No resolution to chip dumping until autumn

No resolution to chip dumping until autumn
Despite assurances from EC’s Karel van Miert of a ‘fast-track’ mechanism to resolve dispute European firms still in fear of Asian DRAM makers dumping chips in Europe, David Manners reports It will take at least until November for the EC to resolve anti-dumping disputes on semiconductors, despite the announcement by Karel van Miert, the EC’s Competition Commissioner, of a ‘fast-track’ mechanism for resolving semiconductors disputes. Following anti-dumping penalties in the US on LG and Hyundai of Korea, there are fears among European producers that Korean DRAMs will now be diverted from the US market to Europe. They are looking for protection from the EC. However, Asian DRAM manufacturers have a clear run in European markets until the autumn – which is the earliest that the EC can follow the US in taking anti-dumping action against them. Van Miert’s procedure allows participating companies in the scheme to submit their manufacturing and marketing costs to an independent body which would assess whether or not dumping had occurred on an individual basis. The body supervising data collection is EECA (European Electronic Components Association). “EECA has started collecting data from the Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese DRAM producers,” Dr Eckhard Runge, director-general of EECA told EW. “Siemens, Texas Instruments and IBM have received questionnaires and have also started collecting data about the market. If there’s sufficient proof of dumping we will lodge a complaint.” EECA expects data collection to take until mid-April and data evaluation by EECA’s lawyers to take until at least May. If EECA decides that there’s been dumping, then a complaint will be filed with the EC which takes about six months to decide on any penalties. With the Korean currency – the won – heavily depreciated against the dollar, Korean manufacturing costs could be very low – making a finding of dumping less likely. However, EECA’s Runge said: “Although Korean costs are low, the costs of everything they need to import are higher – so we don’t yet know the overall effects of currency depreciation.”


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