TRADE: The New Export Cartel

Ever since the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries began raising oil prices unilaterally last fall, the industrialized world has had a nagging fear that producers of some other major commodity would follow their example. Last month it happened: seven nations that produce 80% of the world supply of a widely used commodity banded together to increase export taxes a staggering 4,900%. The product: bananas.

The new cartel, named Union de Paises Exportadores del Banano (Union of Banana Exporting Countries), was formed by Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. It proposes...

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