U.S. Sues Indonesia to WTO over Garlic Dispute

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Laila Afifa

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    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesian Agriculture Ministry and Trade Ministry are sued by the United States and New Zealand in World Trade Organization (WTO) over garlic dispute.

    The appeal was revealed following the report of WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) dated January 18, 2019, on Indonesia-Importation of Horticultural Products, Animals, And Animals Products: Status Report Regarding Implementation of the DSB Recommendations and Rulings by Indonesia.

    The Legal Aid Institute of Civil Society Alliance for Great Indonesia (LBH Almisbat) member Syaiful Bahari assessed that based on the report, Indonesia was urged to revoke and revise several articles of Agriculture Ministerial Decree (Permentan) No. 24/2018 and Trade Ministerial Decree (Permendag) No. 64/ 2018 concerning the Horticultural Product Import Recommendation (RIPH) and Permentan No.23/2018 and Permendag No. 65/2018 on animal and animal products.

    “This is not the first time of the U.S. and New Zealand protest Permentan regarding RIPH and submit it to DSB-WTO. In 2013, the two countries sued Permentan No. 60/2012 on RIPH and Permendag No. 60/2012,” said Syaiful Thursday, January 31.

    He assumed that the two countries lodged a report against Permentan and Permendag as both deemed discriminatory and unfair policy that excessively limit horticultural products of foreign countries and that against the WTO-GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) agreement. In addition, Syaiful continued, restrictions on horticultural imports would potentially trigger monopoly and cartel practices.

    “If the regulations are set aside, it will be detrimental for the Indonesian government. It will cause a bad image of Indonesia in international trades due to inconsistent and unrealistic policies,” said Syaiful, commenting the garlic dispute between Indonesia and the U.S. and New Zealand.

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