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In the latest round of the so-called “banana war” between the United States and the European Union, the World Trade Organization’s April 6 ruling reaffirmed the illegality of the European Union’s banana import regulations and approved retaliatory tariffs of almost $200 million by the United States. On April 9, the U.S. Trade Representative announced a list of specific European products subject to retaliation. This dispute, which has frustrated diplomats and amused headline writers for years, may appear both absurd and mundane, but the puzzling stubbornness of the European Union in this matter has troubling implications for the rule of law in international matters.

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