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Ecuador Files Fresh Complaint Against EU Banana Tariffs, Quotas

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Nov. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Ecuador, the world's biggest banana exporter, called on the World Trade Organization to rule that the European Union has ignored the arbiter's decisions and continues to discriminate against its shipments of the fruit.

The 25-nation bloc has lost a series of disputes with banana-growing nations led by Ecuador, Costa Rica and Colombia for the last decade over its system for allocating quotas and duty-free imports from former its colonies. The EU, the world's biggest importer of bananas, sources 3.4 million tons of its 4 million-ton consumption from Latin America.

The European Commission, the EU's executive body, said today that Ecuador's complaint is ``unfortunate.'' The EU agreed this week to renew duty-free quotas for growers in Africa and the Caribbean and since the start of the year has applied new tariff of 176 euros ($225) a ton on as much as $1.45 billion worth of bananas from Latin growers.

Bananas are the world's fourth most-valuable food crop, after wheat, rice and corn, according to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization.

[News Source]

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