March 10, 2005

Idaho Delegation Says Micronâ??s Trade Case â??Validatedâ?? By Ruling

U.S. Department of Commerce issues final determination in Micron-Hynix case

Washington, DC - Idahoâ??s largest employer has, in fact, been the victim of unfair trade practices, and Idahoâ??s Congressional Delegation said that point was driven home today with a final determination of the trade case involving Micron Technology of Boise and itsâ?? Korean competitors. For several years, Senators Larry Craig and Mike Crapo, and Congressmen Mike Simpson and C.L. â??Butchâ?? Otter have made the claim that the South Korean government was unfairly assisting Hynix, Samsung, and other Korean semiconductor chip makers, with government loans and other subsidies to the detriment of Micron.Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued a final determination in the Micron case. Commerce ruled Hynix chips imported into the U.S. should carry a 44.71% tariff; the ruling finds that figure is the extent to which Hynix chips were unfairly subsidized by the Korean government. Commerceâ??s original ruling came in at 57%, but Idahoâ??s delegation maintains the 44% figure is still substantial and should be held up as the case now goes before the International Trade Commission (ITC).â??This decision by the Department of Commerce against the Korean Semiconductor industry seeks to remedy a situation that has long frustrated me - the illegal subsidy of computer chips,â?? Senator Larry Craig said. â??These illegal, government subsidies have no place in our global, high tech economy. The Department of Commerce recognized that fact through its decision today and I will continue to push for additional duties if the Korean government refuses to stop its unfair trade practices.â??â??This ruling provides confidence in both future jobs and reaffirms the value of Micron the corporation and its workers,â?? noted Senator Mike Crapo, a member of the Senate subcommittee overseeing international trade issues. â??It also demonstrates the Administration's commitment to stay tough on trade issues, which is exactly what the Congress has been seeking for years. This decision validates the strong stance on illegal trade and reinforces the fact that Micron has faced unfair foreign competition which has led directly to Idahoans losing their jobs.â??"This report confirms what many Idahoans have recognized for years: the South Korean government has been subsidizing its production of DRAMS. This official announcement will bring good news to Idaho, the Treasure Valley and most of all the employees of Micron. I'm pleased the Department has ruled in favor of Micron in this matter," said Congressman Mike Simpson. Congressman C.L. â??Butchâ?? Otter, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection, said, "This is welcome news for Micron, its employees and all the people of Idaho. Free trade can't flourish unless it's also fair. Today's decision sends the positive message that we're ready and willing to compete with anyone in the world, but we won't stand by while South Korea or any of our trading partners seek unfair advantage through subsidies and market manipulation. The Commerce Department's determination doesn't go far enough for my taste, but it's something to hang our hats on as we await word from the ITC."The Commerce Department ruled Samsung, the other Korean-based firm involved in the trade case, should see a much smaller penalty of .04%. The International Trade Commission is expected to rule in the Micron case by late next month. Micron also has a trade case before the European Union on itsâ?? semiconductors. # # #