World Bulletin / News Desk
Mexico has launched its first dispute against Argentina at the World Trade Organization, following similar complaints against Argentina by the European Union, United States and Japan, the WTO said on Monday.
The four complaints centre on Argentina's import licensing rules, which its critics say amount to a blanket restriction on imports and are one of several protectionist policies adopted by the government of President Cristina Fernandez.
The worsening of trade relations between the two Latin American countries follows Argentina's decision to pull out of a car trade pact two months ago.
Mexico's inclusion in the WTO case, which has an unusually large number of complainants, may undermine Argentina's arguments that its critics are all rich nations that are trying to restrain developing countries.
Argentina's WTO ambassador Cecilia Nahón, defending the country's policies against widespread criticism at the WTO, has also asserted that Argentina cannot be accused of restricting imports when its imports grew by 31 percent in 2011.
A stand-off between the United States and Japan over access to farm and auto markets has been holding up negotiations over the 12-nation trade pact, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
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