Vietnam gained a trade surplus of 15. 3 billion U.S. dollars with North and South American markets in 2012, posting an increase of 15 percent over the previous year, reported by the Vietnam General Department of Customs on Tuesday. Total trade value with the Western Hemisphere reached 31.3 billion dollars, of which Vietnam\'s exports were worth 23.3 billion dollars. According to the report, the trade surplus was attributed mostly to the rising export value to American markets. The United States remained Vietnam\'s leading importer, with an import value of 19.5 billion dollars in 2012, up 16 percent over 2011. Canada spent 1.14 billion dollars to import Vietnamese goods, while Brazil with 710 million dollars and Mexico with 685 million dollars. Vietnamese textiles and garments were the top export earners, fishing 8 billion dollars from American markets, up 9 percent. Footwear followed with 3 billion dollars, up 17 percent, while wood-based products, seafood, and equipment-electronic products each pocketed at least 1 billion dollars. Trade between Vietnam and American countries has increased from 300 million dollars in 2000 to over 15 billion dollars in 2012, said the report.