Has the WTO Gone Bananas?

Who knew bananas could be controversial? The U.S. and the EU are locked in a heated dispute over banana tariffs. Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico are also parties to the complaint. The EU gives preferential treatment to former colonies of Britain, France and Portugal for banana imports. That means most of Latin America faces unfair tariffs.

The WTO ruled last month that the EU’s tariffs violate international trade rules. The ruling isn’t the end of the matter, though. The case, which dates all the way back to February 1996, has been further delayed. Brussels objected, so the WTO is granting more time for negotiations.

One wonders what is left to negotiate after twelve and a half years.

If the EU officials had the best interest of their constituents at heart, they would drop their trade barriers. The EU’s preferential treatment of certain countries comes at European consumers’ expense — as well as the banana producers of five nations.