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Last updated: 29 November, 2005 - Published 21:31 GMT
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Bananas and sugar rows continue
Latin Americans protest to the WTO
Caribbean banana producers face another Latam challenge
The Latin American bloc of banana producing countries have made a formal challenge to the European Union's new banana import tax.

Latin American ambassadors met late into the day Wednesday in Geneva, to discuss their formal response to the proposed new tariff of $206 on every metric tonne of bananas they export to Europe.

"On Friday we'll meet with the European Commissioner Marianne Fisher-Bohl, and we're going to have an exchange of views over what will happen with this new offer", Ecuador's minister at their WTO mission Cesar Montano told BBC Caribbean Radio.

That he admitted was diplomat-speak for letting her know in no uncertain terms that they're unhappy with the tax.

The EU agreed the new tax, after the WTO had rejected their proposed $219.

They've been trying to find a middle ground between Caribbean producers and the Latin Americans, but have ended up pleasing no one as the Caribbean countries still think the tax is not high enough.

Sugar battle

The EU is preparing for a possible fight on sugar as well.

African Caribbean and Pacific countries could be taking them to court over cuts in the price the EU pay for their sugar.

"Our legal experts are still examining this", Guyana's Foreign Trade Minister Clement Rohee told BBC Caribbean radio.

"They are soon to give us an opinion. We clearly have not ruled out court action on this matter".

"A joke"

Mr Rohee spoke to BBC Caribbean from Brussels, where he and other Caribbean trade ministers are discussing their tactics ahead of World Trade Organisation talks in Hong Kong in aimed at agreeing rules on global trade.

They're particularly sore about the big differences in compensation the EU are offering their own beet farmers ($8 Bn) and Caribbean farmers ($40 M).

"It's a joke", raged Mr Rohee, "talk about double standards and discrimination!"

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