Finding in favor of U.S. apple export interests, the World Trade Organization has upheld their ruling that Indonesia’s import licensing regulations for imported fruit violate WTO rules.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced the WTO ruling Nov. 9, drawing quick praise from Northwest apple interests.

The Washington Apple Commission said the ruling should lead to better access for Washington apples in Indonesia, according to a news release.

“This is great news for Washington apple growers,” Todd Fryhover, president of the Washington Apple Commission, said in the release. “This ruling is also a win for Indonesian consumers as they will have better access to high-quality apples from Washington state.” 

Since 2012, Indonesia has put in place regulations and import licensing requirements that have limited access and led to $22 million in lost sales, according to the release.

Prior to the restrictions, Washington apple exports to Indonesia had been as high as $50 million. After the restrictions took effect, the release said shipments dropped by as much as 50%.

“The Northwest Horticultural Council is very appreciative of the hard work and multiple-year effort undertaken by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to enforce the trade rules agreed to by all WTO members,” Mark Powers, president of the Northwest Horticultural Council, said in the release. “This is the perfect example of the positive work (the U.S. Trade Representative) does to keep global markets open and allow our growers to sell 30% of their crop overseas.”