The World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate Body issued a decision on January 15 finding Argentina’s import restrictions on U.S. and other imported goods breached the international trade rules that Argentina had adopted in joining the WTO.
Since 2012, Argentina had, through its Declaración Jurada Anticipada de Importación or “DJAI,” and other measures, imposed limits on imports and other trade restrictive measures that have limited the ability of U.S. manufacturers to export and participate successfully in the Argentine market. These measures are estimated to affect billions of dollars of U.S. exports each year.
With the strong support of the NAM, the United States, joined by the European Union and Japan filed a WTO complaint against Argentina, arguing that these measures were contrary to Argentina’s WTO obligations, particularly Article XI:1 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the so-called GATT 1994. The United States argued successfully that these measures slowdown and constrain the importation of U.S. and other imported goods into Argentina. Argentina appealed to the Appellate Body, which sided with the United States, EU and Japan, in the decision issued yesterday.
Given the global headwinds that U.S. manufacturers face, this ruling comes at a particularly important time. In 2013, the United States exported nearly $10 billion in manufactured goods to Argentina.
The NAM has worked to eliminate these restrictions since they were imposed and congratulates Ambassador Froman and USTR for their successful efforts. Now it is important for Argentina to move quickly to eliminate these provisions and engage in a more open trade relationship that will advance economic growth in both our economies.
Complaints are nothing new at the WTO. Since it was created in 1995, there have been 488 WTO complaints brought, including over 100 complaints by the United States, and including recent U.S. victories in cases with China involving raw materials and rare earths, and with India on solar products.
Yesterday’s decision is an important victory that reinforces once again the importance of strong trade agreements that are actively enforced to the success of manufacturers in the United States that are competing in the global economy.
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