Indonesia Picks Up Allies In WTO Palm Fight

August 9, 2020 |

In Indonesia, the Palm Oil Monitor reports that Indonesia has picked up a number of allies in its battle with the EU over the bloc’s ban of palm oil in its renewable energy scheme. An additional 18 countries have reserved their rights to participate in the proceedings as third parties, including palm producers Malaysia, Thailand, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Colombia, and major agricultural exporters United States, Canada, Brazil and Argentina.

There is also interest from Norway, which has made similar moves to block palm oil from its renewables programs. China is also a third party to the dispute; recycled cooking oil exports to the EU have increased significantly over recent years, and China will take interest in any potential certification barriers in the EU.

Interest from the US, in particular, is of note in light of recent comments by US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who took the EU’s Farm to Fork strategy to task in a recent debate.

Perdue stated that “as proposed, the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies will be extremely trade prohibitive and jeopardize agricultural output … When innovative tools are taken away from a farmer, the only choice is protectionism, which isn’t healthy for Europe, the US, or anywhere else in the world. Walled-off protectionist strategies only take us back, not forward.”

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Category: Policy

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