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World Trade Organization Supports Mexico in Latest Ruling on Tuna Dispute

LADB Article ID: 80280
Category/Department: Mexico
Date: 2017-05-03
By: Carlos Navarro

Mexico scored a significant victory in the ongoing trade dispute with the US over tuna. In a decision announced in late April, the Geneva-based World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled that Mexico was within its rights to impose sanctions against the US in compensation for US restrictions that prevented imports of Mexican tuna. At issue is whether Mexico has done enough to protect dolphins during the tuna catch and whether US norms to protect dolphins during the catch are overly restrictive and discriminatory. The WTO, which has considered both questions during deliberations on the tuna dispute over the last two decades, sided with the Mexican government in its latest decision, announced on April 25. The WTO gave the Mexican government the right to impose sanctions on US products worth about US$163.23 million a year as compensation for losses due to the US restrictions. However, the amount is only about one-third of the US$472.3 million that Mexico had requested. Rather than discuss sanctions, officials at the Economy Ministry (Secretaría de Economía, SE) hinted that Mexico would settle for an easing of the US restrictions.

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