Argentine Import Restrictions Violate WTO Rules, Appellate Body Affirms
The World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) Appellate Body has affirmed its August 2013 decision condemning Argentina’s broad trade-related restrictions affecting a variety of goods and food products. In one case that the WTO considered, Argentine government officials approved an agreement with a firm that imported Porsche vehicles that would require the company to offset the imports by exporting the same value of wine and olive products each year; in another, Pirelli was required to export $100 million worth of honey to import its tires.
The Argentine Secretary of Domestic Trade also apparently limited the 2012 importation of finished ham products, especially those from Spain and Italy, to 80 percent of the amount imported the previous year. Affected goods also included clothing, medicine, technology products, and Bibles. “The United States welcomes the WTO’s findings in this dispute,” U.S. Trade Representative Michael Frohman said in a statement. “Argentina’s protectionist measures impact a broad segment of U.S. exports, potentially affecting billions of dollars in U.S. exports each year that support high-quality, middle class American jobs.” See Press Release of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, January 15, 2015.