Tussle Over High Technology

A major study attacks U.S. export restrictions

To maintain the U.S. technological edge over the Soviet Union, the Reagan Administration has nurtured a jerry-built device that frustrates both American businessmen and foreign allies. Washington requires so many export controls that it is difficult to ship abroad even such seemingly innocuous products as CAT scanners and a variety of ball bearings. Last week that play-it-safe national-security policy came under fire from a blue-ribbon panel representing the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering and the Institute of Medicine. In a major study, the panel argued that the restrictions do not work properly and that they cost the U.S. billions in...

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