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Argentina plans to lodge WTO complaint against US



Argentina says it will file a complaint with the World Trade Organization against the United States as the protectionism dispute between the two business partners escalates, Press TV reports.

Argentine Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that the South American country will lodge a complaint with the Geneva-based organization over US “illegal” import policies.

Argentina says it has not been able to export lemons to the United States since 2001. It also complains of “unjustified delays” in the approval of importation of fresh Argentine beef.

“It is not only a dispute between Argentina and the US. It is a general dispute. World tensions are the result of the economic crises of developed countries, which are affecting the course of the global economy. I am worried about this kind of presentations at the WTO in Geneva. If they continue, they could result in a sort of trade war,” Argentina’s Ambassador to the US Jorge Arguello said.

The remarks came right after the United States and Japan assailed Argentina’s import rules as protectionist at the WTO, putting more pressure on the country to revamp its policies.

“Argentina’s protectionist measures adversely affect a broad segment of US industry, which exports billions of dollars in goods each year to Argentina. These exports support jobs and businesses here at home,” US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The Obama Administration insists that all of our trading partners play by the rules and uphold their WTO obligations so that American workers receive the benefits negotiated in our agreements,” the statement added.

On Monday, Argentina formally filed a complaint against the European Union, challenging Spanish rules that Buenos Aires government argues discriminate against its biodiesel exports.

“This measure, like others taken by the European Union and other developed countries for decades, effectively aims to keep our industries from rising along the value chain, limiting the role of developing countries to the provision of raw materials,” the Argentine Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

It also rejected the “offensive” against Argentina’s trade policies, which it described as “legitimate measures adopted in the context of a global crisis that originated and has its epicenter in developed countries.”

The dispute between Argentina and the EU sparked after the 27-member bloc filed a complaint against Argentina’s import licensing rules.

EU and US officials say Argentina has effectively restricted all imports since it began requiring prior state approval for nearly all purchases abroad in February.

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