The European Union recently blocked a wto investigation into its banana import tariffs, with reference to an arbitration process started by Latin American countries against it.
wto has repeatedly ruled against eu's banana import regime, forcing it to change its system that favours the African, Caribbean and Pacific (acp) countries. eu says its 2006 schedule has brought rules for banana imports in line with wto rulings. But Ecuador, the world's largest banana producer, is challenging eu's claim. Though eu blocked the first request for a compliance panel, Ecuador has the chance to make a second request later in March. In the last quarter of 2006, banana imports from Latin Amrican countries raised by 10 per cent, while that from acp countries raised by 20 per cent.
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