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Industry May Seek Relief From Chip Pact

September 06, 1986|DONNA K. H. WALTERS | Times Staff Writer

PALO ALTO — Leaders of the U.S. electronics industry said Friday that they may ask for immediate relief from the bilateral agreement on semiconductor trade when they meet with government officials next week.

Already some computer chip customers are clamoring for an end to the higher prices and component shortages caused by the provisions of the agreement with Japan.

Meetings are scheduled for next Tuesday between leaders of the American Electronics Assn. and Commerce Secretary Malcom Baldrige and U.S. Trade Representative Clayton K. Yeutter.

The concerns were voiced at a forum Friday designed to give U.S. chip buyers details of the agreement. In a lively and sometimes heated exchange with federal representatives, some electronics company executives argued that the fair market values (FMVs) and shipment quotas imposed on U.S. imports of Japanese computer chips are causing them "severe and urgent" problems.

The FMVs are to be revised in October, but customers here say they can't wait that long.

Ralph Thomson, AEA senior vice president, said the group's directors have drafted a document citing the effects of the agreement, reached Aug. 1 but signed only this past Tuesday, on U.S. customers of semiconductors.

In its preliminary form, he said, the document addresses the need for immediate revision of the FMVs and for the lifting of a side agreement restricting imports of chips.

Thomson said the AEA's board of directors, which includes some of the U.S. chip makers that the pact was designed to help, have not yet approved the requests.

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