NAFTA, WTO, and Global Business Strategy: How AIDS, Trade, and Terrorism Affect Our Economic Future

By Bradly J. Condon | Go to book overview

Chapter 2

International Trade in Goods

OPENING CASE: THE U.S. EMBARGO AGAINST SHRIMP IMPORTS

In the process of catching shrimp, sea turtles may be accidentally killed. Environmentalists in the United States lobbied their government to regulate shrimping methods to reduce the killing of the turtles. The United States enacted a law that applied to American fisherman and U.S. territorial waters, and it introduced trade restrictions to compel shrimp fishermen from other countries operating outside U.S. territorial waters to comply with the American shrimping standards. 1


Background

The United States banned shrimp imports from World Trade Organization members that did not comply with U.S. legal requirements regarding the protection of sea turtles from incidental death in the shrimp harvesting process. The countries that were subject to the trade ban were all developing countries. The United States negotiated and concluded a regional international agreement on sea turtle protection and conservation with some countries but not with others that were affected by the trade ban.

The United States gave some countries three years to introduce “turtle exclusion devices” (TEDs), while others were given only four months. All species of turtles involved were listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) as being under threat of extinction, 2 and all occurred in U.S. territorial waters, which were on their migratory routes.

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