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US export curbs on high-tech hurt

US controls on exports of high-technology items to Soviet-bloc nations are not very effective, while they are costing hundreds of thousands of jobs and $9 billion a year, according to a National Academy of Science study. The study, a draft of which was reported in Monday's Washington Post, said the benefit of stringent export controls to US national security ``is feasible only in the shrinking number of cases in which the United States is the only country possessing the technology.''

The report recommended ending the Defense Department's ``de facto veto'' over technology sales and easing US restrictions on strategic exports to match those of America's NATO allies.

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The export controls ``have greater potential to damage the US economy'' than to reduce exports to the East bloc, said the panel, which was headed by a former Air Force chief of staff, Gen. Lew Allen Jr.

A special study included in the draft report found that ``a reasonable estimate of direct short-run economic costs to the US economy in 1985 was in the order of $9.3 billion,'' the Post said. That means a loss of 188,000 American jobs due to export controls, the draft said.

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