CaribWorldNews, BRUSSELS, Belgium, Fri. Mar. 19, 2010: The European Commission this week agreed to gradually cut its import tariff on bananas from Latin America from 176 Euros (US$239) per tonne to 114 Euros (US$154) over the next seven years.
The decision could effectively end the 15-year banana dispute between Europe and America over liberalisation of the banana trade.
In the eyes of banana producers from the African, Caribbean and Pacific group of nations whose banana exports have traditionally enjoyed preferential access to the European market, the deal does not augur well as it will mean an end to their preferential access to the market by the former colonies.
Among those affected by the recent banana deal are the 10 main ACP banana-exporting countries of Belize, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Suriname.
Still the ACP group stand to reap direct benefit from 190 million Euros (US$258 million) in announced compensation.
The EU plan will now go forward to the EU’s decision-making bodies – the Council and the European Parliament – for ratification.