Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release:
March 28, 2001
2:45 P.M. EST


The East Room

THE PRESIDENT: Thanks for coming. I appreciate that warm welcome. And welcome to the people's house. It's a nice place to live. (Laughter.) And I'm glad I'm living here.

... As well, I've got some good news and you may have been watching the Senate Banking Committee. But after a lot of work with industry leaders and the administration and members of the Senate, the Export Administration Act -- a good bill -- passed the Banking Committee 19-1.

The technology that you all have helped develop obviously gives us an incredible military advantage, and that's going to be important. And it's an advantage, by the way, that we tend -- want to develop, to make sure we can keep the peace, not just tomorrow, but 30 years from now. We've got to safeguard our advantages, but we've got to do so in ways that are relevant to today's technology, not that of 20 years ago.

The existing export controls forbid the sales abroad of computers with more than a certain amount of computing power. With computing power doubling every 18 months, these controls had the shelf life of sliced bread. They don't work.

So in working with the Senate, we're working to tighten the control of sensitive technology products with unique military applications, and to give our industry an equal chance in world markets. And I believe we've got a good bill. It's a bill that I heard from you all during the course of the campaign. The principles we discussed are now a part of this bill. I want to thank Senator Phil Gramm for his hard work in working with us and industry and some members of the Senate to make sure the bill that has been crafted is a good bill. And I urge the Senate to pass it quickly.

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