Vietnam has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) over the US’ anti-dumping duties on pangasius.
By formally approaching the WTO, Vietnam requests that “consultations” concerning “certain US anti-dumping laws, regulations, administrative procedures, practices and methodologies, as well as certain anti-dumping determinations in administrative reviews on fish fillets”, the WTO said. The request was circulated to WTO members on Jan. 12.
The request for consultations formally initiates a dispute in the WTO. Consultations give the parties an opportunity to discuss the matter and to find a satisfactory solution without proceeding further with litigation. After 60 days, if consultations have failed to resolve the dispute, the complainant may request adjudication by a panel.
On Jan. 10 Canada too requested similar consultations with the US concerning anti-dumping and countervailing trade procedures.
In September 2017 — when Undercurrent News broke the news that the US Department of Commerce planned to hit each Vietnamese pangasius firm with the same blanket anti-dumping tariff, from March 2018 — one source had suggested Vietnam may take the issue to the WTO.
The DoC had informed lawyers working on trade tariff negotiations between the US and Vietnam that it had assigned a preliminary duty rate of $2.39 per kilogram to each company.
Essentially these preliminary rates — which have no effect until finalized — mean all exporters to the US face the highest-possible Vietnam-wide rate; a move which the industry has appealed against.
Of a WTO complaint, Undercurrent‘s source in Vietnam said: “that’s a five-year process, and though there were some in favor of that, in this case the preferable outcome is certainly that we can hold bilateral talks and straighten this out before March 2018.”