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)
Updated 10 November 2017
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Indonesia loses WTO appeal in halal food fight with New Zealand and US

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.


Japan, EU sign landmark trade deal

Updated 17 July 2018
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Japan, EU sign landmark trade deal

  • Both sides are heralding the deal, which covers a third of the global economy and more than 600 million people
  • Besides the latest deal with the EU, Japan is working on other trade agreements, including a far-reaching trans-Pacific deal
The EU and Japan signed a sweeping free trade deal Tuesday that officials called a “clear message” against protectionism, as Washington imposes controversial tariffs and threatens a trade war.
The deal signed in Tokyo by the EU’s top officials and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is the biggest ever negotiated by the EU and creates a free trade zone covering nearly a third of the world’s GDP.
“We are sending a clear message that we stand together against protectionism,” EU Council President Donald Tusk said.
“Together we are making — by signing this agreement — a statement about free and fair trade, we are showing that we are stronger and better off when we work together,” added Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker.
The huge deal was signed as President Donald Trump unsettles allies and provokes rivals with his aggressive “America First” trade policy.
Both the EU and Japan have been hit with new US tariffs despite their longstanding alliances with Washington.
Juncker said the deal sent a message that “trade is about more than tariffs and barriers, it is about values.”
“There is no protection in protectionism,” he said.
Abe, standing alongside the two EU officials, said the agreement, “shows the world the unshaken political will of Japan and the EU to lead the world as the champions of free trade at a time when protectionism has spread.”