San José Backs Ecuador In EU Banana Battle

January 23, 2009

Costa Rica is supporting Ecuador’s latest move in the World Trade Organization to challenge the European Union’s refusal to lower tariffs on banana imports from this region, trade officials said Wednesday.

“All the producing countries feel tricked,” Foreign Trade Minister Marco Vinicio Ruiz said of Latin America’s dismay at the EU’s failure to meet an agreement signed during the July 2008 Doha round. “(European nations) have left Latin American exporters totally defenseless.”

Ecuador and Costa Rica, the world’s second- and third-largest banana exporters respectively, after the Philippines, have condemned the EU’s preferential treatment toward former colonies in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific in allowing dutyfree, quota-free access into the European market, while maintaining tariffs for Latin American countries.

 

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