Published on Aug 23, 2012 by PressTVGlobalNews : Argentina-United States protectionism dispute is ready to be launched at the World Trade Organization.
After the US and Japan challenged Argentine's import licensing rules at the WTO, Foreign Ministry has released a statement announcing Buenos Aires will lodge a formal complaint to the Geneva-based organization reporting Washington's "illegal" barriers to local beef and citrus fruits exports.
Although the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) acknowledges Argentine South Patagonian region as being free from foot and mouth disease without vaccination since 2003, the official document says the White House "has echoed", lobbies´ position causing hundreds of millions of dollars in losses to South America's No2 economy.
By the year 2000, the US and Canada accounted for 13 per cent of Argentina's fresh and frozen cow meat sales. If both markets were not closed, exports would now totalize 150 million dollars annually. Furthermore, a court rule banned the entry of Argentine lemons following the request by "protectionist groups" back in 2001.
Meanwhile, the US defended its position saying it is "disappointed and surprised" and considering Argentina's reaction "part of a disturbing trend in which countries engaged in actions that are inconsistent with their WTO obligations retaliate with counter complaints rather than fix the underlying problem raised in the complaint".
As the trade row escalates, the Foreign Ministry has also affirmed Argentina is determined to step up actions to denounce "double-standards" of most powerful countries at the WTO "that demand developing nations to uphold rules they fail to observe.