Argentina — Import Measures: How a Porsche is Worth Peanuts

26 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2016

See all articles by Paola Conconi

Paola Conconi

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES)

Harm Schepel

University of Kent - Kent Law School

Date Written: November 2016

Abstract

The dispute Argentina-Measures Affecting the Importation of Goods concerns a series of measures imposed by Argentine authorities on economic operators as a condition for obtaining import licenses. These measures were introduced with the goal of advancing the Argentine government’s stated policies of re-industrialization, import substitution, and elimination of trade balance deficits. From a legal point of view, the least interesting feature of the dispute was the substantive compatibility of these measures with Article XI:1 GATT as they clearly constituted import restrictions. Identifying and classifying the measures involved, however, proved more challenging: based on vague policy guidelines, devoid of any legal basis, and consisting largely of wholly discretionary ad hoc action by the authorities, clouded in confidential obscurity, the measures escaped familiar categories and distinctions of WTO law. From an economic perspective, although Argentina’s measures appear to have had no impact on its overall imports, they imposed large costs on foreign companies, as well as on Argentine importers and consumers.

Keywords: import restrictions, trade balance.

Suggested Citation

Conconi, Paola and Schepel, Harm, Argentina — Import Measures: How a Porsche is Worth Peanuts (November 2016). Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies Research Paper No. RSCAS 2016/67, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2877204 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2877204

Paola Conconi (Contact Author)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES) ( email )

Ave. Franklin D Roosevelt, 50 - C.P. 114
Brussels, B-1050
Belgium
32 2 650 2345 (Phone)
32 2 650 4475 (Fax)

Harm Schepel

University of Kent - Kent Law School ( email )

Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NS
United Kingdom

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