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Vietnam Goes To WTO For First Time, Against US

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

In its first direct action since joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in January 2007, Vietnam has presented a case over anti-dumping duties imposed on its frozen warmwater shrimp exports to the United States (US).

The anti-dumping duties on shrimp imports imposed by the US, and the consequent files with the WTO, have a long history. The latest case presented by Thailand in 2006, following consultation in 2004, had gathered Brazil, Chile, China, the European Community, India, South Korea, Japan, Mexico and Vietnam as third parties, before the final WTO decision against the US was adopted in August 2008.

The removal of the anti-dumping duties has, however, been complicated by continual opposition in the US, particularly by the American Shrimp Processors Association. Vietnamís shrimp exporters are still said to be facing US tariffs of between 4% and almost 26%, on total exports of an estimated USD1.5bn annually.

After Vietnamís reported decision to forward its case to the WTO, the two sides will have sixty days to consult and resolve their dispute before Vietnam can ask the WTO to set up a further arbitration panel into the issue.