Geneva – A World Trade Organization appeals organ on Wednesday ruledagainst U.S. labeling rules that keep tuna caught by Mexicanfishing fleets from benefiting from “dolphin-safe” labels, findingthat those restrictions impede Mexican producers’ ability tocompete on a level playing field. Its ruling reversed key findings of a WTO panel that in a reportissued last year had found that the dolphin-friendly label did notviolate the principles of the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriersto Trade. That panel had concluded that Mexican tuna did not receive – basedon country of origin – less favorable treatment than tuna caught inU.S. USB Car Charger Adaptor
waters or waters of other countries using methods that methigh U.S. dolphin-safe standards. But the WTO Appellate Body said in its report circulated Wednesdaythat “by excluding most Mexican tuna products from access to thedolphin-safe label while granting access to most U.S. tuna productsand tuna products from other countries, the measure modifies theconditions of competition in the U.S. China Dual Port USB Car Charger
market to the detriment ofMexican tuna products,” the WTO’s Appellate Body said. The case dates back to October 2008, when Mexico requestedconsultations with the United States over three laws in theneighboring country regarding protections for dolphins, productlabeling and restrictions on tuna harvested by large purse-seinvessels, commonly used by Mexican fishermen. Fishermen who employ that method set up a wall of netting aroundtuna – and dolphins, since they frequently swim together – and”purse” the bottom to catch them. Mexico complained about the standards that must be met for the”dolphin-safe” label and which condition access to it on producers’showing that they did not “lay a trap” for dolphins – meaning theydid not chase them or encircle them in large nets in their effortto catch the tuna. Mexico argued these standards violate the principles of the GeneralAgreement on Tariffs and Trade and the Agreement on TechnicalBarriers to Trade, although the panel that handled the case foundthem to be consistent with those principles. Apple iPhone Car Chargers Manufacturer
But the Appellate Body, whose decisions are binding on the partiesonce adopted by the Dispute Settlement Body, ruled in favor ofMexico, saying it was not persuaded that “purse seining” was moreharmful to dolphins than other methods of catching tuna. The body found that Mexico had demonstrated that U.S. dolphin-safelabeling provisions were “more trade-restrictive than necessary tofulfill the legitimate objectives of ensuring that consumers arenot misled or deceived about whether tuna products contain tunathat was caught in a manner that adversely affects dolphins andcontributing to the protection of dolphins.”.