Trade war drives carton maker bananas

Beamglow Ltd, a carton manufacturer, has had 100 per cent import tariffs imposed on its exports to the USA as a result of the so-called banana wars trading dispute between Europe and the US.

The Cambridgeshire firm alleges it lost over £2m in turnover, and was forced to close its New York office as a direct result of the tariff.

The banana controversy began in 1993 when the World Trade Organisation found the EU guilty of unfairly subsidising Afro-Caribbean and Pacific banana producers.

In retaliation, the US authorities placed 100% tariffs on a number of imported goods to protect growers like these in Costa Rica. Negotiations have failed to find a solution.

As a result, Beamglow claims it has been forced to pursue the EU for substantial damages.

Brian Griffin, a director of Beamglow said: ‘We are taking action because of the block that effectively the European authorities have placed on our competitive activities in the US.’

Deloitte & Touche’s Bob Fletcher, who is helping Beamglow assess its claim, said the EC is leaving some firms at a competitive disadvantage.

Related reading