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WTO ruling favours VN shrimp exports

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute settlement body last Friday adopted a dispute panel report on anti-dumping measures imposed by the US against frozen freshwater shrimp from Vietnam and the use of the controversial “zeroing” technique for calculating the extent of the alleged dumping.

The panel report, issued on July 11 after series of decisions by the WTO panels and appellate body, backed Viet Nam’s claim the US’s zeroing methodology in the use of administrative reviews of imports was inconsistent “as such” with the WTO’s Anti-Dumping Agreement and 1994 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

This was Vietnam’s key complaint since it had generated a large anti-dumping margin under this methodology, causing the US to levy anti-dumping tariffs on Vietnam shrimp exports ranging from 4.13 per cent to 25.76 per cent.

The US appealed the panel decision, however, arguing that the panel report went beyond what the text of the agreements provided and to negotiators agreed to in the Uruguay Round.

However, the EU responded that the WTO inconsistency on zeroing had now been definitively resolved and that the US should take immediate steps to abandon this practice and to bring itself into conformity with its obligations.

Vietnam said it expected prompt and full implementation by the US of the latest ruling.

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