WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States is asking the World Trade Organization to examine unfair trade barriers Indonesia has imposed on importing foreign agricultural products, US Trade Representative Michael Froman said in a statement.
“The United States Trade Representative Michael Froman announced today that the United States has requested the World Trade Organization to establish a dispute settlement panel to examine Indonesia’s wide-ranging import restrictions,” the statement, issued on Wednesday, said.
US lawmakers echoed similar sentiments. US Congressman Dave Reichert said he believes limiting access to foreign agricultural products for Indonesia harms the US state of Washington’s agricultural economy.
Reichert noted he is very happy that the US Trade Representative is seeking help from the WTO on examining Indonesia’s import restrictions on agricultural products, including on fruits and vegetables.
US Congressman Brad Ashford said that the US state of Nebraska is also hurting from the trade restrictions, and increasing open access to the Indonesian market for US agricultural goods will create more jobs at home while enabling global competition between agricultural producers.
In 2014, US exports of affected horticultural products to Indonesia was over $122 million, including $50 million worth of apples and over $37 million of grapes. Additionally, the US exported affected animal and animal products totaled $63.2 million in 2014.
Indonesia has sustained trade restrictions for importing agricultural products since 2012.