Why another Legal Victory in Geneva May Not Mean More Indonesian Clove Cigarettes in the US Market


by Michelle Ayu Chinta Kristy, Groningen

The World Trade Organization recently repudiated the United States’ barrier to Indonesian clove cigarettes. This is certainly a well deserved victory and reflects well on our government’s brave efforts to facilitate Indonesian trade and thus assist local producers, manufacturers, and distributors.

Indonesia’s bravery in taking on a global superpower over politically sensitive products is clear. And, “cloves”, as the case is known by WTO insiders, certainly reflects the rigorously judicial nature of dispute settlement at the WTO such that a developing country could triumph over the U.S. Indeed, while the Doha Round’s apparent failure leads many to doubt the WTO’s value, it must be recognized as one of the WTO’s resounding accomplishments that it provides all Members, including historically marginalized developing countries, equal access to binding dispute settlement.

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