Mexican ambassador to Washington, Arturo Sarukhán. (Photo: Stockfile)
Imminent tuna agreement with US expected
Friday, November 16, 2012, 02:00 (GMT + 9)
The US and Mexican governments are working on finding a solution to an unresolved several decade-long conflict: the requirement that the tuna imported by the United States bears the label "Dolphin Safe," which guarantees the protection of dolphins.
Mexico argues that this label discriminates the national tuna fleet, since it uses another method to capture the tuna with nets.
Now the Mexican ambassador to Washington, Arturo Sarukhan, says that both countries are close to resolving the dispute.
This problem "has been one of the most important issues of the bilateral trade relationship, which we have addressed and are about to solve," he stressed.
In 1991, US stopped imports of Mexican tuna because of complaints that the fishing techniques used by fishermen from Mexico were harming dolphin populations.
Last May, a panel of the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled that the label "Dolphin Safe" discriminated Mexican tuna vessels.
The panel argued that labels approved by the Ministry of Commerce of the United States "are more trade restrictive than necessary to achieve a legitimate aim," which is to inform consumers if dolphins were accidentally killed when the tuna was caught, reported Associated Press agency.
For the WTO, the fishing methods Mexico uses responsibly comply with the highest international standards for the protection of animals.
Sarukhan highlighted that the United States and Mexico are "finding a solution" to another dispute over US rules of designation of origin, Reuters reported.
So far, the information released by the Mexican ambassador has not been confirmed by the US authorities.
- WTO says 'Dolphin Safe' tuna label discriminates against Mexico
By Analia Murias