Posted by on Jun 10, 2015

The newest in the ongoing dispute over dolphin-safe labels on tuna cans between Mexico and the U.S. is that the U.S. government has now decided to pursue an appeal of certain parts of the WTO ruling which considers dolphin-safe labelling on tuna cans discriminatory towards Mexican tuna. The impugned U.S. tuna measures were found to be inconsistent with Article 2.1 of the Technical Barriers to Trade (“TBT”) Agreement because they imposed differing certification and verification requirements based on the fishery where the tuna was caught. Article 2.1 of the TBT Agreement clearly states that regulations must be implemented in a non-discriminatory manner, so that foreign products are treated no less favourably than domestic products. The U.S. is basing their appeal on an erroneous legal interpretation in the WTO Panel’s report. As a result of the U.S.’ measures, the Mexican fishing industry is estimated to have lost over USD 680 million in 2014 alone. Mexico has alluded to the fact that it may eventually take retaliatory measures against the U.S.