Statement by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on the Issuance of the Appellate Body Report concerning “Argentina—Measures Affecting the Importation of Goods” in the WTO Dispute Settlement Proceedings
1. On January 15 (same day local time), based on the dispute settlement proceedings, the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO) issued its report, upholding the Panel’s conclusions that Argentina’s import restrictions are inconsistent with the WTO Agreement and Argentina must bring these measures into conformity with its obligations under the WTO Agreement in the dispute “Argentina—Measures Affecting the Importation of Goods,” in which Japan, the United States and the European Union had filed their complaints against Argentina with respect to its import restrictions.
2. Japan highly values the issuance of the Appellate Body’s Report entirely supporting Japan’s claims. In the context of the concerns regarding the spread of protectionist measures, Japan finds it deeply significant that the Appellate Body makes clear that this kind of protectionistic import restrictions imposed by Argentina cannot be accepted under the WTO Agreement.
3. As a result of this report, Japan calls for Argentina to faithfully and promptly bring its WTO inconsistent measures into conformity with its WTO obligations under the WTO Agreement.
Reference Timeline and outline of this complaint
(1) Since 2008, the Argentine government has introduced a series of measures restricting imports, including a trade-balancing requirement and the Advanced Sworn Import Declaration Procedure (this procedure requires that importers receive approval from the Argentine Federal Public Revenue Administration before starting import procedures). The complainants have repeatedly expressed their concerns to the Argentine government, but up to the present time no improvements have been seen in the path taken by Argentina.
(2) In August 2012, Japan, jointly with the United Sates and the European Union, requested consultations with Argentina based on the WTO Agreement. Also, in December 2012, Japan, jointly with the United States and the European Union, requested that the WTO establish a panel concerning Argentina’s import restrictions, and the panel was established in January 2013. Argentina appealed to the WTO Appellate Body in September 2014.
(3) In the WTO dispute settlement system, the dispute is adjudicated by two bodies, the DSB Panel and the Appellate Body, with the Appellate Body being the final adjudicator. The Appellate Body report is regulated by the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding and it is adopted by the WTO Dispute Settlement Body that convenes within 30 days from when the report is sent to the member nations. This report becomes the DSB recommendation.