The World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled Monday, August 1st, in favor of Brazil and eight other Latin American countries that had challenged an increase in the European Union’s tariff on bananas scheduled to take effect next year.
The European Commission planned to increase tariffs on Latin American bananas from 75 euros (US$ 91) to 230 euros (US$ 279) per ton. Latinamericans argued they would have a “devastating effect” for the region.
Currently Latinamerican banana exports to EU are limited but the duty per ton never exceeds 75 euros. Proposals to replace quotas with higher duties would cost producers more and threaten livelihoods, the group of Latin American countries had claimed.
WTO officials concluded that “this increase is significant” and makes Latin American banana producers’ access to the European market more difficult.
Once WTO officially communicates its decision to the sides involved, EU will have ten days to propose a new tariff system.
Latin American countries covered by the ruling are Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama, Brazil, Venezuela and Nicaragua
Mercopress – www.mercopress.com
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