Europe: Advance of Latino bananas in Europe

A 20-year dispute over banana imports has come to an end. On Thursday, the 8th of November, the European Union and 11 Latin American countries signed an agreement that puts an end to litigation and signals commitment towards reducing the maximum tariffs on bananas. The dispute (the longest in the history of multilateral trade negotiations) dates from the creation of the single European market, when a joint system of quotas and tariffs was designed to limit the import of bananas from outside Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.

In the past two decades, several Latin American countries (and the U.S.) have filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization about this preferential treatment. And with good cause, as the humble banana is one of the most popular fruits in the world with a value of approximately $ 8 billion in world export. The European Union imports about one third of traded bananas. Ecuador, one of the countries in the agreement and one of the largest producers in the world, is also the largest supplier of Europe.

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