Issues covered by the WTO’s committees and agreements

EU versus US: ‘son of dolphin-tuna’

A case brought by the EU against the US under GATT following the Mexican complaint against the US. The panel report was circulated in 1994, but not adopted.

United States — Restrictions on Imports of Tuna

Not adopted, circulated on 16 June 1994

The EC and the Netherlands complained that both the primary and the intermediary nation embargoes, enforced pursuant to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (see previous case), did not fall under Article III, were inconsistent with Article XI:1 and were not covered by any of the exceptions of Article XX. The US considered that the intermediary nation embargo was consistent with GATT since it was covered by Article XX, paragraphs (g), (b) and (d), and that the primary nation embargo did not nullify or impair any benefits accruing to the EC or the Netherlands since it did not apply to these countries.

The Panel found that neither the primary nor the intermediary nation embargo were covered under Article III, that both were contrary to Article XI:1 and not covered by the exceptions in Article XX (b), (g) or (d) of the GATT.

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