August 6, 2018 / 1:26 PM / in 3 months

US seeks $350 million annual sanctions in Indonesia trade dispute

GENEVA, Aug 6 (Reuters) - The United States has asked the World Trade Organization to let it impose sanctions on Indonesia after winning a trade dispute that it said cost U.S. business up to $350 million in 2017, a U.S. filing published by the WTO showed on Monday.

The United States and New Zealand both won WTO rulings last year against Indonesian import restrictions on food, plants and animal products, including apples, grapes, potatoes, onions, flowers, juice, dried fruit, cattle, chicken and beef.

Indonesia also lost an appeal.

The latest U.S. filing said Indonesia had not complied with the ruling, so Washington was seeking annual sanctions to compensate for the damage done to U.S. interests.

“Based on a preliminary analysis of available data for certain products, this level is provisionally estimated at up to approximately $350 million for 2017,” it said.

“The United States will update this figure annually, as Indonesia’s economy continues to expand.”

The process of seeking compensation often take years, and Indonesia is likely to contest that claim that it has not complied as well as the size of any potential sanctions.

There was no immediate sign of a similar sanctions request from New Zealand, which said last year Indonesia’s restrictions were estimated to have cost New Zealand beef sector up to NZ$1 billion. ($673 million)

$1 = 1.4861 New Zealand dollars Reporting by Tom Miles Editing by Richard Balmforth

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