Belgium, self-proclaimed inventor of the French fry or chip, urged Europe on Friday to help it fight a tariff slapped on its iconic export by Colombia. Despite being widely dubbed “French”, fries are a prized product in Belgium and its frites culture was added to the UNESCO cultural treasures list last year.
Colombia, however, accuses Belgian, Dutch and German agribusiness of dumping cheap chips on its market and undercutting struggling local producers. Belgian firms deny this, and Foreign Minister Didier Reynders says he will ask the European Commission to bring the issue to the World Trade Organization.
“I have had many meetings with our Colombian friends … but until now without any real effect,” Reynders said as he arrived at an EU trade council.
On November 1, Bogota decided to impose anti-dumping duties on frozen fries from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.