January 13, 2018 9:04 pm JST

Vietnam files WTO complaint over U.S. antidumping duties on seafood

GENEVA (Kyodo) -- Vietnam filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization over U.S. antidumping duties imposed on fish fillet imports, the organization said Friday, the latest brawl arising from U.S. President Donald Trump's tougher position on trade.

U.S. antidumping practices are inconsistent with WTO rules, Vietnam claimed in a filing dated Jan. 8, while requesting consultations with the U.S. government ahead of any move by the organization to establish a dispute settlement panel.

The latest issue comes after the WTO said earlier in the week that Canada recently requested similar consultations with the United States concerning its antidumping and countervailing trade procedures.

Antidumping is a protectionist tariff imposed on foreign imports deemed to be priced below fair market value and below the price charged in the exporter's home market.

Seafood production is one of Vietnam's major industries. The country's seafood exports in 2017 rose 19 percent to $8.3 billion from a year earlier and are forecast to grow to $8.5 billion in 2018, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, or VASEP.

Exports to the United States slipped 2.9 percent in 2017 due partly to the antidumping duties, VASEP said.

The European Union replaced the United States as the top importer of Vietnamese seafood last year, according to the association.

However, the European Union warned Vietnam in October about its "insufficient action to fight illegal fishing" and urged the country to take measures to rectify the situation or trade measures will be imposed.

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