Sen. Jake Garn, R-Utah, on Friday hailed a court decision this week that upheld legislation he sponsored last year to punish Toshiba Machine Co. for selling advanced milling machinery to the Soviet Union.
The so-called Garn Amendment attached to the Omnibus Trade Act last year imposed a three-year import ban on Toshiba Machine for seriously damaging Western security.Garn said, "I am pleased that the sanctions will remain part of U.S. national security policy. . . . The principal objective is to put teeth into the multilateral export control regime in the same way the criminal penalties apply to violators of U.S. law."
After the Garn Amendment was signed into law last August, nine U.S. distributors of Toshiba Machine plastic injection molding machines filed suit maintaining the law was a "bill of attainder," which is a law that improperly determines guilt legislatively and inflicts punishment without a judicial trial.
The Court of International Trade in New York ruled that because the nine distributors were not specifically named in the Garn Amendment, they were not an attainted party.
It ruled also that the Garn Amendment was a form of trade embargo, which is a constitutional prerogative of Congress.
Garn said, "Protecting U.S. national security by stopping serious export control violations by foreign firms has been one of my top priorities in the Senate."
The negative side effects of sanctions are a legitimate price to pay for stopping technology leakage, he said.