Chapter 11: The EU–US WTO Banana Dispute and the Evolution of the EU Banana Trade Regime
11. The EU–US WTO banana dispute and the evolution of the EU banana trade regime Robert Read* The acrimonious banana trade dispute between the European Union (EU) and the USA, which has only recently drawn to a close, was precipitated by the reorganization of the EU banana market to conform to the Single European Act. Successive EU proposals for the creation and implementation of a single market in bananas encountered substantial opposition from many quarters: from consumers within the EU, from producing countries – both preferred and non-preferred – as well as from the major ﬁrms involved in the international banana export trade. The EU–US banana trade dispute has its origins in long-standing commitments of EU member states to import bananas from former colonies in Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America and the EU’s attempts to accommodate these interests simultaneously with its obligations to internationally agreed rules on the conduct of trade. The development, course and ultimate resolution of the dispute is highly complex given the multitude of conﬂicting objectives of the many parties involved and the intricate application of international trade law under the GATT and WTO. This chapter provides an overview of the EU–US banana trade dispute from its origins, the successive legal challenges at the GATT and WTO and its ﬁnal resolution in July 2001. This requires an understanding of the structure of the international banana economy together with the workings of the initial EU banana regime and the subsequent revised regimes. The penultimate section...
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