WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) issued the following statement regarding today’s finding by a World Trade Organization (WTO) panel that the United States has taken all steps necessary to comply with its international obligations in the longstanding Tuna/Dolphin dispute with Mexico involving U.S. “dolphin-safe” labeling requirements.
“Today’s announcement is a huge victory for both the United States and the WTO dispute settlement system. The WTO has made clear – once and for all – that U.S. regulations protecting the lives of dolphins are consistent with our international obligations.
“It is especially fitting that this decision is released on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the precursor to the WTO. While the GATT was groundbreaking in the post World War II era, its dispute settlement system was weak and essentially voluntary. In fact, the GATT was rather dismissively referred to as the General Agreement to Talk and Talk.
“We have advanced well beyond that point with tough, enforceable obligations in our trade agreements, reinforced by strong dispute settlement – including for investor-state disputes. Together, these form a robust system that is essential to ensuring certainty for U.S. producers and workers and accountability for our trading partners. The WTO dispute settlement system has worked extraordinarily well for the United States, and I encourage our trading partners to work with us at the WTO Dispute Settlement Body to improve it so that it continues to function the way that Congress intended.
“Congratulations to the USTR team for its work on this longstanding dispute.”