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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Ban on the importation of tomato paste and concentrate into Ghana
Author:Kufuor, Kofi OtengISNI
Periodical:African Journal of International and Comparative Law
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:import restrictions
trade policy
food industry
Abstract:In August 2007, Ghana's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Presidents Special Initiatives (MOTI) announced a ban on imported tomato paste and concentrate. The ban took effect from 1 November 2007. The import ban is a deviation from the commitment to trade liberalization demonstrated since the early 1980s and is one of the few instances where MOTI has moved to grant new levels of protection to domestic industry. The author explores the motives for the import ban and the institutional and organizational issues the ban throws up. The article outlines the state of the tomato and tomato paste industry in Ghana, the pressures it has come under as a consequence of trade liberalization, and the lobbying for protection by industry participants (part 1); sketches the contours of Ghana's trade policy (part 2); examines the legal issues surrounding the ban (part 3); examines the decisionmaking process within MOTI, noting that consumers were excluded from this process and that the import ban can thus be described as the sale of monopoly privileges to the local tomato processing industry (part 4); examines the role the courts can play in foreign trade regulation and identifies an emerging trend towards judicializing Ghana's foreign trade (part 5). The question as to whether the action taken is consistent with WTO law will most probably never be fully settled. However, it is plausible to assume at this point that MOTI is inclined to keep its protectionist measures as opaque as possible in the hope of avoiding or minimizing the likelihood of a WTO-based complaint. At the same time, the shortcomings of the domestic tomato industry are probably a combination of factors that cannot be tackled with a slide into protection. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]