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U.S. 'Resolute' on Chip Trade

March 04, 1993|From Reuters

WASHINGTON — In one of his first speeches since taking office, U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor said Wednesday that he was "resolute and determined" to take on Japan and make sure it buys more U.S. computer chips.

The top trade negotiator in the Democratic Administration said his attitude toward Tokyo in the competitive high-tech arena was part of a new and more active U.S. trade policy.

"We have every intention of creating a new framework of shared responsibility with our trading partners," Kantor said in remarks prepared for delivery to the Semiconductor Industry Assn.

The powerful industry group wants greater access to the Japanese chip market, saying Tokyo refuses to play fair.

Kantor--a newcomer on trade who has ruffled feathers overseas--gave the group just what it wanted to hear. "We want shared responsibility, no free riders and a new set of standards about what is productive behavior," he said.

Kantor said he would carefully monitor data due out this month to see how deeply the U.S. semiconductor industry had penetrated Japan's market.

Under a 1990 deal, Japan was expected to increase foreign share of its computer chip market to 20% by the end of 1992. In the third quarter of 1992, Japan had imported just 15.9% of its computer chips.

"We are resolute and determined to get results," Kantor said. "USTR will be vigilant in monitoring the progress."

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