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World Trade Organisation (WTO)

US seeks US$350 million annual sanctions in Indonesia trade dispute

Washington won a WTO ruling last year against Indonesian import restrictions on food, plants and animal products

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 August, 2018, 10:29pm
UPDATED : Monday, 06 August, 2018, 10:29pm

The US has asked the World Trade Organisation to let it impose sanctions on Indonesia after winning a trade dispute that it said cost US business up to US$350 million in 2017, a US filing published by the WTO showed on Monday.

The United States and New Zealand both won WTO rulings last year against Indonesian import restrictions on food, plants and animal products, including apples, grapes, potatoes, onions, flowers, juice, dried fruit, cattle, chicken and beef.

Indonesia also lost an appeal.

The latest US filing said Indonesia had not complied with the ruling, so Washington was seeking annual sanctions to compensate for the damage done to US interests.

“Based on a preliminary analysis of available data for certain products, this level is provisionally estimated at up to approximately US$350 million for 2017,” it said. “The United States will update this figure annually, as Indonesia’s economy continues to expand.”

The process of seeking compensation often take years, and Indonesia is likely to contest that claim that it has not complied as well as the size of any potential sanctions.

There was no immediate sign of a similar sanctions request from New Zealand, which said last year Indonesia’s restrictions were estimated to have cost New Zealand beef sector up to NZ$1 billion (US$673 million).