuss the matter and to find a satisfactory solution without proceeding further with litigation. After 60 days, if consultations have failed to resolve the dispute, the complainant may request adjudication by a panel.
A release from the Argentine Foreign ministry said that as of Monday a similar 60 days period becomes effective for the complaint referred to lemons banned from the US market.
The Argentine government appeals to the WTO Disputes Settlement System because in both cases more than ten years of unsuccessful bilateral claims have elapsed, “with the purpose of unjustified delays” and therefore “blocking access to the US market of Argentine very high quality beef and lemons, by appealing to protectionist policies contrary to international rules”.
If expired the 60 days period no mutually acceptable agreement has been reached, Argentina will demand panels of experts to decide on the controversies, adds the release.
Finally Argentina cautions it will continue to monitor the conduct of the developed countries which pretend to deliver their excess production, which is growing, in developing countries at a moment of international economic crisis.
“No wonder then that China, India and Argentina have been the focus of US and the EU claims in the last year”, Argentina demands from the developed countries a fair and balanced.
Argentina is among the seven world’s leading exports of beef together with US, EU, India, Brazil, Australia and Uruguay.
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