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Banana Wars - The Price of Free Trade


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Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. The Beginnings 3. A Benevolent Empire 4. The Windward Islands 5. Banana Wars in the Commonwealth 6. Judicial Review and Resolve to Reform 7. The European Community prior to 1993 8. The Market and the Major Players 9. Negotiating the New Regime 10. The First GATT Challenges, 1993-94 11. The Birth of the WTO: Compromise at Marrakesh 12. Chiquita and the US Campaign 13 .The First WTO Case 14. A Disputed Conformity 15. Spin and Reality 16. Seeking an Agreed Solution 17. Cotonou Complications 18. Winners and Losers 19. A Threatened Future 20. Prospects for Survival 21. Equitable Trading 22. Reflections on the WTO 23. Post Mortem Appendix: A Climate of Uncertainty

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In 2005 the last EU non-tariff measures to protect the Caribbean banana industry will end. Myers examines the likely long term impact as impoverished growers turn to narcotics production and reveals the short term corporate ambition that will expose fragile island economies to free trade pressures.

About the Author

Gordon Myers is a former senior British civil servant who, since 1993, has worked with the Caribbean Banana Exporters Association (CBEA) in trying to defend the interests of Caribbean banana growers who depend on the European market.


'Gordon Myers' expertise on the banana issue is well known. However his account of the Caribbean banana farmers' continuing struggle to survive eloquently reveals both his commitment and his concern. Current debates about world trade and unfettered liberalisation should be informed by the history of how livelihoods in the Caribbean have been destroyed, by decisions taken thousands of miles away in the US, in the EU and at the WTO. I commend The Banana Wars to all those who subscribe to the view that vulnerable banana producers need protection. The alternative is massive rural unemployment and a fall in national income levels. Unrealistic calls for diversification and restructuring should take into account the specific difficulties faced by traditional banana farmers in the Caribbean. With the prospect of enlargement of the European Union and the imminent inclusion of ten new member states, we have to protect the markets of Europe's traditional banana suppliers.' - Glenys Kinnock MEP 'Gordon Myers has written a thoroughly researched and very readable book, tracing the history of the banana as a commercial crop and placing it in the socio and political context of the Caribbean and Latin America. Its publication is both timely and relevant in the face of the global trade negotiations now in progress, and should be compulsory reading for all those in the Third World now engaged in these negotiations.' - Sir John Compton, Prime Minister of St Lucia 1982-1996

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