Ecuador urges banana talks resumption

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Carl Collen

BY CARL COLLEN

Ecuador urges banana talks resumption

Head negotiator Mentor Villagomez says negotiations regarding the EU's banana import tariff could resume as soon as October

Ecuador urges banana talks resumption

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Ecuador is hoping to continue talks regarding the proposed cutting of banana import tariffs by the European Union, that were scrapped following the collapse of wider free trade talks at the recent World Trade Organisation (WTO) meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

Latin American countries had originally agreed a deal with the EU in Geneva to cut the import duty on bananas from €176 per tonne to €114 per tonne by 2016, before the so-called Doha Round of talks ended without a resolution last week.

Daily newspaper El Comercio, citing Ecuador's head negotiator Mentor Villagomez, has reported that Ecuador want to revive talks in October in a bid to cut the US$201m loss that the country loses each year because of the existing EU banana import tariff.

"We will continue with the legal action and hope to exert enough pressure to solve the banana row," Mr Villagomez told the publication. "From there we hope to restart negotiations in September or October."

The WTO ruled in favour of Ecuador earlier this year when the South American country accused the EU of breaking international trade rules with its banana import system by supposedly favouring former African and Caribbean colonies.

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