Last Tuesday the European Parliament approved the incorporation of Ecuador into the free trade agreement that it has had with Peru and Colombia for several years. This agreement will mainly benefit the banana sector, as both parties already had other agreements stipulating low tariffs for other fruits.
The agreement will also benefit the Ecuadorian plantain sector. According to Maria Auxiliadora Rodríguez, of the Association of Plantain Exporters in Ecuador (ASOEXPLA), "the earlier agreement with the European Union did not impose any tax on plantains because they were exempt from them, thanks to the Certificate of Origin. However, if we did not sign this agreement, plantains would have started paying a 16% tariff, starting January 2017, which would definitely hurt the sector. In conclusion, the agreement also benefited the plantain sector."
It's worth noting that Ecuador abandoned talks on this multiparty agreement in 2009, which was signed with Peru and Colombia in 2012 and that has granted trade benefits to these countries. Given the clear advantages of this agreement, the European Union and Ecuador resumed negotiations in January 2014 and achieved an agreement in July of that same year.
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María Auxiliadora Rodríguez ArcosAsoexpla