ACP kwaad wegens bananen-besluit EU (17 juli)
Op 17 juli reageerden de ACP-landen op het besluit van de EU om de invoertarieven voor bananen uit Latijnsamerika te verlagen (zonder hen daarover te raadplegen). Deze stap zal een "dodelijke slag" betekenen voor bananenexporteurs uit de ACP-landen, en de ontwikkeling en de armoedebestrijding daar ernstig schaden.
Hieronder achtereenvolgens de verklaringen van de EU (16 juli) en de ACP (17 juli):
The Doha Development Agenda European Commission ready to accept Pascal Lamy's proposals on bananas, in order to make progress in Agriculture in the Doha trade talks Brussels, 16 July 2008 The European Commission has today agreed to work for a comprehensive solution to resolve the long- running banana dispute involving Latin American and African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries, on the basis of a 'good offices' proposal by WTO Director General Pascal Lamy. Resolving the issue is necessary for a successful Doha world trade deal, because it is the key to the 'tropical products' dossier in the agriculture negotiations. Given the impact, any deal should be put to the wider WTO membership EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson said: "Resolving this long running problem must be part of a final Doha deal. That means balancing the needs of two different sets of developing countries, while taking into account the interests of EU banana producers. Pascal Lamy's proposals have given us a basis to do that. I hope we can all work for a solution." The banana question has divided Latin American countries and African, Caribbean and Pacific countries who want to preserve their preferential access to the EU market, which is in many cases the key to their competitiveness. All African Caribbean and Pacific banana producers have unlimited access to the EU markets under the terms of the Economic Partnership Agreements. A solution will have to balance the needs of these two sets of developing countries. What Pascal Lamy has proposed: A tariff of EUR116 per tonne - a big cut from the existing tariff of EUR176 per tonne; Implementation until 2015 in order to allow ACP banana producers to adapt; There will be an initial tariff cut of EUR26 per tonne in the first year, a further EUR9 cut per tonne in the second year and then a 5EUR cut in each remaining year to 2015; Bananas will not be subject to additional cuts in the Doha round; Both sides will agree a 'peace clause' which will commit them to not reopening the issue. The European Commission has accepted this proposal as a basis for continued work towards a final agreement which will ultimately have to be approved by EU Member States. The EU is committed to working with both Latin American and ACP countries to find a workable solution for both sides. For more information please contact Peter POWER +32 498 980348 http://ec.europa.eu/trade/issues/newround/doha_da/pr160708_en.htm - - - - - Brussels, 17 July 2008 ACP Press Release On the basis of a "good offices" proposal, the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Mr. Pascal LAMY, has proposed a compromise solution to the banana dispute without however consulting the ACP Banana producer countries. By sanctioning such unacceptable tariff cuts, this compromise solution puts the ACP banana production in an irreversible jeopardy by giving undue advantage to the Latin-American producers who already account for 80 % of the Community's banana imports, to the detriment of the ACP and Community banana productions. Should the proposed tariff cuts be applied as things actually stand, they would deal a lethal blow to the ACP banana industry, and consequently, have an adverse effect on the ACP economies, since this crop constitutes one of the major instruments of development and a powerful factor in the regional integration process and in their fight against poverty. Under the present circumstances, this compromise solution would ruin all the ACP countries' chances of participating actively in the multilateral trade system, as strongly advocated by the multilateral financial institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank. The implementation of this proposal could only call back into question and make redundant the ongoing Economic Partnership Agreements by prompting the ACP states to question the purpose of the Doha Round. The ACP countries feel that, purely legal considerations apart, it is imperative to search for an equitable solution that takes account of the interests of all the stake holders.