hailed the result as "a triumph for the WTO and the rule of law in international
trade". He said that while all problems have not been resolved, "we are now in a
position to find the necessary solution inside the WTO rules".
Director-General's proposal, made on 25 January, both parties would enter into
consultations immediately to find a mutually-agreed solution to their dispute over trade
in bananas. They also would follow the WTO dispute-settlement procedures under which the
US request for suspension of concessions against the EC would be authorized by the DSB
only after the decision of an arbitrator on the level of suspension of concessions. The
arbitrator in this case would be the original panel that had examined the EC's banana
Chairman, Ambassador Kamel Morjane (Tunisia), proposed a similar solution at the resumed
DSB meeting on 29 January.
the EC and the United States said they were not satisfied completely with the proposal.
Nonetheless, the EC requested arbitration of the level of suspension of concessions. As a
result, no action was taken on the US request.
EC and the United States paid tribute to the Director-General, the DSB Chairman and other
delegations for their efforts to find a solution.
praised the two parties for their statesmanship in arriving at a solution that prevented a
breakdown of the system.
said that members should not forget, underneath the legal wranglings of the past few days,
the plight of small populations dependent on export of bananas for their livelihood.
DSB meeting was supposed to start on Monday, 25 January. The United States had inscribed
on the agenda a request for authorization to suspend the application to the EC of tariff
concessions covering trade in the amount of US$520 million. It said that this amount
represented loss in US exports due to what it said was the EC's failure to implement the
DSB recommendations on bananas. The United States stressed that under the rules, the DSB
is required to grant such a request.
C˘te d'Ivoire and St. Lucia initially opposed the inclusion of what they described as an
"illegal" US request on the DSB agenda, with the EC expressing support for their
position. This effectively blocked the DSB from convening its meeting until Thursday, 28
January and resulted in long discussions over DSB procedures.