SALISES MPhil / PhD Students

It’s Only Bananas? A Global Americans Review of Richard L. Bernal’s "Corporate versus National Interest in U.S. Trade Policy: Chiquita and Caribbean Bananas"

One does not usually think of bananas as big business, let alone as a factor in the fate of nations. But according to Statista, in 2019 the banana was the world’s most produced fruit crop, ahead of watermelons, oranges, and apples. It is estimated that the global banana trade generates around USD $8 billion a year, a tidy sum for primary exporters such as Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Honduras. Considering the economic significance of the banana market, then, it should come as no surprise that bruising trade wars have been fought over the fruit known by some as “green gold.” One of the more ignominious chapters in the corporate history of the banana came in the 1990s, when the American multinational company Chiquita lobbied the United States government into seeking to end the Caribbean’s preferential banana trade regime with the European Union (EU). This battle had only one winner—Chiquita. Read more ...