Ecuador Leads Banana Negotiations

February 11, 2005

QUITO (EFE) – Ecuadorian officialsannounced this week they plan to begincontacts with various countries in theEuropean Union to argue against a proposedE.U. tariff hike on bananas importedfrom Latin America.The European Union officially notifiedthe World Trade Organization (WTO)last week of its intent to raise the tarifffrom 75 euros ($98) to 230 euros ($300)per ton, effective in 2006 (TT, Feb. 4).“Ecuador will begin contacts withEuropean countries to sensitize themregarding the banana problem,” saidFernando Yépez, world trade director forthe Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry.He suggested other Latin Americannations follow suit. On Jan. 25, the presidentsof Ecuador, Costa Rica, Colombia,Panama and Guatemala, along with representativesfrom Nicaragua and Honduras,signed the Quito Declaration to expresstheir opposition to the increase (TT, Jan.28).With the exception of Nicaragua, thesame countries reiterated their stance in astatement to the WTO this week.Yépez expressed hope for negotiations,saying there are “profound differences”within E.U. countries regarding the tariff.Yépez said the Latin American countrieswill likely request WTO arbitration ifEurope does not relax its position.Ivonne Baki, Ecuador’s TradeMinister, said the United States supportsthe Latin American banana-producingcountries’ position.Although the United States does notexport bananas, U.S. multinational corporationssuch as Dole and Chiquita operatebanana plantations throughout LatinAmerica, giving Washington, D.C. a reasonto put pressure on the WTO in favorof a lower tariff.

You may be interested

Adaptive surfing, part II: The story of Dean Bushby
sports
171 views
sports
171 views

Adaptive surfing, part II: The story of Dean Bushby

Ellen Zoe Golden - May 22, 2018

A three-part look at adaptive surfing in Costa Rica. Read Part I here to learn how a Central Pacific coach is…

Costa Rica launches Pride Connection network
Human rights
218 views
Human rights
218 views

Costa Rica launches Pride Connection network

Elizabeth Lang - May 22, 2018

As Costa Rica continues to grapple with the disagreements about marriage equality and gender identity that dominated the second round…

Costa Rica at a glance: top news from the past week
The Alvarado Administration
232 views
The Alvarado Administration
232 views

Costa Rica at a glance: top news from the past week

The Tico Times - May 21, 2018

Newly inaugurated Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado is closing in on two weeks on the job. Here are some of…