EU cuts import tariffs in a bid to end 'banana wars'
- The European Union has agreed a deal to cut tariffs on banana imports, signalling the end of the world's longest-running trade dispute. Banana producers in Latin America will be subject to lower EU import tariffs as a result of the deal.
This should make them more competitive with producers in Africa and the Caribbean, who pay no tariff.
The price of bananas could fall by 12% as a result. The formal agreement will be signed in six to nine months' time.
Duty on imported bananas will be cut from 176 euros (£158; $256) per tonne to an initial 148 euros (£133; $215). Further cuts will be made on an annual basis over the next seven years to 114 euros per tonne.
The deal was being "initialled" in Geneva on Tuesday afternoon by the various trade representatives.
"I am delighted that we have finally found a way to solve the bananas dispute with a compromise that works for all sides," said European Commission President José Manuel Barroso.
"This is an important boost for the multilateral system".