Micron calls for US penalty tariffs on Korean DRAM makers

Level playing field

ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

Micron Technology Inc on Friday charged that Korean memory manufacturers have received unfair levels of support from their government and asked US authorities to impose tariffs on memory imports from the country.

The Boise, Idaho-based vendor has filed a "countervailing duty case" with the US Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission. Micron said the suit "identifies multi-billion dollar bailout packages and loan subsidies" to Korean DRAM vendors.

These contravened US Countervailing Duty Laws and World Trade Organization agreements, said Micron. Countervailing duties are imposed on imports to offset the effect of subsidies provided to manufacturers by foreign governments.

The Korean subsidies had caused economic injury to Micro and other DRAM producers, the suit claims. It asks for the ITC and DoC to impose "countervailing duty" against Korean imports.

In June German chip giant Infineon complained to the European Commission that the Korean government was subsidizing local DRAM vendors. Infineon's complaint singled out Hynix as a recipient of subsidies.

Micron has a good knowledge of the workings of the Korean memory industry. For much of the early part of this year it was in negotiations to buy up faltering Korean memory vendor Hynix. The deal fell apart due to disagreements between the firm's board and creditors, many of which are state-owned enterprises.

© Computerwire