A second hearing on US anti-dumping measures against Vietnamese shrimp ended Wednesday after two days of arguments at the headquarters of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva, Switzerland.
The session marked the end of the litigation phase of the case, with the parties now awaiting the panel’s findings and final determination.
The panel was slated to submit a final report in April 2011, said Tran Thi Thu Hang, minister counselor and deputy head of the Viet Nam Mission to the UN, WTO and other international organisations in Geneva.
Viet Nam and the US submitted written rebuttals and presented oral arguments at the hearing. For Viet Nam, the central issue was the US method of calculating dumping in periodic reviews under US law, known as “zeroing”. Viet Nam argued that zeroing was inconsistent with WTO rules as well as with Viet Nam’s protocol of accession to the trade organisation.
The case was heard by Mohammad Saeed, counsellor of the Pakistan Mission to the WTO, Deborah Milstein from Israel’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labour, and Ian Sandford, special counsel & director of the International Trade Group of Australia.
Viet Nam filed the case with the WTO in February 2010. This marks the first time Viet Nam has filed a complaint with the global trade body’s dispute settlement system since it formally joined the WTO in January 2007. WTO director general Pascal Lamy appointed the three-member panel on July 26 to rule on the complaint, and the first hearing was held on October 20.
Last week, the US Department of Commerce imposed another punitive, five-year anti-dumping tariff on Vietnamese shrimp, following a sunset review of duties imposed in 2005 in which the US expressed concerns that “dumping” would resume if the tariffs ended.
For the past five years, the US has levied duties ranging from 2.5 to 25.76 per cent on frozen shrimp imported from Viet Nam.
Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) general secretary Truong Dinh Hoe said last week that Viet Nam hoped the WTO panel would issue a fair decision.
In the first 10 months of 2010, Viet Nam exported more than 200,000 tones of shrimp, worth US$1.7 billion. The amount represents a 12.9 per cent growth in volume and 22.5 per cent growth in value year-on-year, according VASEP. The organisation said that shrimp accounted for 41.7 per cent of the country’s total seafood exports of $4 billion in the first 10 months of the year.
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