EU and Latin America settle banana dispute
(GENEVA) - The European Union and 11 South American countries have signed an agreement at the World Trade Organization that settles eight trade dispute over bananas, the EU said Thursday.
Today's signature and notification put past disagreements fully and formally to rest, said Angelos Pangratis, EU ambassador to the WTO.
Signing of the document, which was witnessed by WTO director general Pascal Lamy, removed an irritant that plagued EU bilateral relations with Latin American partners in the past 15 years," Pangratis added.
Under the terms of the accord, first drawn up in 2009, the EU agreed to lower its tariffs on banana imports from 11 South American countries from 176 euros to 114 euros per tonne within eight years.
In return, the South American countries agreed to drop their 10-year-old complaint at the WTO.
The Latin American signatories are: Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.