Shoot-Out At Tech Gap

A civil war over export controls rages inside the Administration

Under ordinary circumstances the sale of IBM computers to Transnautic Shipping, a company based in West Germany, might serve as a stirring example of America's ability to compete overseas. Transnautic, a Hamburg firm that coordinates ship traffic in the West German port, has been a satisfied customer indeed, buying many high-tech IBM products over the past decade. But last week the Transnautic-IBM connection gained unwanted notoriety as a symbol of the internal dissension that marks the U.S. Government's campaign to protect America's high-tech secrets. Reason: 51% of Transnautic is owned by the Soviet Union.

The intensity of the disagreements was driven...

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