Rob Portman, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), is hailing a World Trade Organization appellate decision announced June 27 upholding U.S. imposition of countervailing duties on DRAM semiconductors from South Korea. A WTO dispute settlement panel had originally found against the U.S. in a case involving alleged pressure by South Korea's government on creditors to come to the financial assistance of Seoul-based Hynix Semiconductor Inc., a manufacturer of memory semiconductors.
"This is an important turnaround for U.S. high-tech manufacturers, as well as for the international trading system," says Portman. "The international trading system is built on fairness, and the Korean government unfairly subsidized a Korean company." As a result U.S. countervailing duty rates of 44% ad valorem remain in place.