The European Union requested consultations with the Government of Argentina under the dispute settlement provisions of the World Trade Organization (WTO), concerning certain measures imposed by Argentina on the importation of goods into Argentina. Turkey, Ukraine, The United Status, Australia, canada, Guatemala, Japan and Mexico requested to join the consultations on the same matter.

Argentina requires economic operators to undertake certain actions with a view to pursuing Argentina’s stated policy objectives of elimination of trade balance deficits and import substitution. Those actions include to: (1) export a certain value of goods from Argentina related to the value of imports; (2) limit the volume of imports and/or reduce their price; (3) refrain from repatriating funds from Argentina to another country; (4) make or increase investments in Argentina (including in production facilities); and/or (5) incorporate local content into domestically produced goods.

These requirements are not stipulated in any published law or regulation. To satisfy these requirements, economic operators normally either submit a statement or conclude an agreement with Argentina setting out the actions they will take. Argentina enforces these requirements by withholding permission to import, by withholding the issuance of other documents.

The European Union considers that these requirements, when viewed as an overarching measure aiming at eliminating trade balance deficits and/or substituting imports by domestic products, do not comply with GATT´s articles as the measures prohibit or restrict the importation of goods. . The European Union held consultations with Argentina on 12 and 13 July 2012. Those consultations unfortunately did not resolve the dispute.

On 17 August 2012, Argentina requested consultations with the European Union and Spain concerning certain measures affecting the importation of biodiesels for accounting purposes.

The consultations took place on 4 and 5 October 2012. While they enabled the parties to gain a better understanding of their respective positions, unfortunately the consultations failed to produce a mutually agreeable solution.

Sources: more information WTO

This news refers to Argentina: an unpredictable business environment.