Sen. Carper Applauds Administration’s Challenge to Indonesia’s Restrictions on Agricultural Imports

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, released the following statement after United States Trade Representative Michael Froman announced that the United States has requested the World Trade Organization (WTO) to establish a dispute settlement panel to examine Indonesia’s wide-ranging import restrictions on agricultural products, including poultry imports. Indonesia’s prohibitions and restrictions have unfairly limited opportunities for U.S. farmers and ranchers to export their world-class products to Indonesia’s large and growing market.

“I thank Ambassador Froman for standing up for American farmers today. Indonesia is the world’s fourth largest country and a critically important market for American and Delawarean farmers to access. In 2014, it was one of the top 15 countries for exports from the First State and I am confident it has the potential to be even higher on that list.”

“In Delaware, international trade supports 120,000 jobs and billions of dollars in exports to 187 countries around the world. No business in Delaware feels the impact of our trade policy more than our farmers, and our chicken farmers especially. The chickens we raise in Delaware, and on the rest of the Delmarva Peninsula, are a huge economic driver for our communities – creating more than $4.5 billion per year of direct economic activity.  Exporting more chickens around the world means farmers in the First State, both those who sell chickens and those who are part of the larger supply chain, could see more revenues and, in turn, create more jobs.  However, far too often we find countries imposing barriers for U.S. poultry exports.

“As we continue to pursue opportunities to encourage trade around the world, we must also be vigilant in ensuring that our trade partners uphold the rules and regulations of our trade agreements so we can ensure that American goods and services can compete on a level playing field. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has been successful in pursuing several cases with the World Trade Organization where our trading partners weren’t holding up their end of our trade agreements and were unfairly blocking U.S. products, including one in which China was found to be imposing excessive import duties on U.S. chicken broiler parts. As we look to strengthen current trade agreements, and negotiate new ones, we must ensure that we have strong enforcement tools in place to protect our businesses and workers’ ability to compete in a fair market.