WASHINGTON Nov 14 Mexico and the United States
are close to resolving a decades-old dispute over U.S.
"dolphin-safe" tuna labeling rules and are getting nearer to a
solution in a fight over U.S. country-of-origin labeling rules
for meat products, Mexico's ambassador to the United States said
For 30 years, the tuna dispute has "been one of the most
important issues of the trade bilateral relationship, which we
have now addressed and are about to solve," Mexican Ambassador
Arturo Sarukhan said at the Inter-American Dialogue, a foreign
policy think tank.
A World Trade Organization appellate panel this year found
that U.S. dolphin-safe labeling rules discriminate against
Mexico, raising the possibility of sanctions on U.S. goods if
the rules were not changed.
The dispute centers on the technique of using dolphins to
round up tuna, which the United States says disqualifies some
Mexican tuna from being labeled dolphin safe.
Mexico says the methods its companies use to harvest tuna
do not harm dolphins and the way the United States defines
dolphin-safe tuna unfairly restricts trade.
Sarukhan did not give details on how the dispute would be
resolved, but said it was an example of how effectively the two
countries have worked together in recent years.
He also said the United States and Mexico were "on the road
to a solution" in another spat over U.S. country-of-origin
labeling rules, which both Mexico and Canada successfully
challenged at the WTO.
There was no immediate confirmation from U.S. trade
officials in either the tuna or the meat label case.