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.
Listed shares in BIST 100 rise 0.01 percent; US dollar/Turkish lira rate climbs over 3.90; EUR/TRY stands at 4.80
Turkey bridges Muslim world and West, according to General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions
Britain intends to seek free trade deals with its major trading partners once it leaves the EU, as planned, in March 2019.
Net profits at the group rose 33.1 percent to hit 2.36 billion euros ($2.92 billion), higher than the 2.28 billion predicted by analysts.
About 45 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 24,867.00, up 0.4 percent.
Low-cost carrier to offer direct flights to Dalaman from Dublin and Bratislava starting June
"Preliminary national accounts results for 2017 show an increase of 7.8 percent in GDP... compared with 2016," Jennifer Banim, an assistant director general at the Central Statistics Office (CSO), said in a statement.
Unemployment rate falls 2.3 percentage points year-on-year in December to 10.4 pct
"It is time to forget about ideological trench warfare," Francois Villeroy de Galhau told a Frankfurt conference.
In January, euro area and EU28's industrial production drops in January compared to previous month, Eurostat says
In a statement, Siemens said it had signed an accord with APEX, Brazil's Trade and Investment Promotion Agency, committing to a string of projects to "unleash a new cycle of sustainable growth" in the country of 207 million people.
The US supply increase is expected to come as the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries, dominated by oil giant Saudi Arabia, works with Russia to slash output after prices for crude plummeted to around $30 per barrel in 2016 from over $100 two years earlier.
Emerging trends, challenges and business opportunities in Islamic finance industry will be discussed during 2-day event
BIST 100 rises 0.05 percent, US dollar/Turkish lira exchange rate stays put, euro/lira exchange rate goes up
Turkey and Sudan can build joint industrial zones, says Turkish technology minister