ACCESSION NUMBER:348923 FILE ID:ECO303 DATE:06/15/94 TITLE:RIVAL EXPORT-CONTROL BILL WOULD GIVE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT ROLE (06/15/94) TEXT:*94061503.ECO ECEXPLD EXP CONTRLS /js RIVAL EXPORT-CONTROL BILL WOULD GIVE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT ROLE (Existing law expires June 30) (430) By Bruce Odessey USIA Staff Writer Washington -- The House of Representatives Armed Services Committee has approved export-control legislation somewhat more restrictive than a bill approved earlier by another House committee. Congress' pace on this legislation is picking up now that few days remain before the existing Export Administration Act (EAA) expires June 30. The committee in the House with original jurisdiction, Foreign Affairs, had approved a bill that would effectively eliminate Defense Department influence on export controls relating to dual-use items -- technology and goods that have both military and civilian applications. Export controls on weapons themselves are covered by another law. In its June 15 session, the Armed Services Committee produced a rival bill that would restore and in some cases expand the Defense Department's role. Where Foreign Affairs would give the Commerce Department sole authority to make the list of controlled items, Armed Services would require Defense Department participation as well as expand Defense's authority to include controls on chemical and biological weapons and missiles. Where Foreign Affairs would strip the Defense Department's authority to participate in ordinary export license reviews, Armed Services would restore and expand that authority. Under current law, reviews of exceptionally sensitive export license applications cannot exceed 120 days in most circumstances. Foreign Affairs would reduce that cap to 30 days, giving the Defense Department 10 days of that. Armed Services would reduce the cap to 50 days, giving Defense 30 days. Armed Services' version would also delete a provision of Foreign Affairs' bill limiting unilateral U.S. controls unless they were quickly adopted by multilateral regimes. The Foreign Affairs Committee version of the bill is strongly supported by exporters. Foreign Affairs will have to work out its differences over the legislation with the Armed Services Committee as well as with the House Select Intelligence Committee. The Intelligence Committee was working up its own version of the bill behind closed doors June 15. Its members were known to be unhappy with Foreign Affairs' provision relaxing export controls on computer software with encryption capability. 1 Relaxation on encryption controls was strongly opposed by the Clinton administration's National Security Agency as well. If members could work out their differences to get a bill passed in the House, they would still have to work out the differences with any bill passed by the Senate. In May the Senate Banking Committee approved an EAA bill much more to the Clinton administration's liking; the full Senate has not yet acted on it. NNNN .