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After months of considerations the Japanese government has decided to impose punitive tariffs on dynamic random access memory (DRAM) imported by Hynix Semiconductor into the country. According to local press, the punitive tariffs may be as high as 27.2%.

The government said on Friday it has notified South Korea that it may levy a 27.2% import duty on computer chips made by Hynix Semiconductor, The Japan Times web-site reports. At this point the decision to impose the tariffs is not final. The government has asked its South Korean counterpart to submit a reply to its latest notice by November 21. A final decision will be made by the 3rd of February. 

The decision to slap punitive tariffs on Hynix’ DRAMs was inspired by Japan-based memory maker Elpida Memory, which followed Boise, Idaho-based Micron and Munich, Germany-based Infineon with accusations of Hynix of receiving illegal financial aid from the government.

Earlier the EU Commission and the US Department of Commerce found Hynix Semiconductor guilty of 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.

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