Latin America Rejects New Banana Tariff

September 16, 2005

THE leaders of banana-producing nations in Latin America flatly rejected the European Union’s most recent proposed tariff of 186 euros ($230) per ton on their bananas, the daily La Nación reported. The proposal is the first since the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled that the 230- euro ($283) tariff proposed last year would affect the Latin American countries’ access to the European market (TT, Aug. 5). The current tariff is 75 euros ($92).According to the daily, Costa Rican Trade Minister Manuel González announced that the Latin American countries will take the issue to the WTO conference to be held in Hong Kong in December.Leaders from Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Colombia and Ecuador met here in July to discuss a common front against the proposed E.U. tariffs, which many leaders have said would cost their economies thousands of jobs (TT, July 15).In Costa Rica, 8,000 jobs could be eliminated if the tariff increase takes effect, according to the Costa Rican National Banana Corporation (CORBANA).

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