June 17, 2003

Statement of U.S. Senator Ron Wyden Regarding U.S. Department of Commerce Tariff Determination for Hynix

"Today's decision by the U.S. Department of Commerce to set an unreasonably high tariff rate in the Hynix case is very disturbing. I'm deeply disappointed that an agency created to promote trade and economic development has instead chosen to endanger the jobs of more than one thousand Oregonians through this action."I spoke with the U.S. Secretary of Commerce last week to urge him to set the lowest possible tariff rate in this case. In making my case for a low tariff rate, I told the Secretary that the economy and people of Eugene are already hurting, and that with unemployment so high it wouldn't make sense for the Commerce Department to allow more damage to Eugene's economy by recommending a high tariff figure on Hynix imports. In addition to protecting Oregon jobs, I thought it was important for the Department to set the lowest possible tariff rate so the folks in Eugene know their government is doing all it can not to make a bad situation worse. "Fortunately the fight is not yet over. The International Trade Commission, which will determine whether the tariff is applied and for how long, will hold a hearing on June 24 to assess whether Hynix has done damage to the U.S. industry. I will testify at that hearing to ensure that the Commission understands the economic hurt the people of Oregon are experiencing. I want the Commission to appreciate that their decision is not an abstract theoretical discussion of trade policy, or an academic case study of macroeconomics, but that real jobs and real lives are on the line with this decision."