Tuesday, May 29, 2012
At the end of last week, the European Union (EU) filed a new complaint against Argentina at the World Trade Organization (WTO) requesting consulatations with respect to Argentina's import restrictive measures (WT/DS438/1). The challenged measures include an import licensing regime and an obligation on companies to balance imports and exports. According to the EU, the new import license requirements are causing delays and licenses are sometimes denied on nontransparent grounds. The EU also alleges that importers must agree to balance imports with exports as an unwritten and nontransparent condition of receiving an import license. The parties now have a 60-day consultation period. If the consultations do not resolve the matter within 60 days, the EU may request the establishment of a dispute resolution panel. The US, Australia, Japan and South Korea have also expressed concern regarding the measures and may join as interested third parties.