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Banana war comes to peaceful end

Today MEPs voted to lower tariffs on Latin American bananas, bringing the 15 year-long banana war to a peaceful end.

 

key_bananas.pngFor 15 years the EU has favoured bananas from small farmers in developing countries over Latin American bananas sold mainly by American companies. The aim was to encourage economic development in poor countries, and make sure small banana farmers in Africa able to generate income.

The tariff against Latin American bananas (previously $176 a tonne) will be reduced, and in return legal action taken against the EU for breaking international trade rules will be dropped.

South East MEP Catherine Bearder, who also sits on the European Parliament's international trade committee. commented, "Tariffs were put on Latin American bananas so that small farmers in Africa could compete with the US industrial machine - without this help US companies would put farmers in the developing world out of business."

"However, the WTO has found that these preferences to developing countries are in breach of international trade rules so today we agreed to reduce them."

"The advantage is that UK consumers should find our bananas get cheaper thanks to more competition between American companies and African farmers."

"The downside is that income for banana farmers in both European and the developing world will go down."

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