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Danone under fire from US sanctions?

Do the Americans really want the French? It is to be wondered. The US trade representative, the trade administration in charge of this file, could indeed, soon, put new products on the index, in particular those produced by French agri-food groups such as mineral water. Certainly " not before the G8 summit", taking place this weekend in Japan, said a diplomat.

But one fact is certain. The Americans no longer support the "protectionist" positions of the Europeans aimed, on the one hand, at favoring bananas from Martinique, Guadeloupe and Africa over those from America, and, on the other hand, at limiting the import of meat with hormones made in the USA, and are determined to hit where it hurts. Since April and September 1999, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has thus authorized the United States to take retaliatory measures to the tune of 308 million dollars. Sanctions that take the form of a 100% customs increase. A deterrent amount, in other words!

Especially since, supreme refinement, the Americans can regularly modify, every six months, the list of products concerned. Beef, Roquefort cheese, tomatoes, fruit juices and electric coffee makers subject to such a rate increase could soon be joined by mineral water, peaches, biscuits and other wafers. At Danone, one of the most targeted agri-food groups, yesterday we preferred not to comment on this process, poetically designated by experts, “Carrousel”…

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Published in France-Soir, July 2000

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).