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July 1, 1987

US SENATE VOTES 92 TO 5 TO BAR ALL TOSHIBA IMPORTS

By CBR Staff Writer

A 92 to five vote in the US Senate in favour of amending the current trade bill so as to bar all imports to the US by Toshiba Corp, subsidiaries and affiliates for at least two and up to five years means that the Japanese company must take the threat seriously. The measures, which would also apply to Toshiba Machine’s partner in the crime of selling embargoed equipment to the Soviet Union, Norway’s Kongsberg Vaapenfabrikk A/S, have to be approved by the House of Representatives and passed into law by President Reagan, but the strength of feeling displayed by the vote means that even if they fall this time, they are likely to be tacked onto another bill. The amendments more controversially call on the US to seek damages in the courts against the two companies for the cost of developing technology to detect the silent submarines alleged to have been made possible by the technology transfer: such an attempt would lay the US wide open to facing similar suits every time a country suffered damage as a result of an opponent using a weapon with a made-in-USA sticker on it. The proposed measures would appear to allow Toshiba to continuing to manufacture goods in the US and sell them there – it expressly exempts parts essential to manufacture.

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