General & Misc

U.S. to work with Indonesia to resolve Trade Dispute: Ambassador

Date: 11 August 2018; Type: Legal News; Source: Antara

Jakarta, Aug 11 (ANTARA News) - The United States government is keen to work with Indonesia to fully resolve the trade dispute between the two countries, which had been arbitrated by the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 2014, U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia Joseph Donovan noted.

"We recognize that Indonesia has mandated certain regulation and is taking positive steps for the resolution of the dispute. We remain committed to working with Indonesia to fully resolve the issues," Donovan noted during a press briefing here on Friday.

Indonesia has agreed to revise its import regulations again, following a complaint lodged by the U.S. with the WTO on Aug 2, when actually it had completed the due date on July 22, 2018.

"But there are two things that not happened to the points on the revision, namely Indonesia had not yet formally registered with the WTO, and the statement had not yet been translated into reality on the ground," the ambassador remarked.

The U.S. has urged WTO to let it impose sanctions on Indonesia after it won a trade dispute that cost U.S. businesses up to $350 million in 2017, a U.S. filing published by the WTO showed on Aug 6.

The U.S. and New Zealand had both filed the dispute in 2014, and both won the 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.

"We remain open to additional discussion with Indonesia on taking actions that have been sought, and we cannot accept anything more for the U.S. products," Donovan noted.

Earlier, Indonesia's Permanent Representative to the WTO Hasan Kleib revealed in a statement that Indonesia had lost an appeal on Feb 17 last year and was mandated to review its import regulations following a dispute filed by the U.S. and New Zealand.

Based on the agreement among three countries, a Reasonable Period of Time was applied for Indonesia to revise its import policies, with a due date on July 22, 2018.

"We have completed the revision, but it seems that the U.S. authority is still not satisfied with some changes made by Indonesia, urging the Dispute Settlement Body to hold an assembly on Aug 2," Kleib revealed.

In general, the process of trade dispute settlement in the WTO might take four to five years, as the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) receives a huge number of complaints from the WTO's member states.

All decisions made by DSB's panel are binding, and it might ask a respondent to revise its policy as requested by the complainant.

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