WENATCHEE U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer announced that the World Trade Organization upheld its ruling that Indonesia’s import licensing regimes for horticultural products are inconsistent with WTO rules.
He said this ruling should pave the way for improved access for Washington apples to Indonesia, the largest market for Washington apples in Southeast Asia and an important export destination for the State’s Red Delicious crop.
In 2012, Indonesia enacted a series of regulations and import licensing requirements that has hampered access to the market for Washington apples and led to an estimated $22 million in lost sales.
Prior to the restrictions, Washington apple exports to Indonesia had been as high as $50 million. After regulations took effect, shipments dropped by as much as 50% in subsequent seasons, with market values correspondingly hit.
President of the Washington Apple Commission, Todd Fryhover said “this is great news for Washington apple growers. The industry has started the 2017 crop marketing year and we have excellent supplies for increased shipments to Indonesia this season. This ruling is also a win for Indonesian consumers as they will have better access to high quality apples from Washington State.”
Mark Powers, President of the Northwest Horticultural Council, which represents the industry on trade access issues with USDA and other government agencies, said “NHC is very appreciative of the hard work and multiple-year effort undertaken by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to enforce the trade rules agreed to by all WTO members.”
He said the ruling was the perfect example of the positive work USTR does to keep global markets open and allow our growers to sell 30 percent of their crop overseas.”
The Washington Apple Commission is the international marketing arm of the Washington apple industry and conducts promotions in foreign markets to drive consumer demand for apples from Washington State.
The Washington Apple Commission provides promotional support to international retailers and importers.