12 September 1997
US dictates terms on banana trade

US under-secretary of state Stuart Eizenstat said the US would insist the European Union (EU) dismantle part of its banana import regime rather than accept compensation.

The EU has until October 25 to respond to the World Trade Organisation ruling which said that the EUs $2bn-a-year regime broke world trade rules.

The regime gave former colonies and nations with historical links to EU members preferential treatment on their exports. The EU has to have the agreement of the US in what ever action it takes.

Eizenstat is also worried about new EU meat-safety rules to halt the spread of BSE on the basis that they could block billions of dollars of US imports to Europe.

He claimed the ban had no scientific foundation. They could also lead to trade protection measures.

  • Financial Times 12/09/97 page 5