UPDATE 4-WTO Rules against U.S. Dolphin-Safe Canned Tuna Labels

April 15, 2015

Reuters, 4/15/2015

WTO logoThe World Trade Organization found on Tuesday that U.S. rules on dolphin-safe labels for canned tuna run counter to international trade laws, siding with Mexico in a long-running dispute and opening the door to retaliation against U.S. exports.

The ruling, which the United States said it would appeal, upholds Mexico’s complaint that revamped U.S. labeling rules are still discriminatory because they disqualify Mexican tuna from bearing dolphin-safe labels, unlike other countries’ tuna.

“We recommend that the dispute settlement body request the United States bring its measure, which we have found to be inconsistent with (the WTO rules) … into conformity with its obligations,” the WTO panel said.

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Mexico Aims for Agreement on Sugar Exports to U.S.

October 2, 2014

10/01/14 Wall Street Journal 

sugarMexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said Wednesday that Mexico is seeking a negotiated settlement to a dispute over Mexican sugar exports to the U.S., but that failure to reach an accord could lead Mexico to take the case to the World Trade Organization. The U.S. government in August imposed preliminary tariffs on Mexican sugar imports following complaints by U.S. sugar growers that the Mexican government subsidizes the domestic industry, allowing Mexico to flood the U.S. market with cheap sugar, harming U.S. producers.

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Report: NAFTA’s Uninvited guest: China and the Disintegration of North American Trade

January 3, 2014

NAFTA_logoBy Enrique Dussel Peters and Kevin P. Gallagher

CEPAL Review, August 2013

This paper examines the extent to which China’s entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001 and subsequent surge in global exports affected the composition of trade between the United States and Mexico through 2009. The authors found that China’s entry had a significant impact on the trade relations between these two North American countries, replacing and displacing many of the export strongholds in place before China joined the WTO and after the first stage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (1994-2000). Based on this research, the authors offer a variety of policy options for reinvigorating United States-Mexico trade and cooperating with China in the global economy.

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Trade Dispute With Mexico Over ‘Dolphin-Safe’ Tuna Heats Up

October 4, 2013

NPR, 3/10/2013

wtoThe fight over Mexican tuna, and whether it is truly fished using dolphin safe practices, rages on. Mexico recently won a two decade long fight to get its tuna labeled dolphin safe. The WTO this month ruled in its favor. But the U.S. still refuses to allow Mexican tuna with a dolphin safe label on store shelves. Mexico says it’s had enough and is preparing to retaliate with trade sanctions on U.S. imports. Ensenada, Baja California, was once the thriving heart of the Mexican tuna industry.

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Mexico says it may suspend U.S. trade preferences over meat labels

June 10, 2013

meat-packaging1Reuters, 6/7/2013

Mexico’s Economy Ministry said on Friday it was considering suspending preferential trade tariffs with the United States for a variety of products in a simmering dispute over meat labeling. The disagreement stems from a 2009 U.S. requirement that retail outlets specify the country of origin on labels on meat and other products in an effort to give consumers more information about the safety and origin of their food.

Canada and Mexico have complained to the World Trade Organization that the COOL (country-of-origin labeling) rules discriminated against imported livestock. The trade body ordered the United States to comply with WTO rules by May 23, but the U.S. government made revisions that Canada and Mexico say would only make the situation worse.

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U.S. meat labels to detail animal’s origin; Canada, Mexico raise concern

May 28, 2013

meat-packaging1The Washington Post, 5/24/2013

New rules for U.S. meatpackers will require labeling that tells consumers where the animal was born, raised and slaughtered. Sounds simple. But the regulations, posted Friday by the Department of Agriculture, are the latest move in a trade dispute that has pitted U.S. consumer groups, which favor the labels, against free-trade advocates, who say the regulations are biased against cattle and pork from Canada and Mexico.

Nor are the regulations likely to be the last word in the international controversy, which seems destined to wind up — again — before the World Trade Organization, which has previously ruled that U.S. labeling regulations discriminated against Canadian and Mexican livestock. The dispute over meat labeling is one of a handful in recent years in which U.S. efforts to regulate food and other products have been rejected by the WTO. The WTO has ruled against U.S. “dolphin-safe” tuna labels and weighed in as well against a ban on clove-flavored cigarettes.

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US isn’t respecting meat labeling rules, Mexico says

May 22, 2013

meat-packaging1Reuters, 5/21/2013

The United States is not respecting a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling on meat labeling, Mexico’s Agriculture Minister Enrique Martinez said on Tuesday, saying it was hurting local industry. The WTO ruled in late June last year that a U.S. program for labeling imported meat unfairly discriminated against Mexico and Canada, putting pressure on the United States to bring the scheme in line with global country-of-origin meat-labeling rules.

“We can’t understand why once the very WTO … issues a ruling, the government of the United States does not respect it,” Martinez said. “We have talked with beef producers in the United States and Canada, and totally agree this is an arbitrary decision and means discrimination against Mexican beef, which we will never agree with and as a government will defend against.”

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