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Trade Politics and the Semi-conductor Industry

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  • Douglas A. Irwin

Abstract

A coalition of well-organized semiconductor producers along with compliant government agencies (USTR and the Commerce Department) brought about a 1986 trade agreement in which the United States forced Japan to end the 'dumping' of semiconductors in all world markets and to help secure 20 percent of the Japanese semiconductor market for foreign firms within five years. The antidumping provisions of the 1986 agreement, which later proved to be partly GATT-illegal, resulted in such steep price rises for certain semiconductors that downstream user industries (primarily computer systems manufacturers) forced the U.S. government to remove those provisions in the 1991 renegotiation of the agreement. The equally controversial 20 percent market share provision - based on circumstantial evidence that the Japanese market was closed -provided 'affirmative action' for the industry in its efforts to sell more in Japan, but has been criticized as constituting 'export protectionism.' This paper examines how the U.S. semiconductor industry became the beneficiary of this unique and unprecedented sectoral trade agreement by analyzing the political and economic forces leading up to the 1986 accord and shaping subsequent events.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State in its series University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State with number 92.

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Date of creation: 1994
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Handle: RePEc:fth:chices:92

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References

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  1. Krishna, Kala, 1989. "Trade restrictions as facilitating practices," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3-4), pages 251-270, May.
  2. Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Kimberly Ann Elliott, 1994. "Measuring the Costs of Protection in the United States," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 77.
  3. Irwin, Douglas A & Klenow, Peter J, 1994. "Learning-by-Doing Spillovers in the Semiconductor Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1200-1227, December.
  4. C. Fred Bergsten & Marcus Noland, 1993. "Reconcilable Differences? United States-Japan Economic Conflict," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 34.
  5. Paul M. Ong & Don Mar, 1992. "Post-layoff earnings among semiconductor workers," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 45(2), pages 366-379, January.
  6. Dick, Andrew R, 1991. "Learning by Doing and Dumping in the Semiconductor Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(1), pages 133-59, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Dani Rodrik, 1994. "What Does the Political Economy Literature on Trade Policy (Not) Tell UsThat We Ought To Know?," NBER Working Papers 4870, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Krishna, K & Thursby, M & Roy, S, 1996. "Implementing Market Access," Papers 96-011, Purdue University, Krannert School of Management - Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER).
  3. Krishna, K. & Roy, S. & Thursby, M., 1998. "Can Subsidies for MARs be Procompetitive," Papers 98-008, Purdue University, Krannert School of Management - Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER).
  4. Jong-Wha Lee & Phillip Swagel, 1994. "Trade Barriers and Trade Flows across Countries and Industries," NBER Working Papers 4799, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Paqué, Karl-Heinz & Stehn, Jürgen & Horn, Ernst-Jürgen & Scharrer, Hans-Eckart & Koopmann, Georg, 1996. "National technology policies and international friction: Theory, evidence, and policy options," Kiel Discussion Papers 279, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  6. Paqué, Karl-Heinz, 1995. "The case for technology policy: A tentative evaluation," Kiel Working Papers 714, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  7. C. Niranjan Rao, 2004. "The role of intellectual property rights in information and communication technologies," Centre for Economic and Social Studies, Hyderabad Working Papers 61, Centre for Economic and Social Studies, Hyderabad, India.

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