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Friday, 19 November, 1999, 17:15 GMT
WTO: arbitration in EU-Ecuador banana dispute



The World Trade Organisation has decided to appoint an arbitrator to decide what amount of sanctions Ecuador can impose on the European Union in their trade dispute over bananas.

The decision was announced at the WTO in Geneva, where Ecuadorian representatives were seeking permission to impose sanctions worth four-hundred-and-fifty million dollars.

The figure represents the income Ecuador says it has lost as a result of the EU's restrictive banana import regime.

But the EU, which has proposed some reforms to its quota system, challenged the amount and wanted arbitration. The WTO has twice ruled that EU's policies discriminate against Latin American banana producers and their American marketing companies in favour of former European colonies in the Caribbean.

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