ANNOUNCEMENT 03 Nov 2017
On 3 November 2017, the Indonesian Minister of Trade announced at a press conference at the 13th Indonesian Palm Oil Conference and 2018 Price Outlook in Nusa Dua, Bali, that Indonesia is willing to retaliate if the European Union introduces further regulations to curb the imports of crude palm oil.
The Indonesian Ministry of Trade did not issue an official statement on this matter. However, numerous Indonesian press agencies have consistently reported on this statement.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
"Indonesia Readies for Potential Trade War Should EU Curb Palm Oil Imports", Jakarta Globe, 3.11.2017. Available at:
"Mendag Sebut Siap Perang Dagang demi Sawit", CNN Indonesia, 3.11.2017. Available at:
"Indonesia Siap Hadapi Perang Dagang Sawit dengan Eropa", Republika.co.id, 3.11.2017. Available at:
The Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita threatened to halt the export of crude palm oil if the European Commission continues to "disrupt our palm oil [exports]". The Minister was cited by Jakarta Globe saying "I told them that this is unfair, if it continues like this […] You start a trade war."
Lukita was also cited by CNN Indonesia saying: "Would it [the trade war] occur, could we stop it [the export of crude palm oil to the EU] for a month? What would happen in Europe in the winter?".
According to the press reports (cf. Sources), the European Union has introduced steps to phase out the use of palm oil in its mix of biofuels, mainly for environmental reasons. Furthermore, France has recently issued a regulation increasing the de facto import duty on palm oil that is not considered to be environmentally friendly (cf. Related state acts).
The Trade Minister was also quoted by CNN Indonesia that day (3.11.2017) saying that Indonesia could temporarily ban the import of milk powder from the European Union: "I could interfere with the import of their milk powder, so it could attack their breeders and it would be disturbed (trading performance), so it's better to be fair".