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Westlake Village, CA - March 09, 2001
Dole Food Company, Inc. (NYSE: DOL) today announced that The Washington Times published Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David H. Murdock's article on the United States-European Union trade war over bananas. The article was published in the editorial section of The Washington Times.
In his article, Mr. Murdock articulated Dole Food Company's long-held support for free trade and open competition. After noting that the company was badly injured by the illegal banana regime implemented by the European Union in 1993, Mr. Murdock stated that "The European Union has finally committed to an open and competitive banana market 'no later than 1 January 2006.'" Mr. Murdock noted that the European Union is "heading in the right direction."
The article urges the new Bush Administration's United States Trade Representative to negotiate with the European Union on the basis of the European Union's new legislation to implement a tariff only market in 2006 and to allocate access to its quota market in the interim on the basis of a "first-come first-served" system.
Mr. Murdock writes that the illegal discrimination against United States service providers, Dole and Chiquita, will be eliminated by the "first-come first-served" system. Dole believes that "the discrimination of the current illegal system is eliminated because all applicants will be treated equally and each applicant gains market access in the same proportion as every other applicant based on the applicant's actual commitment of bananas to the European Union." Only operators who are at risk with ships already on the water are eligible for access to the European market. Dole believes that this system will benefit those banana exporters that invest in the jobs, people, countries and infrastructure that it takes to grow markets, open trade and compete.
Mr. Murdock objected to the Clinton Administration's effort to negotiate on the basis of awarding market access only to certain importers based on their historic market shares of five to ten years ago. This proposal, Mr. Murdock writes, would result in a managed market with guaranteed market shares. It also "draws from a period of time the illegal regime was in effect" a period already condemned by the WTO panel that decided the case.
Dole believes that the current European Union "first-come first-served" proposal comports with the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and will eliminate the already condemned discrimination against the United States service providers. Mr. Murdock urged the Bush Administration to negotiate the European proposal on terms beneficial to United States free trade and competition principles and to put an end to the banana trade war with the European Union.
The full text of the article can be accessed at www.dole.com.
Dole Food Company, Inc., with 2000 revenues of $4.8 billion, is the world's largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and fresh-cut flowers, and markets a growing line of packaged foods.
This release contains forward-looking statements based on current expectations that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements, which are based on management's current expectations, are generally identifiable by the use of terms such as "will," and similar expressions. The potential risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied herein include weather-related phenomena; market responses to industry volume pressures; product and raw materials supplies and pricing; changes in interest and currency exchange rates; economic crises in developing countries; and quotas, tariffs and other governmental actions. Further information on the factors that could affect Dole's financial results is included in its SEC filings, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K.
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