|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:||CONTACT: CHRISTI HARLAN|
|Tuesday, January 23, 2001||202-224-0894|
Sen. Phil Gramm, chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, made the following statement today at a news conference announcing the introduction of the Export Administration Act of 2001:
"There is inherent conflict between protecting technology that has defense implications and dominating the world in terms of selling high tech products around the world.
"Our Export Administration Act proposal, I believe, strikes a reasonable balance. It really has two basic principles. The most important principle deals with the possibility that you may be able to buy something at Radio Shack that may have defense implications. If you can buy it at Radio Shack, so can anybody else.
"If something is mass-marketed -- as much as you might want to keep that technology from falling into the wrong hands -- the bottom line is, once it is sold on a mass-marketed basis, you're wasting your time in trying to protect that technology.
"By setting a mass-market exemption from export controls, we are able to focus on those items that we can actually control, and by putting the focus of our attention on the items that we have a chance of being successful in protecting, I think we greatly strengthen the process.
"Second, since it is very difficult to protect our national security secrets, we stiffen penalties for those who knowingly and willingly violate the law. We have very stiff civil penalties; we have criminal penalties, and for aggravated cases with repeat offenses, the person could go to prison for life for violating the Export Administration Act.
"I think this is a very good piece of legislation. I think it has been thought through in great detail. I can assure you that I'm going to do everything I can to make this bill the law of the land this year.
"We're going to work with the new administration. We want to begin moving the bill forward. We will hold hearings in February. We want to do a markup and start the bill toward the floor. Obviously, if any concerns are raised by the administration, we want to work with them.
"I think this is a good bill; I think the country will benefit from it. I do believe it has the chance of being the first bipartisan effort on any significant bill to pass this Congress, and we're going to work to see that that happens."
Summaries of the Export Administration Act of 2001 and statements of co-sponsors of the bill can be found under Documents on the Banking Committee's web site: http://banking.senate.gov.