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Indonesia loses WTO appeal in halal food fight with New Zealand and US

Indonesia had argued before the WTO that its rules were based on health concerns and halal food standards, or aimed to deal with temporary surpluses in the domestic market. (Reuters)
GENEVA: Indonesia lost an appeal ruling at the World Trade Organization on Thursday in a dispute with the US and New Zealand over Indonesia’s restrictions on imports of food and animal products including beef and poultry.
Indonesia had argued that its rules were based on health concerns and halal food standards, or aimed to deal with temporary surpluses in the domestic market. In December 2016, a panel of adjudicators faulted Indonesia, which appealed.
An Indonesian trade ministry official said the government would study the ruling before easing any restrictions, which cover products such as apples, grapes, potatoes, onions, flowers, juice, dried fruit, cattle, chicken and beef.
“The Indonesian government will study and conduct internal coordination related to the recently circulated Appellate Body Report, including its implications for current regulations,” Oke Nurwan, Indonesia’s director general of foreign trade, said.

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