Bloomberg News

Mexico Appeals WTO Ruling on U.S. Limits on Tuna Imports

February 03, 2012

(Updates with WTO ruling details in fourth paragraph.)

Jan. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Mexico appealed a World Trade Organization ruling that U.S. curbs on imports of Mexican tuna, designed to protect dolphins, are more restrictive than needed.

Sales of Mexican tuna to the U.S. have been limited since 1991 under Commerce Department provisions that determine when products can be labeled as dolphin-safe. The U.S. adopted the rules in response to complaints that Mexico’s fishing techniques hurt dolphins. Mexico says its tuna-catching practices and regulations meet global standards.

The U.S. appealed the WTO’s Sept. 15 ruling last week and Mexico said at the time it planned to appeal the panel’s rejection of its claim that the labeling provisions are discriminatory. Mexico filed its appeal yesterday, the Geneva- based trade arbiter said on its website today.

WTO judges found that the dolphin-safe provisions “are more trade-restrictive than necessary to achieve a legitimate objective, taking into account the risks that non-fulfillment would create.”

The Appellate Body has three months to issue its report on the appeals.

--Editors: Leon Mangasarian, Eddie Buckle.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jennifer M. Freedman at jfreedman@bloomberg.net


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