Memorandum on Tariff Increases on Japanese Semiconductor Products

April 17, 1987

Memorandum for the United States Trade Representative

Subject: Determination Under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974

Pursuant to section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2411), I have determined that the Government of Japan has not implemented or enforced major provisions of the Arrangement concerning Trade in Semiconductor Products (``the Arrangement''), signed on September 2, 1986, and that this is inconsistent with the provisions of, or otherwise denies benefits to the United States under, the Arrangement; and is unjustifiable and unreasonable, and constitutes a burden or restriction on U.S. commerce. I also have determined, pursuant to section 301 of the Act, to proclaim increases in customs duties to a level of 100 percent ad valorem on certain products of Japan in response. The tariff increases I am proclaiming shall be effective with respect to the covered products of Japan which are entered on and after April 17, 1987. I am taking this action to enforce U.S. rights under a trade agreement and to respond to the acts, policies and practices of the Government of Japan with respect to the Arrangement.

Reasons for Determination

In the Arrangement, the Government of Japan joined the Government of the United States in declaring its desire to enhance free trade in semiconductors on the basis of market principles and the competitive positions of the semiconductor industries in the two countries. The Government of Japan committed: (1) to impress upon Japanese semiconductor producers and users the need aggressively to take advantage of increased market access opportunities in Japan for foreign-based semiconductor firms; and (2) to provide further support for expanded sales of foreign-produced semiconductors in Japan through establishment of a sales assistance organization and promotion of stable long-term relationships between Japanese purchasers and foreign-based semiconductor producers. Finally, both Governments agreed that the expected improvement in access to foreign-based semiconductor producers should be gradual and steady over the period of the Arrangement.

Although the Government of Japan has taken some steps toward satisfying these obligations, they have been inadequate; foreign-based semiconductor producers still do not have access in that market equivalent to that enjoyed by Japanese firms.

In the Arrangement, the Government of Japan also committed: (1) to prevent ``dumping'' through monitoring of costs and export prices of semiconductor products exported from Japan; and (2) to encourage Japanese semiconductor producers to conform to antidumping principles. Again, the Government of Japan has taken steps toward satisfying these obligations, but they have been inadequate.

Consultations were held with the Government of Japan on numerous occasions between September 1986 and April 1987 in order to enforce U.S. rights under the Arrangement and to ensure that the Government of Japan undertake concerted efforts to fulfill its obligations under the Arrangement. To date these obligations have not been met.

On March 27, 1987, I announced my intention to raise customs duties to a level of 100 percent ad valorem on as much as $300 million in Japanese exports to the United States in response to the lack of implementation or enforcement by the Government of Japan of major provisions of the Arrangement. I also announced that the products against which retaliatory action would be taken would be selected after a comment period ending April 14, 1987. Finally, I announced that sanctions would remain in effect until there is firm and continuing evidence that indicates that the Government of Japan is fully implementing and enforcing the Arrangement.

This determination shall be published in the Federal Register.

Ronald Reagan

Note: The determination was printed in the ``Federal Register'' of April 22.