WASHINGTON — The World Trade Organization’s appellate body ruled in favor of the United States against Argentina in a dispute that challenged widespread licensing restrictions maintained by Argentina on the importation of goods, including $3.5 million worth of U.S. apparel products.
The appellate body upheld the findings of a WTO dispute settlement panel, which in August was in favor of the U.S. under certain provisions of a global trade statute stating that Argentina’s import licensing requirements and other import restrictions breach international trade rules. The European Union and Japan were co-complainants with the U.S. in the case.
“This is a great win for the U.S.,” said United States Trade Representative Michael Froman. “Argentina’s protectionist measures impact a broad segment of U.S. exports, potentially affecting billions of dollars in U.S. exports each year that support high-quality, middle class American jobs.”
The U.S. exported nearly $11 billion in goods to Argentina for the year ending Nov. 30, USTR said. Apparel, textile and footwear exports have been impacted by the import licensing restrictions imposed by Argentina, according to industry groups.
USTR said the requirements imposed by Argentina meant that U.S. companies seeking to bring their products into Argentina “first had to agree to export Argentine goods, make investments in Argentina, lower prices of their products or refrain from repatriating profits to the United States.”
The panel and appellate reports will be adopted by the WTO within 30 days.