Argentina hits back at US and will complain in WTO trade barriers on meats and lemons.
The Argentine Foreign Ministry on Tuesday hit back at the United States amid various trade barrier complaints and allegations of illegality saying that it would report the country for violating the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) rules for stopping imports of Argentine meat and citrus fruits to the US.
Following the presentation of the report a period of 60 days will be taken where the US will have to answer questions regarding trade barriers, and if by Argentina’s standards the answers do not add up, it will put together a panel of experts in order to analyze said ‘protectionist practices.’
Although the World Animal Health Organization, OIE, admits Patagonia as free of foot and mouth disease, FMD, since 2003, the US government has yielded to protectionist lobbies and has delayed “unjustifiably” the process of admission of fresh beef, frozen or chilled, when the OIE has declared the rest of the Argentine territory free of FMD with vaccination since 2007, argues the Argentine ministry communiqué.
“Destinations such as Israel and the Netherlands with extremely high sanitary standards” accept Argentine beef and lamb. Further more the US policy has caused millions of dollars in losses in commercial opportunities since it generates a negative indirect effect for example with Canada that takes guidelines from the US.
The release indicates that in 2000 the US and Canada represented 13% of Argentina’s beef exports and in the hypothesis that the percentage is respected (despite closed markets) exports to the US and Canada, at 2011 levels, would represent 150 million dollars, argues Argentina.
Regarding lemons the US remains closed for Argentina since 2001, “even when US sanitary authorities approved access in 2000 when 20.000 tons were exported”.
“Under request from the US protectionist lobbies and ignoring sanitary authorities, a US Judge reinstated the ban on lemons thus Argentina is now the victim of a judicial trade barrier”.
Argentina alleged it exports citrus fruit to the Netherlands, Spain and Italy, which are also very demanding from a sanitary point of view.
Finally the release recalls that during the bilateral meetings of President Cristina Fernandez with her peer Barack Obama in November 2011 and April 2012 the Argentine president brought up the issue.
Last 10 July Argentina made a presentation in the framework of the WTO Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures committee demanding a reply to the unjustified and repeated delays in admitting Argentine meats.
At the time the US gave no satisfactory reply.
Faced with this delay strategy Argentina will double actions in defence of its products as well as filing a complaint against the double standards of the most powerful countries of WTO which do not abide by the rules, concludes the release.
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