February 22, 2005

Crapo wants Congress on Record on Micron

Unfair trading practices may face additional substantial duties by European Union

Washington, DC â?? Following a trade policy meeting with the Deputy U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Jon Huntsman, Jr., Idaho Senator Mike Crapo will introduce a congressional resolution that will put Congress on record against the unfair trading practices used by the South Korean government and Korean semi-conductor manufacturer, Hynix. Crapoâ??s resolution comes amid lay-off announcements by Idaho-based Micron Technologies. It is co-sponsored by Virginia Senator George Allen, whose home state is also facing lay-offs and significant economic damage from continued government bailouts by the South Korean government.In his meeting with Huntsman, Crapo stressed the need for U.S. government action against Hynix and the repeated practices by the South Korean government. Huntsman told Crapo that the Administration is prepared to do everything in its power to remedy the situation and put a stop to more bailouts.â??For far too long, we have stood by while the South Korean government repeatedly bails out a company that cannot hold its own in the international market,â?? Crapo said. â??The result has been that our own U.S. manufacturers cannot compete against the unfair subsidies being provided to Hynix through its government. Micron Technologies now faces serious economic difficulties. As the last remaining U.S.-based producers of DRAMs, it took a last resort move last week and announced a ten percent worldwide workforce lay-off; thatâ??s more than 1100 jobs in Idaho and many more throughout the country. The Korean government subsidies to Hynix have affected the pricing of DRAM and resulted in lost revenue to Micron of $2 billion over the past two years.â??The illegal subsidies and massive bailout packages the Korean government is responsible for have absolutely no place in todayâ??s global economy,â?? Crapo concluded. â??We are now engaged in a new round of trade talks aimed at further liberalizing trade regimes around the world. The injurious and anachronistic policies of the Koreans must stop.â??At least two governments are pursuing actions against South Korea over this matter. In December of last year, the International Trade Commission found that Micron is injured by subsidized imports of DRAMs from Korea. On March 31st, the Department of Commerce will calculate the amount of subsidies and make a preliminary determination on the duty to be applied to Korean memory chips. In addition, the European Union (EU) is nearing the conclusion of its investigation into the government bailouts of Hynix. It is expected that the EU could impose significant additional countervailing duties on South Korea. A final decision by the EU is expected in mid-April.Crapo has also contacted U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao regarding Micronâ??s just-announced lay-offs and encouraged her assistance in expediting the stateâ??s applications for assistance through the Trade Adjustment Assistance program. The resolution, which will be introduced today, would put Congress on record that the actions of the South Korean government have been â??severely detrimental to the bilateral friendship and economic relationshipsâ?? between the two countries. It also calls for the Korean government to cease any further bailouts and to immediately comply with the WTO obligations regarding subsidies. The full text of the resolution accompanies this news release.Crapo will be introducing the legislation on the Senate floor this afternoon, after 2 p.m. Mountain time. The Senate floor action will be carried on C-Span II and can be monitored and recorded.# # #