Sixteen years of transatlantic banana tariff-splitting draws to a close. The EU, the US (with major distributor interest) and Latin American, African and Caribbean nations are set to initial a deal this Tuesday. This will see the world’s biggest importer of the fruit reduce the duty it charges on South American produce.
European Commissioner for Trade Benita Ferrero-Waldner said: “The European Union is clearly ready to cut the import tariffs from 176 euros per tonne which we have today until 114 euros per tonne only earliest in 2017 in seven stages.”
Europe’s banana regime has been repeatedly ruled discriminatory against the lower-priced Latin Americans by World Trade Organisation courts.
Mainly former European colonies will lose some of their longtime preferential import treatment. But growers in these African, Caribbean and Pacific countries can still expect a some 200 million euro EU aid cushion. And Europeans can look forward to cheaper fruit, more coming through US distributors.