WASHINGTON – The United States, facing sanctions for discriminating against Mexican tuna imports, is expanding tougher rules for labeling tuna “dolphin-safe” to the rest of the world instead of easing up on Mexico.
Last fall, the World Trade Organization ruled that the United States was unfairly using stricter tracking and verification standards in waters where Mexican fleets operate than it was using elsewhere. Mexico was preparing $472 million in retaliatory tariffs against U.S. imports.
The U.S. responded Monday by applying the rules it imposed on Mexico worldwide.
The dolphin-safe labels inform consumers whether canned, dried and frozen tuna were caught without endangering dolphins.
Schools of tuna tend to swim with some species of dolphins. Fishermen sometimes circle the dolphins with nets to get at tuna underneath.