Only three senators voted against the Export Administration Act.

He seemed to be supportive of Israel. He wanted to suspend the importation of steel, so it seems like he was not as supportive of free trade as other Republicans. Pro-free trade and anti-Israel people would have opposed the bill. Why would he oppose it because he did not seem to be like that. He was mostly pro-free trade, but not 100%. The rest of his party supported the passage of this bill. Why did Hatch oppose the Export Administration Act of 1979? Has he elaborated on his vote?


1 Answer 1


Why did Hatch oppose the Export Administration Act of 1979? Has he elaborated on his vote?

I was able to locate his statement on the floor of the Senate, but nothing more.

Source 125 Cong. Rec. (Bound) - Senate: July 21, 1979, 130 pages. The EXPORT ADMINISTRATION ACT OF 1979 is discussed on pp 19936-20017.

He seemed to be supportive of Israel.

There was no apparent change regarding Israel.

s. 737 contains all the antiboycott provisions of the Export Administration Act of 1969, as amended, and makes no changes in those provisions. The committee received letters from major business organizations and Jewish groups recommending that no change be made in the boycott provisions this year. This bill does not amend the antiboycott provisions of the act as implemented by regulations issued by the Commerce Department. [p 19937]

Statement by Senator HATCH: (pp 19987-19988)

Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I was pleased to sponsor the package of amendments [340-352] with the distinguished Senator from Washington. As we debated each one, we see the many-faceted issue of technology transfer. This problem is one that I myself have been following for quite some time and one that concerns me a great deal. I compliment the committee for their work on the bill, but I would like to point up during the course of this debate some of the major flaws in our system which would continue to exist even after its enactment.


Mr. President, the bill provides us with the start of a "critical technologies approach" to controlling exports to certain nations for national security purposes. It does not, however, fully outline the plan or the processes involved in this approach, nor does it make us aware of the advantages to adopting it.

The measure presently vests the responsibility to determine critical technologies with the Commerce Department and the Defense Department with an advisory role. It would seem to me that the effectiveness of a critical technologies approach would be greatly enhanced if the Defense Department was delegated the duty to identify those technologies which were critical to our national security in the first instance.

The Defense Department currently has the capacity for making these determinations both in terms of interpreting the sophistication of various technologies, and knowing the impact of exportation of critical technology on United States and foreign military systems. Valuable time could be saved were DOD given the authority to identify these technologies in the first place instead of having their input on a secondary referral basis. We would recognize the identifications process as a technical function rather than an administrative one. Further, exporters would have the advantage of knowing precisely which technologies were listed in the militarily critical category prior to making a license application to the Commerce Department. This seems to me to be a key ingredient in streamlining our export licensing procedure.


Mr. President, for the small percentage of applications which propose a transfer of critical military technology to a controlled nation, S. 737 makes no clear policy statement. All of these applications are reviewed individually as to their national security implications, a process which leaves the door wide open for inconsistency and political favoritism. One amendment rightfully recommends a general embargo of critical technologies to controlled nations, and I support this policy as a means to guarantee both our security and our fairness in granting licenses. It makes good sense that we should grant licenses based on policy, not have policy made on a case-by-case basis.


Mr. President, from what we have heard, the core of the argument in favor of a liberalized export policy is the assumption that our goods and technologies are available in the same quantities and qualities from foreign countries. We assume that if the United States does not permit the export of a technology or good that another nation will, causing American business a loss of sales and credibility in the foreign marketplace. This is a situation with which we are all concerned, and I am most sympathetic to the objective here, that is, to enhance the ability of American suppliers to compete in foreign markets. However, many sources have testified that there is no accurate data on the foreign availability of critical technologies. We simply do not know for sure that a controlled nation could buy comparable technologies elsewhere.

I maintain that our undocumented assumptions are insufficient on which to base export policy affecting our national security. Another amendment which I feel is fair, calls for the establishment of an evidentiary test of foreign availability on a given critical technology to assist in the decision making process. To export or not to export is a question which demands all the information possible to render a correct answer.


Mr. President, I join my colleagues in opposing the present provision of technology indexing. I believe that this provision would have two adverse effects. What the present language suggests is automatic export decontrol for any technology or good which cannot keep pace with accelerated performance standards established by the Department of Commerce.

First, we must guard against the false assumption that because American technology has advanced that our old technology is expendable. In many cases, our outdated knowhow is still superior to that of a controlled nation, and we should not permit the automatic export of such a technology or good without a reapplication for licensing. Such a proposed technology transfer should be reevaluated with the new information taken into account.

Second, I am concerned about the effect such a provision would have on U.S. industry incentives to develop new technologies. If this system of performance levels is implemented, I am afraid that it could retard our industrial research and innovation activity since under this new aspect of export policy, it may be to industry's advantage in some circumstances to allow technologies to become outmoded in terms in our potential technological capability in order to avoid the export administration process. We should be careful not to overlook the inherent effects export policy will have on our own domestic R. & D. policies.


Our export process can be improved to incorporate maximum trade opportunity for American business, efficient procedures for the monitoring of licenses and controls, and protection for our critical technologies. We recognize all of these needs, but I believe greater emphasis should be given to the defense and national security ramifications of technology transfer. Once technology has been sold it can never be returned. It is the knowhow which will assist foreign nations in producing their own goods and limit the markets for U.S. product exports in the future, the knowhow which will fill in the gaps in our enemies' defense systems.

I have enthusiastically supported these amendments and feel they are constructive to achieving these objectives.

The two more contentious amendments were 340 and 341.

Amendment 340 would have transferred the determination of whether export controls should be applied to certain technology to the Department of Defense from the Department of Commerce. In the final bill, it was left with Commerce.

Amendment 341 would have substituted different wording to allow a broader range of technology to be controlled. The final bill used less inclusive wording.

It appears that Senator Hatch was very opposed to the transfer of technology, particularly that which might have military use. The final bill was more lax than expressed in his statement.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .