The US is currently advancing its World Trade Organisation (WTO) challenge against Indonesia’s trade restrictions on a range of agricultural imports.
After consultations between the US and Indonesia failed in late February, US representatives have requested the WTO set up a panel to investigate these restrictions.
Ron Kirk, a US trade representative, stated that Indonesia’s import licensing requirements and quotas had the effect of unfairly restricting US exports.
“These measures appear to be designed to protect Indonesia’s domestic agriculture industry,” said Kirk.
Indonesia’s policies on food and agriculture have come under sustained criticism since the introduction of import quotas at the beginning of 2012, including from international trading partners such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
At the end of last month, a panel of government advisors found that food import quotas encourage bribes and price spikes and urged for them to be replaced with import tariffs.