Santer pleads to Clinton over banana battle

12 November 1998

Santer pleads to Clinton over banana battle

JACQUES SANTER, the European Commission president, has stepped into the escalating trade battle over bananas between Europe and the USA with a personal plea to President Bill Clinton.

He says proposed US trade sanctions against European exports would be against the rules of the World Trade Organisation, in a letter to President Clinton. He also warns the President that the European Union will be filing a complaint with the WTO.

Mr Santers initiative comes after the USA said it would levy 100% duties on a broad range of products unless the European Union reformed its banana regime by 1 January.

The trade battle emanates from Europes special deal on bananas with the former colonies – “ACP” (Africa, Caribbean, Pacific) countries – of France and Britain. The World Trade Organisation said last year that this relationship was discriminatory.

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