WASHINGTON, D.C. – The USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC), National Chicken Council (NCC), and National Turkey Federation (NTF) applaud the World Trade Organization’s confirmation of a WTO panel finding that Indonesia’s import restrictions for horticultural products and animals and animal products are against WTO rules.
The WTO’s rejection of Indonesia’s appeal of the panel finding marks a “resounding victory for the United States that should result in increased export opportunities for U.S. farmers and ranchers as well as increased Indonesian consumer access to high-quality U.S. agricultural products,” the office of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said.
In its decision, WTO found that the 18 Indonesian measures challenged by the U.S. were inconsistent with Indonesia’s WTO obligations, and are not justified as public policy measures.
“We’re very pleased to hear that the finding has been upheld,” USAPEEC, NCC and NTF said in a joint statement. “We’re hoping that this translates into U.S. poultry exports to Indonesia, something we’ve not seen for nearly 10 years. We are most appreciative to Ambassador Lighthizer for strongly pursuing this issue with WTO. If it were not for USTR’s persistence, this would not have been accomplished.”
Indonesia’s import licensing requirements restricting or prohibiting imports of horticultural and animal products from the U.S. cost U.S. farmers and ranchers millions of dollars a year in lost export opportunities in Indonesia.
The poultry industry estimates the potential market for U.S. poultry exports to Indonesia at 170,000 metric tons annually, valued at $177 million.
Poultry and other products have been affected by what USTR called “unjustified and trade restrictive licensing regimes” in Indonesia since 2012. The WTO in 2015 established a panel to examine a complaint by the U.S. In December 2016, the panel released its finding. Indonesia appealed some of the findings in February 2017.
Indonesia, the fourth most populous country in the world, is an increasingly important market for many U.S. agricultural exports. The U.S. exported more than $2.6 billion in agricultural products to Indonesia in 2016 and imported more than $2.8 billion in agricultural products from Indonesia.