CORRECTED: Mexico partially wins WTO tuna dispute against US

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Mexico on Thursday partially won a complaint at the World Trade Organization against the United States' requirements on the use of 'dolphin-safe' labelling on tuna products.

Mexico had claimed that US measures discriminated against its products, saying that in order to obtain such labelling, Washington requires varying documentary evidence that depended on where the tuna is harvested or how it was fished.

However, WTO arbitrators threw out some of Mexico's arguments.

They noted that Mexican tuna products were not given harsher treatment than products originating from the United States or elsewhere.

The panel also rejected Mexico's claim that the US violated trade rules by not basing its technical regulations on relevant international standards.

Nevertheless, the arbitrators backed Mexico's challenge that the measures were "more trade restrictive than necessary to achieve a legitimate objective."

They said they had drawn the conclusion partly because Mexico had managed to demonstrate an alternative that would be less trade restrictive.

Both parties can appeal the ruling.

© 2011 AFP

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