Indonesia – Import Licensing Regimes: GATT Rules for Agricultural Trade?
27 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2018
Date Written: November 2018
This paper examines two disputes brought by the United States and New Zealand in response to a series of import sanctions for agricultural products imposed by the Indonesian government to promote food self-sufficiency. We document the heterogeneous effect the sanctioning measures had on Indonesia’s partners. We argue that Indonesia’s import licensing regimes acted as high, sometimes prohibitive, fixed cost of exporting. Frequent changes of regulation provided additional challenges and increased costs of exporting. These properties determined the differential impacts of Indonesia’s measures where some sustained significant market losses while other large exporters, in particular Australia, following a short decline strengthened market position and export levels.
Keywords: Import licensing regimes, food self-sufficiency, agricultural import ban, fixed costs
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