Vietnam requests WTO panel on US shrimp duties

(VNA) Vietnam has requested that the World Trade Organisation’s Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) establish a panel on the US ’ anti-dumping measures on certain shrimp from Vietnam.

Addressing the DSB meeting on April 20, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the United Nations Office, WTO and other international organisations in Geneva, Ambassador Vu Dung said that this the first time Vietnam has made the request for a panel since it joined the WTO and that it has taken this action only after careful deliberation and consultations with the US.

He said, “the central issue involved in our request for a panel is the issue of zeroing and, specifically zeroing in periodic reviews under US law. In our view, this issue has been decided already by WTO panels and the Appellate Body on various occasions.

“Yet, the US has failed to implement the reports of the Appellate Body and has continued to apply zeroing in administrative reviews, including those applied to products of Vietnam.”

“The US has taken two additional actions which, under its precedent, will also prevent the antidumping measures from being sunset.

“First, it has consistently over the period of the second, third and fourth review declined to specifically review major exporters that have requested such reviews.

“Despite the fact that the US found no margins of dumping in the first, second or third review of the companies specifically investigated, it has continued to assign margins of dumping to companies not investigated despite their request to be investigated and, in at least one case, the submission of a full response.

“The US is clearly abusing the exceptions provided for in Article 6.10 and Article 9.4 by refusing throughout this proceeding to allow companies that are not dumping to demonstrate this through being investigated.”

Ambassador Dung went on to say the US has also found margins of dumping in determining a “ Vietnam wide rate” for companies that have not responded to questionnaires. It is not certain that these companies actually exist, actually produce or export shrimp, or should even be subject to the antidumping measures.

“There is no such authority for this so-called Vietnam wide rate in either the Antidumping Agreement or Vietnam ’s Protocol of Accession to the WTO,” he said.

After repeating Vietnam’s request for consultations with the US regarding certain anti-dumping measures imposed by the US on imports of certain shrimp from Vietnam on February 1, 2010, Ambassador Dung said the two countries held consultations on March 23 in Geneva. The consultations were held with the hope of reaching a mutually satisfactory solution.

“The parties at consultations gained a better understanding of the issues under consideration, but did not reach a resolution of the matters.

“Consequently, Vietnam has no choice but to pursue these issues to a panel,” he said./.