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Court Ruling Reignites U.S.-Mexico Dispute On Tuna Imports

LADB Article ID: 53915
Category/Department: Mexico
Date: 2000-04-26
By: LADB Staff

A ruling by a US federal judge reignited the dispute between the US and Mexico on tuna exports. In a decision handed down in mid-April, US District Judge Thelton Henderson ruled that the US Commerce Department did not have the authority to designate tuna imports from Mexico as "dolphin safe." The ruling marked the first dispute on tuna trade since the US Congress voted to end a ban on tuna imports from Mexico and five other countries in July 1997. The US imposed the embargo in 1990 because of concerns that fishing methods employed by Mexico and the other countries were harming dolphin populations in the eastern Pacific Ocean. The legislation approved in 1997 directed the Commerce Department to use the "dolphin-safe" label, which certifies that imported tuna was captured via methods designed to protect dolphin populations (see SourceMex, 1997-08-06). Controversy centers on use of "dolphin-safe" label The Commerce Department was preparing to allow the "dolphin-safe" label to be used for tuna imports from Mexico.

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