17 November 1998
USA backs off from EU banana war

THE USA looks like it is stepping back from a confrontation with the European Union over bananas.

Although US officials are not admitting so publicly, the actions of one of their fellow complainants to the World Trade Organisation suggest this is the case.

Ecuador has asked for the case to be reconsidered by the WTO panel. The request will mean the USA is expected to join in the panel discussions.

Last week, the US Government raised the stakes in its dispute with the EU over bananas when it published a preliminary list of imports from the Continent on which it may impose 100% duties.

Brussels responded by threatening a WTO case if sanctions are imposed.