01 March 1999
WTO to examine banana battle

THE disputes settlement body of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) meets this week to discuss the legality of US threats to impose trade sanctions on the European Union (EU) in the battle over banana imports.

WTO officials will examine the controversial Section 301 of US trade law, which Washington is using to threaten sanctions against the EU.

The USA has rejected EU claims that Section 301 contravenes WTO principles prohibiting unilateral trade actions.

But the USA acknowledges that WTO procedures mean that any action must be cleared before sanctions are imposed.

Brussels insists no sanctions should be imposed before a WTO ruling in April on the EUs amended banana import regime.