Monday, 22 October, 2018

WTO ruling favors Mexico in US 'dolphin-safe' tuna spat

A vendor holds a Mexican tuna at a fish market in Mexico City A vendor holds a Mexican tuna at a fish market in Mexico City Mexico
Ellis Copeland | 26 April, 2017, 09:51

However, the ruling could be overturned later this year if a subsequent WTO decision finds the United States has stopped discriminating against tuna caught by its southern neighbor. That's how much Mexico lost by the USA unfairly penalizing Mexican tuna for not being "dolphin safe", the WTO said.

"What we're not prepared to do is increase or create new systems of coordination, and if negotiation on other issues - migrants, border, trade - is not to Mexico's satisfaction, we'll have to review our current cooperation", he said.

Mexico's economy ministry said that it would take immediate action against US imports, including a request for $472.3 million in sanctions on imports of high-fructose corn syrup.

Mexico's statement said its tuna industry meets "the highest worldwide standards for the protection of dolphins and sustainability".

Mexico said it had cut dolphin deaths to minimal levels but that it was being discriminated against by USA demands for paperwork and sometimes government observers.

Perhaps the loss wouldn't be such a hilarious fail for the president if he didn't spend a year and a half running around the country promising that, with him in the White House, the United States would no longer lose on anything, especially when it comes to trade.

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"However, these types of measures would obviously be against not just the North American accords but particularly the rules of the World Trade Organization, and so we would have the legal means to act against them", he said.

The additional tariffs won't add much to the almost $50 billion trade deficit the US already holds with Mexico. If the WTO decides that has stopped the discrimination, Mexico would have to stop its retaliation. Mexico says its fisherman play by the rules.

"We will continue to monitor the situation and closely consult with Congress and stakeholders about next steps".

Trump has vowed to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that underpins the bulk of Mexican exports if he can not rework it in his homeland's favor, and talks between the signatories - Mexico, the United States and Canada - on modernizing the accord are expected to start later this summer.

Mexico has long complained that US fructose imports are too cheap.

Ruling on the tuna dispute, a WTO arbitrator said earlier on Tuesday that Mexico can impose annual trade sanctions worth $163.23 million against the United States.

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