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WTO Approves Banana Sanctions by Ecuador

BRIEFLY / LATIN AMERICA

March 18, 2000|Associated Press

Ecuador has received the go-ahead from the World Trade Organization to impose $201.6 million in annual sanctions against the European Union in their long-running banana dispute, diplomatic sources said. The South American nation had requested permission to impose sanctions of $450 million. Ecuador, the world's largest producer of bananas, pushed last year to impose the sanctions after a WTO ruling that the EU banana import policy discriminates against Latin American producers. The United States is already imposing sanctions of $191.2 million per year against the European Union over the same issue. The Ecuador sanctions would apply to 13 of the 15 EU members. Denmark and the Netherlands, which have consistently urged the EU to agree to U.S. demands in the banana fight, would be exempted. The European rules were declared unfair by the WTO because they favored bananas from former colonies in Africa and the Caribbean at the expense of Latin American producers and their U.S. distributors.

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