25 October 1999
EU plan to end banana war

EU NEGOTIATORS have finalised plans for reform of its banana trade thereby avoiding a trade war with the USA over the issue.

Officials are working on plans that would commit the EU to implementing interim changes to quota regimes before introducing a tariff-only regime by about 2005.

They are confident the changes are compatible with World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

The US imposed $191 million (£115m) of tariff sanctions on EU exports earlier this year after a WTO panel ruled that the EU banana quotas and licensing regime broke the organisations rules.

The EUs existing imports regime is designed to giver preferential access to African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.

Their economics would be badly damaged if their producers had to pay the same tariffs as the more competitive Latin American countries.