International banana split mends after 20 years

WTO head Pascal Lamy celebrates a 'historic moment' as the infamous banana tariff war finally ends after two decades.

by Elizabeth Anderson
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Who knew a wonky yellow fruit could cause one of the longest international trade disputes in recent history?

Since 1991 bananas have been at the centre of a row between the EU and several Latin American countries over the import tariffs on EU bananas.

Bananas are a vital export for several Latin American economies, but the EU import tariffs favoured imports from former European colonies – something the new deal should change.

The formal signing of the deal comes after the European Union and 10 Latin American countries reached an agreement almost three years ago for the EU to gradually reduce its tariffs on imported bananas from €176 per metric ton to €114 per metric ton within eight years.

‘This is a truly historic moment,’ World Trade Organization Director General Pascal Lamy said. ‘After so many twists and turns, these complicated and politically contentious disputes can finally be put to bed.’

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