Text of report by respected Mexican business newspaper El
Financiero website on 15 November
[Unattributed report: "Mexico Sees Agreement Close With US on Tuna Trade Dispute"]
Mexico and the United States are close to resolving a dispute that has been running for decades over US regulations requiring "dolphin safe" tuna can labeling, said Arturo Sarukhan, Mexico's ambassador in Washington.
For years this dispute "has been one of the most important matters in bilateral trade relations; we have dealt with it, and it is about to be resolved," the diplomat said, speaking at the Inter- American Dialogue center.
An appellate body at the World Trade Organization (WTO) determined this year that US label rules harmed Mexico's tuna fishers in the US market, and raised the possibility of sanctions if the rules were not changed.
The United States halted imports of Mexican tuna in 1991 following complaints that the fishing techniques used by its southern neighbor were harming the dolphin population.
Mexico said that the ruling confirmed that the fishing methods used complied responsibly with the highest international animal protection standards.
Sarukhan did not give details of the way the dispute might be resolved, but said it was an example of the way the two nations had worked together.
The diplomat added that the United States and Mexico were "on the way to settling" another dispute over US rules of origin that both Mexico and Canada had successfully protested at the WTO,
There was no immediate confirmation by US officials of Sarukhan's remarks.
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