Korea calls for talks on chip tariff dispute

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Korea calls for talks on chip tariff dispute

The Korean government asked Japan yesterday to hold a two months of bilateral talks at the World Trade Organization to try to settle a dispute over Tokyo’s decision to impose punitive tariffs on computer memory chips made by Hynix Semiconductor Inc. If Korea and Japan fail to settle the dispute within 60 days, Korea will ask the WTO to set up an arbitration panel to resolve the spat over dynamic random access memory chips, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a statement yesterday. The arbitration panel is expected to rule on the case in the first half of 2007, according to the statement. Last October, the Japanese government decided to impose a 22.7-percent countervailing duty on memory chips made by Hynix, the world’s second-largest memory chipmaker, over allegations that the Korean chipmaker violated global trade rules by receiving state subsidies. The decision came nearly 14 months after Japanese memory chipmakers filed complaints with the Japanese government, accusing Hynix of receiving a bailout in 2002 from Korean government-affiliated banks when the Korean chipmaker was in danger of bankruptcy. Korea has said the bailout package was provided by Hynix’s creditors on their own judgment, not under government influence. by Seo Ji-eun

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