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The World Trade Organization ruled that tariffs slapped on DRAM from Hynix Semiconductor by the USA and the European Union are illegal, as both did not provide enough evidence that Hynix had been unlawfully subsidized by the South Korean government.

Last week the WTO said EU could not prove that the loans Hynix received from S. Korean banks were actually illegal subsidies from the government. Earlier the WTO ruled against the USA, who also imposed tariffs over Hynix’s memory made in Korea accusing the memory maker of illegitimate aid from the country’s authorities. The USA Department of Commerce is appealing, the EU Commission has 30 days to apply for appealation.

The EU Commission and the US Department of Commerce found Hynix Semiconductor guilty in getting illegitimate financial support from its creditors that were said to be controlled by the Korean government as well as numerous other kinds of financial assist.

In the first half of 2003 the USA and the European Union imposed definitive anti-dumping duties on shipments of Hynix DRAM products in the EU and the USA. The US Department of Commerce slapped 44.71% on imported DRAMs from Hynix Semiconductor, the EU Commission taxes the memory maker with 34.8% tariff. Both duties became effective in Summer 2003.

The World Trade Organization initiated the investigation of the legality of countervailing duties imposed by the USA and the EU in 2003 on production of Hynix Semiconductor in early 2004. The probe was requested by the Korean government, who opposes punitive tariffs and rulings against Hynix.

It was indicated that in case the WTO discovers Hynix was not guilty, the US and EU would have to dismiss the punitive customs and return Hynix already paid tariffs.


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