Ecuador wants the European Union’s (EU) tariffs to make like a banana and split! Ecuadorian banana producers are urging the EU to fast-track efforts to create a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two trading partners.  Ecuador believes that the FTA will improve the competitiveness of the nation’s fruit by reducing tariffs, stabilizing a demand and expanding relations with the EU.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300"] Image via Edward Slipszenko[/caption]

According to Fresh Plaza, Ecuador stresses that the FTA will benefit more than four million people in its country living indirectly off the production and marketing of bananas. The sense of urgency is driven by Ecuador’s concerns that surrounding countries and banana competitors will continue to increase their market share in Europe.

Ecuador is currently paying $179 in tariffs compared to its neighbors Peru, Colombia and Costa Rica’s $117 tariff. Recent efforts to negotiate the FTA have not met expectations, but Ecuadorians continue to push their Ministry of Foreign Trade to pursue the agreement with the EU.

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