25 January 1999
Compromise in banana battle?

EFFORTS are being made to reach an eleventh-hour compromise in the dispute between the USA and Europe over the trade in bananas, which has threatened to escalate into a full-blown trade war.

The two sides are meeting in Geneva under the auspices of Renato Ruggiero, director-general of the World Trade Organisation.

The USA is scheduled to slap a wide-range of tariffs on European imports, including pork, if no agreement is reached by tonight.

The dispute centres on a US charge that the European Union has not complied with a WTO ruling on the import of bananas from former British and French colonies in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.