Bloomberg News

EU Is Considering WTO Complaint Over Argentina’s Import Limits

May 15, 2012

The European Union said it is considering complaining to the World Trade Organization about Argentinean import restrictions that the EU says violate global regulations.

EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht “will be looking at all the possibilities, of which the multi-lateral response including WTO action is certainly one he is considering,” John Clancy, De Gucht’s spokesman, told reporters today in Brussels.

Argentina has subjected a number of imports to licensing regulations since 2008, a policy that the EU and 18 other WTO members have said hinders trade. Governments and businesses say the Latin American nation’s import-substitution rules, which force foreign companies to produce goods in Argentina or lose market access, are protectionist.

“The high and increasing number of import-restricting measures implemented by the Argentine government in application of its discriminatory import-substitution policy is a cause of considerable concern,” De Gucht said in an April 19 letter to Argentina’s foreign minister. “You are certainly aware of the very serious legal considerations these measures raise from a WTO perspective and the growing concern among WTO members affected by this policy, which is manifestly incompatible with WTO rules.”

WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy said on April 20 that the import curbs may breach global commerce rules.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jones Hayden at

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