After one of the most protracted trade disputes in modern history, two agreements were signed that will hopefully put an end to the “banana wars”.
The Geneva Agreement on Trade in Bananas between the European Union and Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Venezuela and the Agreement on Trade in Bananas between the EU and the USA.The Geneva Agreement puts in place gradual cuts on the multilateral banana tariff from EUR 176 per tonne to EUR 114 per tonne by 2017. Furthermore, the recent EC accords from the Madrid summit in May accords preferential treatment to Colombia, Peru, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua meaning that the EUR114 per tonne will fall further to EUR 75 per tonne by 2020.
The deal will apply retrospectively from the 15 December 2009 once the European Parliament, the European Council and the WTO have approved the arrangement.
However, the bilateral accords will also provide for “trigger levels” that will lead to an increase in tariff levels in any given year if imports reach a pre-determined “quota level”.
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