ACCESSION NUMBER:350237 FILE ID:ECO403 DATE:06/23/94 TITLE:SHORT-TERM EXTENSION OF EXPORT-CONTROL LAW STARTS TO ADVANCE (06/23/94) TEXT:*94062303.ECO ECEXPOLD EXP CONTROLS /te SHORT-TERM EXTENSION OF EXPORT-CONTROL LAW STARTS TO ADVANCE (No agreement yet on major reforms) (480) By Bruce Odessey USIA Staff Writer Washington -- Unable yet to achieve agreement on major export-control reform, Congress is seeking to enact short-term extension of the existing law. The House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee approved by voice vote June 23 a bill extending through August 20 the Export Administration Act (EAA), which would otherwise expire June 30. Still needed for extension is passage by the full House and Senate. August 20 is about the time Congress would begin a one-month summer recess. At least three committees in the House share jurisdiction on export controls with Foreign Affairs, and at least two of those have approved rival versions of major reform legislation at odds with that prepared by Foreign Affairs. 1 Nevertheless, Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Lee Hamilton was reported saying he intends to move a reform bill to the House floor for a vote the first week of July. The Senate has not yet acted on major reform either; the Senate Banking Committee has approved a bill that is almost completely different from any of the House versions. EAA authorizes export controls on technology and goods that have both civilian and military applications -- computers, telecommunications, machine tools. Export controls on weapons themselves are covered by another law. William Reinsch, under secretary of commerce, lamented to a congressional forum June 23 how the Clinton administration sits uncomfortably at the center of the heated debate. Reinsch criticized the House Armed Services Committee version of the reform legislation as going too far in reimposing export controls on items that have already been decontrolled. His comments indicated opposition also to an Armed Services' provision giving the Defense Department exceptional influence in export-control license decisions. He criticized the Foreign Affairs version as going too far the other way. Where the administration proposed a 90-day cap for licensing decisions, Foreign Affairs would set a 30-day cap, which Reinsch said was insufficient for reasoned judgments. Reinsch also stated administration opposition to sector-specific legislation, an oblique reference to Foreign Affairs' provision relaxing many export controls on computer software with encryption capability; a version approved in the House Select Intelligence Committee would delete that provision. The administration prefers multilateral controls where possible in groups like the Missile Technology Control Regime, the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Australia Group (for biological and chemical weapons). Its legislative proposal would allow unilateral controls under specific conditions subject to review by Congress. Reinsch said the Foreign Affairs bill would give the administration too little flexibility for imposing controls unilaterally while the Armed Services version would encourage unilateral controls over multilateral ones. Another provision in the Foreign Affairs bill causing problems is a flat prohibition on export of any controlled item to countries designated as terrorist. The administration reportedly wants more flexibility. NNNN .