World Bulletin/News Desk
The United States on Friday demanded that Argentina "immediately" end an import licensing regime and other curbs that have frustrated foreign suppliers, and expressed concerns about a "sweeping new import restriction" Indonesia has imposed.
The comments came in remarks by a U.S. official at the World Trade Organization in Geneva.
Rachel Bae, a U.S. attache, took a notably harder line with Argentina, which is already the target of a WTO suit filed by the European Union over steps the South American nation has taken to discourage imports.
Those include an import licensing regime and an obligation on companies to balance imports with exports.
"Our hope is that Argentina will acknowledge our concerns and terminate these import-restrictive measures and practices immediately," she said, according to a text of her remarks made available in Washington.
"In short, our question for Argentina, again today, is: When will the government put an end to the non-transparent and restrictive measures and practices that have been the source of such longstanding irritation and growing frustration to so many of Argentina's fellow WTO Members?"
Argentina maintains its measures are consistent with WTO rules and complained on Friday that other members are unfairly singling it out by continually bringing them up, a trade diplomat said.
Nineteen WTO members objected to Argentina's policies at the March 30 meeting of the WTO Trade and Goods Council, and the United States, the EU, Japan, Turkey, Switzerland, Australia, Colombia, New Zealand, Israel, Malaysia, Taiwan and Hong Kong reinforced those concerns on Friday, the diplomat said.
Bae began her remarks on Indonesia by stressing it "is an important partner of the United States."
But the Southeast Asian nation has introduced a large number of new trade and investment restrictions "that threaten to make Indonesia's market impenetrable," Bae said.
Those include "a sweeping new import restriction" known as Regulation 27 that the United States understands is intended to implement "an Indonesia Supreme Court finding that imports 'clash' with domestic products and interfere with national development objectives," she said.
Bae noted "the substance of the Supreme Court's decision raises thought-provoking questions about the openness of Indonesia's economy and its ability to fulfill its WTO commitments."
She also expressed concern about import licensing requirements that Indonesia has imposed on a long list of products, including many of interest to the United States, such as livestock products, textiles and clothing and consumers goods like electronics, appliances and food and beverages.
Indonesia defended the policies as necessary to address the needs of millions of poor people in the country, but said it was reviewing some of the regulations, the trade diplomat said.
The EU, South Korea, Canada, New Zealand and Australia joined the United States in expressing concern.
In another presentation at the WTO, Argentina and Indonesia teamed up to criticize a law passed by Spain last month that bans the use of biodiesel produced outside the EU.
Argentina is the world's biggest exporter of biodiesel, made mainly from its plentiful soyoil supplies. Indonesia is the No. 1 producer of palm oil, another raw material for biodiesel.
In Buenos Aires, Argentina's Foreign Ministry called the Spanish legislation "unilateral (and) protectionist," and said the joint declaration had received support from Uruguay, Brazil and Cuba.
Vessels were delivered to port of Alexandria on June 17
The economic cost of violence according to the 2015 Global Peace Index has reached a staggering $14.3 trillion with Syria the least peaceful country.
The leading opposition lawmaker has said that Turkish President Erdogan is open to all possiblities for a coalition.
Qatar has filed a lawsuit against the leader of the National Front in France for his comments regarding "terror" activities.
Saudi Arabia will put in place an electronic bracelet system for all pilgrims visiting the country to perform their Hajj duties.
After U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen indicated that the central bank was poised to raise interest rates, European stock markets fall.
Italian company Enel will invest 18 billion euro for renewable energy sources in Africa.
Azerbaijani president said in a statement that Southern Gas Corridor project will supply neighboring and European countries for a 100 years
Oil prices rose above $60 due to Iran's call for oil production cut
Economic growth in the Euro-Zone is not at desired levels.
Director and Global Head of Islamic Finance at Standard & Poor's says that growing market for sukuk and new players mark 'significant interest' in Islamic finance.
The Ministry of Finance said that Denmark has written to China to "announce its intention to apply to be a founding member" of the AIIB.
Experts state that the crisis poses risks to the region, which is significant for oil production and exports in the world.
Federal Reserve removes word 'patient;' interest rate increase expected within months. Yellen says timing of rate rise 'not decided,' but will come anytime after April; holds current rates at 0 to 0.25 pct.
Many emerging-market currencies have fallen against the dollar in recent weeks
Anticipated Federal Reserve interest rate hikes making dollar strong against most emerging market currencies, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan says.