Washington, DC- The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) praised the Clinton Administration for today’s announcement that it would relax controls on the export of high performance computers.

“We have urged the Administration to take this step and are encouraged by their efforts to keep pace with advances and innovations in the computer industry,” stated Ed Black, CCIA President/CEO. “This announcement will provide us with a temporary reprieve, and we are hopeful that the government will continue to respond to developments in technology and global markets.”

In today’s announcement, the White House announced that it would decontrol the export of all computers operating below 12,300 Millions of Theoretical Operations Per Second (MTOPS) to all countries except for terrorist and rogue nations. Companies exporting to “Tier III” countries (including China, Russia, India, Israel, and Pakistan) will still have to notify the Department of Commerce ten days prior to the shipment of any computer performing above 12,500 MTOPS. Exports to “Tier II” nations will also require licensing for computer operating above 33,000 MTOPS.

Black also urged the Congress and the Administration to work with industry to reform the export control system. “The current system is badly broken and doesn’t truly reflect the nature of the computer industry,” he said. “A focus on MTOPS ratings and on widely available technology is pointless and not effective in protecting our national security. At the very least, we must allow the executive branch greater flexibility in adjusting these MTOPS levels and eliminate or drastically reduce the 180-day delay in implementation of adjustments in Tier III restrictions.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the Administration and Congress to reform and improve our export control system for technology products. We believe this is a positive step forward, and are confident that we can develop a system that will allow the computer and technology industry to continue to thrive without endangering our security interests.

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