EU panel approves cuts in Latin American banana tariffs
The International Trade Commission of the European Parliament approved an agreement to lower European Union tariffs on banana imports from Central American countries, according to Guatemalan news website PrensaLibre.com.
According to the agreement, the tariff for bananas from Latin America would be reduced gradually from 176 euros (US $236) per metric ton to 148 euros (US $198) and finally to 114 euros (US $153), the website said. The process would take about eight years.
Drafted in late 2009, the pact was signed by the EU, U.S., Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Brazil, Peru and Venezuela.
In practice, the tariff decline has already started on a provisional basis with several countries in Latin America, the website said.
The accord must be reviewed and ratified by several other panels before it is finalized.