Statement on Tariff Increases on Japanese Semiconductor Products

April 17, 1987

I am today releasing the list of Japanese exports to the United States upon which tariffs are being raised, effective today, in response to Japan's inability to enforce our September 1986 agreement on semiconductor trade. I announced my intent to take these actions on March 27 after it became apparent that Japan has not enforced major provisions of the agreement aimed at preventing dumping of semiconductor chips in third-country markets and improving U.S. producers' access to the Japanese market. The health and vitality of the U.S. semiconductor industry are essential to America's future competitiveness. We cannot allow it to be jeopardized by unfair trading practices.

In my March 27 announcement, I said we would impose tariffs on $300 million in Japanese exports to the United States to offset losses suffered by American semiconductor producers as a result of the agreement not being fully implemented. The products upon which the tariffs are being raised were chosen to minimize the impact on American consumers and businesses. All these products are available from domestic or other foreign producers. These actions are being taken to enforce the principles of free and fair trade. I regret that these actions were necessary.

We will eliminate them as soon as we have firm and continuing evidence that the dumping in third-country markets has stopped and that access to the Japanese market has improved. I am encouraged by recent actions taken by the Government of Japan to improve their compliance with the U.S.-Japan semiconductor agreement. I believe the agreement is in the best interests of both Japan and the United States, and I look forward to the day when it is working as effectively as it should.