Tags: Bush | Reverts | Satellites | for | China

Bush Reverts to Satellites for China

Monday, 03 September 2001 12:00 AM

Not nine months into the new administration of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, official policy on whether and how to export satellite technology to China – where it can be readily deployed in nuclear warheads atop intercontinental ballistic missiles targeted at American cities – is on the fast track right back where it was during the administration of President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore.

For a while, it appeared to be going in just the opposite direction. Not any longer, and the satellite exporters are accomplishing their goal under the Republican administration, even as they had under the predecessor Democratic administration.

And what lessons does this teach?

Lesson 1: Administrations go, administrations come, but United States corporations pressuring to penetrate the lucrative Chinese market remain relentlessly in business.

Lesson 2: Corporate influence, expressed so effectively through big-bucks campaign contributions, knows no partisan bounds, and its persistence is tireless.

Here's the background on what's taking place:

On Aug. 31, the Wall Street Journal carried a story, inside on Page A-3, that has been largely ignored elsewhere in the American news media. It made two startling revelations.

That means Loral is out from under any criminal charges or prosecution.

Instead, it faces a negotiated penalty – estimated in the range of $10 million, which is a token slap on the wrist in a business deal of this potential magnitude – and some technical revisions in the way it goes about handling its export-license applications.

That settlement is purported to be ready for announcement by mid-September.

These latest developments began to trickle out of the Bush-Cheney administration just as the long Labor Day weekend began – a traditional time in Washington for politicians to make public distasteful information when as many people as possible are distracted by other things.

With the log-jam on export of satellites and related technology to China about to be broken, the industry is now pressuring Congress to make it even easier to export U.S. technology and hardware to potential U.S. enemies.

It wants lawmakers to act favorably on a House bill that would return the licensing controls back to the Commerce Department, with its track record of prompt and favorable action.

In short, the policy of satellites-for-Beijing is headed right back where it was during the "good ol' days" of Clinton coziness with Red China.

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Not nine months into the new administration of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, official policy on whether and how to export satellite technology to China - where it can be readily deployed in nuclear warheads atop intercontinental ballistic missiles targeted...
Bush,Reverts,Satellites,for,China
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2001-00-03
Monday, 03 September 2001 12:00 AM
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