HC Deb 24 October 2000 vol 355 c101W
Mr. Bercow

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is his policy on the provision of temporary aid to UK businesses affected by the EU-USA banana trade dispute; and if he will make a statement. [134210]

Mr. Byers

The way to alleviate this burden from all the companies facing possible US sanctions is to find a solution to the banana dispute that is satisfactory to all parties. It is precisely this that the Government have been working hard to achieve since the US first imposed retaliation last year.

While I fully sympathise with the plight of these companies, any suggestion of offering some form of direct compensation for lost business as a result of US actions poses considerable legal difficulties, under the terms of membership of the WTO.

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