9 March 1999 - banana analysis

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A banana analyst follows the threads of the banana trade war.

“Let’s see, Europe cares deeply for small, helpless banana producers, so it aids its old colonies with quotas and complicated arrangements. OK. The U.S. loves free trade above all else, so it enlists its multinational banana companies to fight back. Excellent. The dispute drags on for years, as a good international conflict should. Finally the World Trade Organization slips up and issues a couple of rulings against Europe, uh oh. Fortunately Europe dodges the bullet by making irrelevant changes and claiming compliance. Close call there, the battle might have ended prematurely. Then when the WTO is expected to issue another ruling, it cleverly delays with requests for sensitive commercial information. Go team! The U.S. presses its advantage by imposing illegal sanctions, pretending that they’re conditional on the future WTO ruling. That’s a hard move to evaluate; it does complicate the situation, which is super, but there’s a risk that America may win the trade war. Overall, though, I’d say the odds are strong that I can keep my job for years.”

the Daily Whale || copyright 1999, 2014 Jay J.P. Scott <jay@satirist.org>