BUSH URGES EASING OF EXPORT CONTROLS PROPOSAL AFFECTS 43 PRODUCT AREAS

BUSH URGES EASING OF EXPORT CONTROLS PROPOSAL AFFECTS 43 PRODUCT AREAS

President Bush broadened earlier administration proposals to ease international curbs on exports of machine tools, computers, telecommunications and other high-tech items to Eastern Europe, including the Soviet Union, the White House announced Wednesday.

He is recommending to U.S. allies the complete removal of controls on the sale of at least 30 of the 120 kinds of technologies subject to control by the United States and the allies, said Marlin Fitzwater, the White House press secretary.Mr. Bush is further proposing a significant reduction of controls on another 13 categories of goods and technology, Mr. Fitzwater said.

The proposals, officials said, would free many more products of export restrictions than the U.S. administration had recommended in January. The January proposals were generally criticized by both U.S. industry and allied nations as too timid.

The administration was warned that unless it agreed to more extensive decontrol, the international export control system could start to crumble.

The controls are administered by the Coordinating Committee on Multilateral Export Controls, or Cocom, based in Paris. It comprises the United States and all other members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization except Iceland, plus Japan and Australia.

The controls are aimed at preventing the transfer of militarily sensitive technology to China, the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact countries.

Whether the administration's latest proposals for decontrol will satisfy most other Cocom member nations or U.S. industry was not immediately clear.

The proposals still do not go as far as some other Cocom countries urge, Mr. Fitzwater acknowledged. They also seem, to some extent, to fall short of legislation pending before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The new administration proposal would largely extend to Eastern Europe, including the Soviet Union, the same sort of controls as provided to China, the White House said.

The proposal appears to go furthest in relaxing curbs on machine tools. The United States will support with only "a few modifications" a Cocom suggestion for a "significant" decontrol of machine tools and numerical controllers, which would mean decontrol to the 2 or 3 micron positioning accuracy, the White House said.

The administration takes a more cautious approach on computers. It would apply the same restrictions as now apply to China on shipments to civilian users of computers with a processing data rate of up to 550 megabits per seconds.

But other East European users could not obtain computers having a more than 275 megabits a second processing rate, substantially below the level allowed China.

Both the computer and machine tool decontrol, Mr. Fitzwater indicated, would apply alike to the Soviet Union and other East European countries.

The administration, however, would not ease controls on telecommunications equipment to the Soviet Union to the same extent as to other East European countries.

Controls on some cellular communications systems and satellite ground stations should be relaxed to Eastern Europe in general, according to the U.S. proposal.