16 junio, 2024

US opens its market to Argentine fresh beef imports; lemons still pending.

Argentina announced that the United States APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) has allowed fresh beef imports from Argentina, lifting a 15-year ban which Buenos Aires had always considered unjustified and bluntly protectionist and as such had claimed before the WTO. In the same vein Argentina also anticipated it expected a similar decision from the US regarding Argentine lemons.

Economy Minister Axel Kicillof, Foreign Minister HéctorTimerman and Agriculture Minister Carlos Casamiquela held a press conference on Tuesday to officially break the news and make some comments.

The APHIS decision applies to “north Argentina”, which is north of parallel 42, declared free of Foot and Mouth Disease with vaccination. South of that parallel, the Patagonian provinces (Chubut, Rio Negro and Santa Cruz) or “south Argentina” since 2014 have been declared free of FMD without vaccination.

Still, the minister stressed restrictions imposed by Washington to block the spread of FMD disease in cattle have cost losses in exports for 1.6 billion dollars only considering the US market. If Canada and Mexico were to be considered due to the FTAs agreements these countries hold with the US, then loses would account for more than 2 billion dollars.“This is the favorable and successful result of an arduous fight in the order of international relationships and technical and agricultural questions,” Kicillof said speaking at the government house.

“In the question of protectionism, a false image has been created where Argentina is the one that puts obstacles to trade while big world powers present themselves as absolutely pro-free trade,” Kicillof affirmed quoting a report carried out by the Foreign Ministry in which the beef dispute between Washington and Buenos Aires is closely analyzed.“In 2007, it was said Argentina was a FMD-free country, from that moment the United States should have freed trade without restrictions and yet it did not,” Kicillof said adding the decision follows the government’s determination to protest against “protectionism” by the US and lodge a formal complaint in the World Trade Organization (WTO).

«It is clear that there is a legally accepted protectionism; international organisms accept, like in the case of the US and Europe, the huge subsidies and tariffs for agricultural products,” the minister insisted pointing out countries like Argentina instead are marked as “protectionist” when they carry out policies that aim at strengthening their “industrial development.”

“The United States is the country that has lost cases (at the WTO) the most, not Argentina,” he said. “This government has worked in international forums and we have achieved a victory which is justice rather than success.”

At the same conference minister Timerman said that the issue of lemon exports to the US is still pending, “since Argentine lemons are banned by US protectionism”.The decision should become enforceable in approximately 60 days (September) following its publication in the Federal Gazette. Argentine officials believe this could represent annual sales of 280 million dollars of beef to the US and Canada.

According to their economic forest Argentina will have a total citrus production of 2.6 million tons and the products going to an increase of between 100.000 and 150.000 tons. “We are the worlds leading producer of lemons so if we dont reach an agreement on the access of lemons to the US market, the issue will be end at the World Trade Organization”, anticipated Timerman.


This is an article that was published on 01/07/2015 on Merco Press (South Atlantic News Agency) and it is about how it was possible to resolve the restriction on the Argentinean meat market. Besides, it also describes that the service of US health inspection lifted the US ban importing Argentinean beef. In 2007 Argentina was declared FMD free, but even so, the US did not release the market.

Restrictions have left a loss of U$1.600 billion, only in the US market. Argentina protested against US protectionism by filing a formal complaint with the World Trade Organization. In the question of protectionism a false image has been created where Argentina puts obstacles to trade. When it is the US and other great world powers that carry out policies that seek to strengthen their industrial development.

Argentinean officials believe that if the market opens, it could represent annual sales of U$280 million of beef to the US and Canada. Argentina is the world´s leading producer of lemons, but export of these lemons to the US are still pending, as Argentina lemons are banned by US protectionism. If this continues then the issue will end in the WTO.

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