south-north development monitor - SUNS [Email Edition]

SUNS #4365
Tuesday, 2 February 1999


Trade: 30-day 'time-out' on bananas at WTO (Chakravarthi Raghavan, Geneva)

Brazil: Amidst rumours, Real tumbles again (IPS, Rio de Janeiro)

Finance: Yuan jitters show up nervous markets (IPS, Manila/Beijing)

Agriculture: CAP reforms dangerous for the South (IPS, Brussels)

Singapore: Recession chips away at the good life (IPS, Singapore)

Environment: Africa seeks help on dangerous chemicals (IPS, Nairobi)

Excerpts from selected articles:

Trade: 30-day 'time-out' on bananas at WTO

Geneva, 1 Feb (Chakravarthi Raghavan) -- There was a 30-day 'time-out' call (US football style), over the US-EC banana fight at the World Trade Organization's Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) Friday night, allowing the two sides to seek a negotiated solution.

The EC is asking for "arbitration" by the original banana panel on the $520 million trade damage claimed by the US in its trade retaliation move, and this ruling has to be given by 1 March, when the US will come back for authorization to retaliate (which the US envisages could be as early as 12 March).

The "arbitration", under Art. 22.6 of the DSU, by the reconvened banana panel on the extent of the US retaliation will be in parallel with its consideration of the reference under Art. 21.5 about the compliance of the new EC measures with the ruling.

While the panel, in an 21.5 proceeding, can ask for extension (beyond the 90-day period under the rules), the US made clear there could be no extension of the arbitration deadline of midnight of 1 March. There is a DSB meeting set for 2 March, and under the rules there is a 10-day notice period required for bringing items on the agenda...........


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