Dr David Jukes, The University of Reading, UK

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Food Law News - FAO / WHO / WTO / Codex - 2016

WTO News Item, 9 May 2016

WTO – Dispute Settlement: Compliance panel established in dispute between US and Mexico over tuna

The Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) on 9 May 2016 established a “compliance panel” to consider the measures taken by the United States in its dispute with Mexico over tuna.

DS381: United States — Measures Concerning the Importation, Marketing and Sale of Tuna and Tuna Products: Recourse to Article 21.5 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding (compliance panel) by the United States

The United States recalled that, as discussed at the April DSB meeting, its new rule directly addressed the DSB’s findings on the US dolphin-safe labelling measure and thus brought the US into compliance with its WTO obligations. The US noted that it had discussed the rule with Mexico but that Mexico insisted that arbitration proceedings to review Mexico’s request for authorisation to suspend concessions must continue. The US therefore requested that the DSB establish a compliance panel to confirm that the US has brought its measure into compliance with the DSB’s recommendations and rulings. Mexico indicated that it would also request a further “compliance panel” to examine the amended US measure.

Chinese Taipei noted that, in the absence of an agreement between the parties, the pending arbitration should not be suspended simply as a result of a declaration of compliance by the member concerned.

The DSB agreed to refer to the original panel, if possible, the matter raised by the US in document WT/DS381/31. Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, Guatemala, India, Japan and Norway reserved their third-party rights to participate in the panel’s proceedings.

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