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US PRAISES JAPANESE EFFORTS TO END CHIP DUMPING; CUT IN PUNITIVE DUTIES LIKELY

The US now has firm evidence that alleged Japanese dumping of computer chips has halted, Commerce Undersecretary Bruce Smart said this week in a statement seen as setting the stage for likely fur-ther easing of US trade sanctions against Japanese electronics products, Associated Press reports from Washington. Our monthly monitoring now shows clear, firm and continuing evidence that third country dumping has stopped, Smart added in his statement. Nevertheless, We still find little evidence of a steady increase in market access called for in the agreement, he said. Until meaningful progress is registered in this area, the semiconductor agreement is not being fully implemented. Of the $300m in the initial sanctions imposed on Japanese products in April, $165m was designated as representing retaliation for failure of Japan to give US companies more access to its markets, and $135m dealt with the issue of dumping. Of the latter, $51m has already been lifted, and the expectation is that the remaining $84m may soon go, leaving the $165m in market-access sanctions remaining in place. The Commerce Department finding now goes to President Reagan for his decision. In a related matter, US trade representative Clayton Yeutter has attacked the US Treasury Dep-artment for its ruling that imported CPU boards should be regarded as computers for tariff purposes, a move that has inter alia hit IBM because some PS/2 boards are assembled in Japan. The Commerce Department remains solidly behind the ruling by the Customs Department that the boards are computers, and subject to the 100% punitive anti-dumping duty.

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CBR Staff Writer

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