WTO ruling favors Mexico in US 'dolphin-safe' tuna spat

According to a report by CNN Money, the USA has demanded that Mexican fishermen avoid killing dolphins while fishing for tuna, a practice that was common in the past.

Mexico's economy ministry said it will impose sanctions immediately, after getting a third of the $472.3 million it had asked for.

The WTO ruled against the tuna labeling program in November 2015, calling it a "technical barrier to trade".

After losing the case, the United States changed its rules in 2013.

Earlier this year, former Mexican president Vicente Fox Quesada lashed out at Mr Trump, telling him defiantly: "Mexico is not going to pay for that f***king wall". The US insists that any Mexican tuna sold in the US must be "dolphin safe", meaning dolphins weren't killed by tuna fisherman, which was once common.

Mexico's tuna industry has been harmed by USA "dolphin-safe" labeling rules, the World Trade Organization ruled Tuesday, saying the country can seek retaliatory measures worth hundreds of millions of dollars after the yearslong dispute. The latest Trump loss will cost the US $163 million a year in the form of sanctions imposed by the World Trade Organization. If the WTO decides that has stopped the discrimination, Mexico would have to stop its retaliation.

However, the United States changed its rules again in 2016 by expanding the tougher rules to all countries. The WTO says that's how much money Mexico has lost from the USA unfairly penalizing Mexican tuna. A change previous year will be reviewed by the WTO in July.

The U.S. Trade Representative's Office said it was "disappointed" by Tuesday's ruling.

If the WTO decides the new changes no longer penalize Mexico's fishing industry, America's southern neighbor would have to end its retaliations against the US, according to Reuters.

"We will continue to monitor the situation and closely consult with Congress and stakeholders about next steps".

And the WTO order is another wrinkle in Trump's plans to get a better trade deal with Mexico by renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.

The decision comes amid already strained U.S. -Mexico relations. It's the first loss of the Trump era.

  • Santos West