Indonesia protests EU’s restriction on crude palm oil

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has sent a strong protest note to the European Union president and the European Parliament against a recent decision to restrict exports of Indonesia’s crude palm oil to the union, The Jakarta Post Online reported on Friday (March 9).

“The President has written a letter to the EU president and parliament to express Indonesia’s rejection of and strong protest against the EU’s treatment of Indonesian palm oil,” said cabinet secretary Pramono Anung on Thursday.

In January, the European parliament endorsed a bill that would limit the use of palm oil as transportation fuel starting in 2021.  The bill includes a plan to increase renewable energy use to at least 35 percent of overall energy use but it also limits the use of biofuels.

In the letter dispatched last week, Jokowi deemed the EU’s move was a protectionist policy to protect the local cooking oil industry, said Pramono, warning that if the EU ignores the protest, Indonesia will consider taking a retaliatory measure, but he declined to elaborate.

He further said that the EU’s stance against Indonesia crude palm oil was a violation of fair trade principle.