By Tom Miles
GENEVA (Reuters) - The United States and Japan have launched complaints at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over Argentina's import licensing rules, which they say discriminate against foreign goods, the trade body said on Tuesday.
The complaints follow similar litigation brought by the European Union in May.
About 20 countries have criticised Argentina's rules at the WTO, contributing to a sharp worsening of its international trade relationships since President Cristina Fernandez decided to seize control of oil firm YPF from its parent, Spain's Repsol, in April.
Both the new complaints allege that Argentina's rules "do not appear to be related to the implementation of any measure justified under the WTO Agreement".
The European Union had made the same point, adding that the licensing rules "instead aimed at advancing the Argentinean Government's stated policies of re-industrialization, import substitution and elimination of trade balance deficits".
(Additional reporting by Hugh Bronstein in Buenos Aires; Editing by Jon Boyle)