Earlier in April the council of the European Union formally adopted a decision to lift countervailing duties on imports of dynamic random access (DRAM) memory chips from South Korea manufactured by Hynix Semiconductor. Hynix management greeted the council’s action with praise and a degree of vindication.
In 2003 the council determined that the government of South Korea had illegally subsidized Hynix by allegedly directing banks to engage in a non-commercial financial restructuring of the company. The council’s decision was overturned by the World Trade Organization in 2005 and Hynix continued to press its case within the European court and before the European Commission.
With no justification for continued imposition, the Council agreed to lift the countervailing duties, retroactively effective from December 31st 2007. The council’s action should provide Hynix with greater flexibility and stability in meeting customer needs.
“We commend the Council for taking the right course of action in this matter. For five years Hynix and the government of South Korea have fought the imposition of these duties before the European Commission and at the World Trade Organization and we are happy that we have finally secured their just termination,” said Min Goo Choi, a senior vice president at the company.
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