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Bananas

Volume 300: debated on Wednesday 5 November 1997

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To ask the President of the Board of Trade if she will place in the Library those parts of the world trade agreement relevant to its recent finding in respect of bananas together with a copy of the full finding or judgment, stating where, when and in what manner it was made and to whom it was addressed in the first instance. [13391]

A copy of "The Results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations", which includes the agreements relevant to the recent World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruling on the European Community banana regime, is currently in the Library of the House. The WTO Dispute Settlement Body ruling was sent to H.E. Mr. Roderick Abbott, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the European Communities to the WTO on 9 September 1997 and was adopted at the WTO Dispute Settlement Body meeting of 25 September 1997. Copies of both Panel and the Appellate Body rulings have been placed in the Library of the House.

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what persons, and from which national or community body, represented United Kingdom interests in the course of proceedings at the World Trade Organisation concerning the arrangements of trade in bananas; what was the nature of the negotiating mandate given to that person and by whom; and to what body, other than Her Majesty's Government were (i) the nature of such a mandate and (ii) its existence communicated. [13389]

A World Trade Organisation (WTO) Dispute Settlement Panel was established in May 1996 to consider a complaint against the European Community's banana regime, following unsuccessful consultations with the complainant countries (the United States, Guatemala, Mexico, Ecuador and Honduras). Since the European Community (EC) has competence in external trade matters, United Kingdom interests in the subsequent proceedings at the WTO were represented by officials from the Commission Legal Services. The EC defended its policy and the United Kingdom supported the Commission's defence of this policy. A negotiating mandate was not required in this case. The framework for the conduct of the EC's common commercial policy is set out in Article 113 of the EC Treaty.