Statement by Assistant
to the President for Press Relations Fitzwater on Strategic Technology Export
September 18, 1987
United States Government welcomes recent measures taken by the Japanese
Government, and those soon to be enacted in Norway, to strengthen export
controls. Diversions of strategic technology by Toshiba Machinery and the
Norwegian firm Kongsberg Vappenfabrik have undermined
our common security and demonstrated the inadequacy of existing national laws
and procedures. Japanese legislative and administrative actions increase
criminal penalties and statutes of limitations, mandate new and stricter
licensing procedures, provide for tight export control procedures by companies,
and for close governmental monitoring of these. The Norwegian Government will
this month introduce a new comprehensive export control law in the Parliament,
or Storting, that will strengthen Norway's national laws and
procedures along these same lines.
Paris-based Coordinating Committee (COCOM), which is composed of 16 allies,
including the United States, serves the common
security of its member nations by preventing militarily useful technologies
from reaching the Soviet Union. COCOM reflects the principle that the security
of the West and of Japan is based on the
qualitative technology edge that we are able to maintain in our weapons
systems. COCOM exists to protect that critical advantage. The serious diversion
of nine-axis milling machines and numerical controllers for use in the Soviet
program to quiet submarines serves as an unfortunate, yet graphic, example of
the damage which can be done to our collective security.
Congress has offered a number of bills and amendments that would punish Toshiba
and Kongsberg through mandatory sanctions and compensation. But the technology
diversion problem is broader than the specific violations of the firms that are
currently the targets of legislation. The real problem lies in the shortcomings
of national export control systems, and responsibility rests with allied
governments to make and enforce the necessary changes. Therefore, the
administration opposes these bills and amendments.
is now essential that all COCOM partners strengthen their national export
controls to prevent further diversions. High technology products in the 1980's
are produced worldwide, and the Soviet Union targets its acquisition
programs wherever the technology can be found. The administration has begun an
aggressive and unprecedented effort to urge that all COCOM partners take steps
to prevent further diversions and strengthen national export control systems.
The administration plans to consult with the Congress on the progress made as
well as on next steps to prevent and deter attempts at future diversions.