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  • U.S. Court Rejects NEC's Appeal on Supercomputer Duties
  • February 26, 1999 (TOKYO) -- The U.S. Supreme Court rejected NEC Corp.'s appeal of the Commerce Department's imposition of antidumping duties on NEC supercomputer imports.
    NEC demanded that the Commerce Department immediately discontinue its investigation into the case. But with the Supreme Court's rejection, the Commerce Department's decision to impose the duties on imports of NEC supercomputers by U.S. government agencies was finalized.

    NEC issued a statement saying it was "highly regrettable" that the U.S. Supreme Court rejected its appeal, and that it has no choice but to accept the court's judgment.

    Not only Japanese manufacturers, but also U.S. users of supercomputers, questioned the Commerce Department's decision.

    The Commerce Department decided to impose antidumping duties on NEC's vector-type supercomputer model, the SX-4, which was sold to University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) by NEC's U.S. subsidiary, HNSX Supercomputer.

    The Commerce Department notified the National Science Foundation, which was in a position to make the final decision on the procurement of the supercomputers, of its suspicion that NEC had offered the computer at a price lower than cost, or a "dumping" price.

    In July 1996, NEC's U.S. rival Cray Research Inc. filed a complaint with the Commerce Department that SX-4 supercomputers were dumped.

    In August 1997, the Commerce Department decided to impose antidumping duties of 454 percent, causing NSF's cancellation of the purchase of the SX-4 supercomputers.

    NEC complained about the Commerce Department's decision, and took the case to the Court of Appeals for Federal Circuit (CAFC). The court, however, rejected the appeal in early August 1998. NEC appealed the case again, to the Supreme Court.

    In a separate move, NEC filed a suit against the U.S. International Trade Commission with the Court of International Trade involving this alleged antidumping case. The commission concluded earlier, in September 1997, that Japanese computer manufacturers were hurting the U.S. industry by dumping supercomputers.

    NEC brought the case to the Court of International Trade, which ordered the commission in December 1998 to reinvestigate the case.

    In the statement issued on Feb. 23, NEC said it will continue to insist that Japanese-made supercomputers are not hurting U.S. industry.

    Related story: NEC Provides Remote Supercomputer Service for U.S. Users

    (BizTech News Dept.)

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    Updated: Thu Feb 25 13:17:47 1999 PDT