USMEF, along with the North American Meat Institute, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and National Renderers Association, filed comments this week with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) regarding the WTO dispute settlement proceeding on Indonesia’s import restrictions. Similar to comments submitted in 2013, this week’s filing discusses a number of requirements that are inconsistent with Indonesia’s international trade obligations, including:
- Limiting beef imports to products from dedicated halal slaughter facilities
- A restrictive list of beef cuts that are eligible for import
- Requiring importers to purchase Indonesian beef as a condition for receiving import permits
- Mandating that importers requesting import permits must have utilized at least 80 percent of the volume for which they were approved the preceding year
- Requiring exporting-country beef slaughter plants to undergo and pass an on-site audit by Indonesian government veterinarians, and failing to schedule these audits in a timely manner
Further details on this proceeding are available from the USTR website.
At its 2011 peak, Indonesia was a top 10 market for U.S. beef and beef variety meat exports, totaling 17,847 metric tons (mt) valued at $28.2 million. But exports declined dramatically in 2012 (1,646 mt valued at $8.5 million) before rebounding to some degree in 2013 and 2014. Through May of this year, exports to Indonesia totaled just 624 mt valued at $6.7 million.