Friday, December 18, 2009

Banana Wars: The Final Chapter (?)

The BBC reports:
The European Union has agreed a deal to cut tariffs on banana imports, signalling the end of the world's longest-running trade dispute. ...
The price of bananas could fall by 12% as a result. The formal agreement will be signed in six to nine months' time.
Duty on imported bananas will be cut from 176 euros (£158; $256) per tonne to an initial 148 euros (£133; $215). Further cuts will be made on an annual basis over the next seven years to 114 euros per tonne. ...
The move is likely to disadvantage the banana industries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (known as the ACP countries), who do not pay tariffs on imports to the EU. ...

Errol Emmanuel, acting manager of Dominica Banana Growers Limited, told the BBC World Service the agreement would hit poor farmers in the Windward Islands hardest: "These small farms are family owned. You have husband and wife and maybe one or two helpers... they don't have the resources to compete with the Doles and the Del Montes, who own vast tracts of land."
A compensation package for Dominica and the other ACP countries, worth 200m euros, is included in the deal.

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