Argentina files complaint against U.S. for lemon import restrictions
Argentina has filed two complaints against the United States to the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body, for preventing the entry of fresh lemons and meat from the South American country.
A similar complaint was also filed by Argentina against the European Union and Spain for biodiesel import restrictions.
The Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs said lemon exports from the country’s northwest region have been impacted for 11 years now. In 2011, Argentina exported US$172 million worth of the fruit worldwide. As of September 2012, 61 countries had received exports for a sum of US$190 million.
Tucuman Citrus Association President Roberto Sánchez told www.freshfruitportal.com the United States was an interesting market Argentina wants to reclaim, but he was not sure if the WTO complaint was the best route to reestablish commercial relations.
Sánchez explained that a peaceful resolution had been attempted in November during consultations in Zurich, Switzerland. Argentina did not receive a satisfactory answer, however, which motivated a formal filing.
According to reports by the ministry, the complaints presented by Argentina come after attempts to bilaterally resolve protectionist measures imposed by the U.S. and the E.U. It argues these measures violate WTO norms and have been ongoing for more than a decade.
The ministry argues these restrictions have generated extensive damage to Argentine producers and caused thousands of job losses.