A World Trade Organization dispute settlement panel on Friday sided in favor of the United States in a dispute challenging restrictions maintained by Argentina on the importation of numerous U.S. goods.
The panel agreed with the United States that Argentina’s import licensing requirement and other import restrictions breach international trade rules.
“Argentina’s protectionist measures impact a broad segment of U.S. exports, potentially affecting billions of dollars in U.S. exports each year,” said U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman in a statement. U.S. exports hit hard by the restrictions include computers, industrial and agricultural chemicals, agricultural and transportation equipment, machine tools, parts for oil field rigs, and refined fuel oil.
The import restrictions challenged by the United States in this dispute include an import licensing requirement (the Declaración Jurada Anticipada de Importación or DJAI) that applies to all imports of goods into Argentina. The United States also challenged restrictive trade-related requirements imposed by Argentina together with the DJAI and other licensing requirements.
“These requirements imposed by the Argentine Government mean that many U.S. companies seeking to bring their products into Argentina have had first to agree to export Argentine goods, make investments in Argentina, lower prices of their products, or refrain from repatriating profits to the United States,” the Office of U.S. Trade Representative said.
In 2012, the United States initiated this dispute, in cooperation with the European Union and Japan, by requesting consultations with Argentina concerning its import licensing requirements as well as restrictive trade-related requirements imposed together with those licensing requirements. After consultations failed to resolve the issue, the WTO established a single panel to consider the U.S. complaint as well as similar complaints filed by the European Union and Japan.
This is the third significant WTO victory for the United States in 2014.