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MEXICO CITY, April 25 (Reuters) - The Mexican economy ministry said on Tuesday it would immediately initiate the process of taking retaliatory steps against U.S. imports following a ruling by the World Trade Organization in Mexico's favor in a dispute over tuna.
"Mexico will immediately seek authorization ... to suspend benefits, and in parallel, will initiate the internal procedures necessary to make said suspension effective against imports of products from the USA," the ministry said in a statement.
Mexico had complained to the WTO about U.S. tuna labeling rules that it said unfairly penalized its fishing industry, and had asked for retaliatory sanctions of $472.3 million, which it planned to impose on imports of U.S. high-fructose corn syrup.
Ruling on the tuna dispute, a WTO arbitrator said earlier on Tuesday that Mexico can impose annual trade sanctions worth $163.23 million against the United States. (Reporting by Dave Graham and Veronica Gomez)