Argentina will have until the New Year to comply with a ruling from the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO) against import restrictions, after the country agreed with European representatives that December 31 was a “reasonable time frame” to solve the dispute.
The 11-months period confirmed yesterday creates a time frame that could ultimately place the issue in the lap of the next government.
Earlier this year the WTO had rejected an Argentine appeal against an August ruling that said the country’s DJAI import permits and other non-tariff barriers (including national licensing rules) breached international trade rules.
President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner thus remains free to continue her policies of protecting local industry and shoring up the trade surplus via import controls until her term ends.
The United States, European Union and Japan have been the main driving-forces behind the WTO complaints against the import restrictions.
Argentina has in turn complained about protectionist measures by the US and the EU against the country’s agricultural exports.
In the last few months the government has significantly reduced the delays in DJAI import authorizations, although new local disputes have emerged about Central Bank’s greenlighting of the currency purchases needed to complete those transactions.
Once the WTO ruling kicks in, trading partners could be entitled to retaliatory action or seeking financial compensation in direct negotiations with Argentina.
Date: July 14, 2015