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June 22, 1987

JAPAN TO RAISE OUTPUT OF MEMORY CHIPS AS US ELECTRONIC ASSOCIATION WAKES UP

By CBR Staff Writer

The damaging, internationally unpopular, and in the medium term unworkable bilateral semiconductor trade agreement imposed on Japan by the US is largely a tribute to the lobbying skills of the Semiconductor Industry Association, and was a signal achievement given that several industries, each bigger than the semiconductor industry, were certain to be injured more than the chip industry would benefit from high prices for Japanese memory chips. At last the organisation that speaks for those other industries, the SIA’s San Jose neighbour the Electronics Association of America, has woken up, and is seeking to negotiate a lower floor price for the 1M-bit generation of memory chips, having given the 256K up as a lost cause. Meanwhile there is now a significant shortage of 256Ks as a by-product of the pact, and Japanese manufacturers are expected to be told to increase output 10% next quarter.

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