The European Commission will press ahead with a new import system for bananas despite threats from the US that its actions could lead to retaliation against EU goods.

"I don't see why all of a sudden this has changed. We are convinced this is a WTO (World Trade Organisation) compatible system. This means basically we are saying we are prepared to go ahead," Commission spokesman Gregor Kreuzhuber said Thursday.

US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick indicated on Wednesday that Washington disagreed with the new import system that distributes banana import licences on a first-come, first served basis. He added that the EU actions would lead the US administration to pick a revised set of EU goods to hit with 100% duties every six months. 

The United States and the EU have been locked in a long-running transatlantic banana dispute.