Panama backs WTO banana ruling

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Carl Collen


Panama backs WTO banana ruling

The country's minister of trade and industry has called on the EU to implement tariff changes initially agreed at July's trade discussion in Geneva

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Panama has welcomed the World Trade Organisation (WTO) verdict that the European Union's import tariff on Latin American bananas breaches global trade rules.

"It is clear that each occasion when there has been a vote on the banana import regime before the WTO, the result is the same," Gisela Alvarez de Porras, minister of trade and industries for Panama, told local press. "This should open a working space that concludes with the application of a tariff which really guarantees the stability of our producers and exporters to that market."

The minister added that the EU should move to re-establish the agreement reached at the Doha round of world trade talks that took place in Geneva during July, when a reduction in tariffs was muted but never confirmed due to the collapse of wider talks.

Latin American countries are currently subject to a tariff of €176 on bananas exported to the EU, while former European colonies in African-Caribbean-Pacific regions can export bananas tariff-free.

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