VICENZA, Italy - Italian battery maker Fiamm SpA is suing the European Union for damages suffered as a result of the so-called 'banana trade war' with the USA.
In March, the USA imposed punishing import duties on a variety of European products after the EU refused a World Trade Organization order to open up its banana market.
Fiamm batteries are among the European goods that are now subject to a 100 percent import duty in the USA. But the company has not raised its prices there as it is afraid of losing market share.
Fiamm, based in Vicenza, northeast Italy, is claiming $16.3 million in compensation. The company said the EU has been slow to resolve the long-running dispute.
Fiamm has transferred some production to the USA and boosted production in the Czech Republic, a country not affected by the sanctions.
Fiamm Chairman Giovanni Dolcetta said: 'We do not accept the point that European companies have to face the consequences of an EU decision related to the import of bananas.'
Fiamm also plans to close its plant in Anderlecht, Belgium, in November. The plant, which has a work force of 190, produced about 1 million car batteries last year.