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Welfare gains from liberalized banana trade and a new international banana agreement

  • Kox, Henk L.M.

    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Faculteit der Economische Wetenschappen en Econometrie (Free University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics Sciences, Business Administration and Economitrics)

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    The European Union import policy for bananas grants preferential trade access for ACP bananas and discriminates against bananas from other sources. It is shown that such trade discrimination cannot be defended by development-related motives. As a form of aid transfer to banana-exporting ACP countries, the EU import regime is highly inefficient. The effective value of financial transfers is low, while there are large associated welfare costs to domestic consumers and to non-preferred export countries. Liberalization of banana imports would create huge welfare gains which can easily be used to compensate potential losers. It is proposed that the compensation package is given the form of an International Banana Agreement. The presence of third-party gains from trade liberalization can be used to negotiate non-EU involvement in the international agreement. The agreement makes it possible to reconcile a commitment to free banana trade, promotion of ecological sustainability in banana production and promotion of socio-economic development interests of banana exporting countries.

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    Paper provided by VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics in its series Serie Research Memoranda with number 0012.

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    Date of creation: 1998
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    Handle: RePEc:vua:wpaper:1998-12
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