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U.S., EU Split On Bananas Shakes Up Trade

The U.S. is still a couple of months away from slapping 100% duties on several hundred million dollars worth of European Union (EU) goods from cashmere to chandeliers -- a result of a transatlantic trade dispute over bananas. Meanwhile, France is taking the lead among the EU's 15 member countries in calling for tough reprisals if the U.S. acts. "By releasing a list of European imports targeted for retaliation, the U.S. has chosen unilateral action. This behavior calls for a response," says the French government. The U.S. is accusing the EU of shirking its trade obligations by favoring banana imports from former European colonies in the Caribbean and Africa, and the proposed duties are designed to pressure the EU into giving U.S. banana companies greater access to its market. The EU also is taking the dispute to the World Trade Organization.

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