EU files claim at WTO over Argentina’s import restriction
On December 6, 2012 the EU requested the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva to rule over a dispute on Argentina’s import restriction which supposedly are damaging to European business. The EU is joining with this move along with Japan and the U.S.A. in order to force Argentina to lift these measures which have been harmful to European trade and investment for more than 18 months
There were before consultations with Argentina at the WTO but did not bring any positive solution. The decision is an outcome of the close cooperation with the U.S.A., Japan and Mexico. According to EU Trade Commissioner, Karel De Goucht, it is the EU’s last resort to see Argentina’s unfair trade practices lifted and free and fair trade re-established according to the WTO rules to which Argentina has subscribed.
We recall, as of February 2012, Argentina has subjected the import of all goods to a pre-registration and pre-approval regime called the “Declaración Jurada Anticipada de Importación”. Hundres of goods – also textile and clothing – have to request a non-automatic import license. On the pretence of this requirement, imports are systematically delayed or refused on non-transparent ground. As of March 2011, more than 600 product types have been affected by this licensing regime. In addition, Argentina also requires importers to balance imports with exports; to increase the local content of the products they manufacture in Argentina, or not to transfer revenues abroad. This practice is systematic, unwritten and non-transparent. These implied measures delay or block goods at the border and inflict major losses to industry in the EU and worldwide. Alone the restrictions in place in 2011 affected about EUR 500 million of exports and the 2012 extension of the measures to all products potentially affected all EU exports to Argentina, in 2011 the EU export volume with Argentina amounted to EUR 8.3 billion and imports from Argentina amounted to EUR 10.7 billion.