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March 2, 1999


By CBR Staff Writer

The US International Trade Commission has once again ruled that Japanese supercomputers have been sold at unfair prices that threaten the livelihood of US manufacturers. On Tuesday, the ITC voted three to one that tarrifs imposed by the Commerce Department against NEC Corp and Fujitsu Ltd should stay in place. The Commission was asked to look again at the case by the US Court of International Trade after NEC and Fujitsu appealed following the first decision. NEC faces tarrifs of 454% and NEC 173% on supercomputer exports to the US. Cray Research Inc, now part of Silicon Graphics Inc, filed the original complaint in 1996, claiming that NEC had taken a loss of some $122m to supply four vector supercomputers to the US National Center for Atmospheric Research in 1995. Cray estimated the value of the equipment supplied by NEC to be 4.5 times the value of the procurement ($35.5m), hence the 450% tarrif. The Court must now decide whether to uphold the decision or send it back for further consideration. Additional appeals may also be received.

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