The European Union on Friday launched a challenge against Argentina's import restrictions at the World Trade Organization, calling the Latin American country's trading and investment system "protectionist and nationalistic."
The EU, which exported 8.3 billion euros ($10.4 billion) worth of goods to Argentina last year and took in 10.7 billion euros worth of imports from the country, said the restrictive measures include Argentina's import licensing regime, particularly procedures to obtain an import license as well as forcing companies to balance imports with exports.
EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht told CNBC that Argentina's actions have resulted in uncertainty whether an import license will be issued or not and in placing the burden of ensuring the country gets imports on the shoulders of each company.
"So when you want to export to Argentina you should make sure that you can also import in Europe, which is of course not a burden that we should put on an individual company," De Gucht explained.
"All this results in a completely arbitrary imports system. What it really means is that when you produce something in Europe and have a client in Argentina you're never sure whether your products will ever reach your client. This is a very disruptive system that we cannot live with," he added.Page 1 of 3 | Next Page