Monitor

All the News of the World World press comment on the current trade war between the US and Europe
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The Independent Culture
PRESIDENT CLINTON is wrong. He says the trade dispute between his country, the United States, and the European Community is not really about bananas. In his view it is about the rules governing the world trading system. But the President, from his position as head of the government of a state that does not grow bananas for export, keeps looking at the issue through vision impaired by myopia. He does not understand that the banana issue is more than about rules. It is about people. The penalties facing the people of the Caribbean Community if Clinton has his way would be horrendous. Community representatives in Washington should let the American Government be aware of this prospect.

Trinidad Guardian

THE EU should start treating banana imports equally, whether they are shipped from hurricane-hit Honduras by America's Chiquita or from former European colonies in the Caribbean by Ireland's Fyffes. But the WTO's dispute settlement procedures also need urgent overhaul to stop such rows from festering in future. And America and Europe must grasp the desirability of abiding by WTO judgments. The WTO, like any international organisation, ultimately relies on consent. It can work only if all its members, particularly the biggest ones, agree to act in good faith.

The Economist, UK

EUROPE IS trying to tilt its market in favor of local banana importers, aircraft manufacturers and beef farmers and ward off cheaper US competition. Since open protectionism is no longer respectable, Europe cloaks its efforts with arguments about pollution, beef hormones and the devastation that free trade in bananas would produce in former Caribbean colonies. While not entirely without merit, these arguments disguise the real motives of European governments and impede reasonable solutions. A transatlantic trade war is in nobody's interest. Further frictions are likely as the US and Europe adjust their relationship to new circumstances.

The New York Times, US

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