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December 17, 1999
N-Ban on 51 Indian Organizations Removed
J M Shenoy in Washington
Going by recommendations from Pentagon, business groups and pro-India congressional leaders, the Commerce Department removed 51 Indian companies and institutions, including the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, from the ban list sanctioned in 1998 in response to the detonations of nuclear devices by India and Pakistan.
Removal of the entities will make it easier for them to obtain American goods and technology -- especially non-sensitive products that ordinarily to do not require an export license, a Commerce Department spokesperson said.
The action is based on a consensus decision by the administration to focus the sanctions on Indian entities directly involved in proliferation activities, the spokesperson said.
"Close a market and we will create viable competition where there is very little now," said William A Reinsch, undersecretary, Bureau of Export Administration.
"And that competition, as we have learned in so many other sectors over the past 30 years, will not stop with China or India but will move on to compete head-to-head against us elsewhere, to the long-term detriment of our global leadership.
"In other words, the biggest loser in the face of closed markets is not the Chinese or the Indians but the Pentagon, whose access to cutting edge goods and technologies will be slowed, and the United States, whose technological leadership will face new challenges from new suppliers."
According to Reinsch, "A key -- and growing -- reality in all these cases is the capacity of our adversaries to make these products themselves or to obtain them from those who lie outside the circle of multilateral control regimes. In the case of computers, for example, China, as well as India and others, have the capacity to make these machines themselves.
"While they do not -- and cannot -- manufacture to compete with US companies, they can make machines that will function at performance levels sufficiently high to provide the military capabilities they seek."
Denying American products to India and Pakistan simply encourages their own development and production, he said.
"Moreover, our lead in many of these sectors is not based on our monopoly of the technology; rather it is based on the quality and efficiency of our production."
The best policy is one that moves in the direction of building alliances rather than enemies, he continued. "But we will need not only the vision to see that and pursue it but also the courage to take on those who would take us back to the Cold War."
The American policy of denial for dual-use items controlled for nuclear and missile technology reasons to all Indian and Pakistani entities remains unchanged, however, an announcement from the Commerce Department said.
Entities removed from the Ban List:
Ambarnath Machine Tool Prototype Factory,
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