15 December 1998
EU in new banana initiative

THE European Union has taken a new tack in the dispute with the USA over bananas by asking the World Trade Organisation (WTO) for a ruling on the controversial trading arrangement.

The move comes as the USA prepares to publish a final list of EU exports on which it is threatening sanctions in retaliation over the dispute.

The USA has threatened an all-out trade war on the issue, but Brussels says it intends to challenge these measures if published.

The dispute centres on the European Unions preferential trading arrangement on bananas imported from former British and French colonies in the Caribbean, Africa and the Pacific.