Duties Imposed on Semiconductor Imports from South Korea
USITC also rules on imports of frozen fish from Vietnam
WASHINGTON, DC - The US International Trade Commission (USITC) has decided to impose countervailing duties on US imports of semiconductors from South Korea.
In a 3-0 vote, the Commission made a final determination that the imports of the dynamic random access memory semiconductors (DRAMS) injured or threatened domestic producers.
As a result of the affirmative determination, USITC will ask the US Customs Service to collect duties equal to net subsidy rates on the subject imports.
Imposition of countervailing duties to offset unfair subsidies requires final affirmative determinations from the Department of Commerce (DOC) that subsidies were paid and from USITC on injury.
Commerce made its final affirmative determination in June, calculating the net subsidy rate at 44.7%.
The DOC took action against Korea in November, 2002 after a US producer of DRAMS had filed a complaint asserting that South Korean memory chip manufacturers received loan subsidies and other government support worth billions of dollars, according to press reports.
South Korea denied it had paid subsidies to DRAM manufacturers and threatened to take its case to the World Trade Organization if the US and the European Union, which launched its own investigation, impose countervailing duties on Korean memory chip imports.
From January through June 2002, US imports from Korea were valued at $610.9 million for individual DRAMS, $726.1 million for DRAM modules and $13.3 million for DRAM wafers.
In another case, the Commission voted 4-0 to impose antidumping duties on US imports of frozen catfish fillets from Vietnam.
USITC said that these imports injured or threatened domestic producers.
Also in this case, the final affirmative determination will lead to the imposition of antidumping duties equal to dumping margins on the subject imports.
However, the Commission made a final negative determination in regard to "critical circumstances." A final affirmative ruling would allow US Customs to impose duties on those imports retroactively for 90 days from the date the DOC made a preliminary affirmative ruling on dumping.
Imposition of antidumping duties requires final affirmative determinations both from the
DOC that dumping occurred and from USITC that the imports injured or threatened US industry.
The Department made its final positive determinations last month.
It calculated the dumping margins for four companies that did not cooperate with the investigation as follows: Agifish, 44.76%; Cataco, 45.55%; Nam Viet, 52.90%; Vinh Hoan, 36.84%.
The DOC assigned a margin of 44.66% for six other companies that voluntarily responded to the investigation questionnaire. Imports from all other producers are subject to a Vietnam-wide rate of 63.88%.
Dumping is the import of goods at a price below the home-market or a third-country price or below the cost of production. A dumping margin represents by how much the fair-value price exceeds the dumped price.
In 2002, when the investigation was initiated, the government of Vietnam rejected claims that Vietnamese producers dumped the frozen fish on the US market as "absolutely baseless."
A Vietnam Foreign Ministry spokeswoman in Hanoi said they were an attempt to sabotage trade relations between the two countries.
A major agreement normalizing trade relations between the US and Vietnam went into force in December, 2001.
In a separate action, the DOC said it will launch a dumping investigation on US imports of ironing tables and their parts from China.
USITC is expected to rule by August 14 whether the evidence of injury or threat to the US industry by those imports is sufficient to advance the case.
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