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Dept. of Commerce Opposes New Moves by Congress on Arab Boycott

The U.S. Department of Commerce made known today that it was opposed to proposed Congressional moves to strengthen the provisions of anti-boycott law pertaining to the Arab boycott.

Mark C. Feer, acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Domestic and International Business, cited the statement of the Coca-Cola Corporation that the franchise controversy involving Israel was “unrelated to the Arab boycott.” Mr. Feer said because a franchise was finally issued, examination of the anti-boycott law “would serve no useful purpose.”

He made his remarks in a letter to Rep. Seymour Halpern, New York Republican, who had urged strengthening of the anti-boycott law to guard against repetition of cases like the one highlighted by the Coca-Cola issue. Mr. Feer said:

“This Department is opposed to any amendment to the export control act which would require a fixed course of action to be taken by the Executive Branch irrespective of the adverse impact of that action at any given time on larger, more basic issues in our relations with other countries.” He added that the reasons for this were given by Secretary of Commerce Connor in testimony before Congress in opposition to the anti-boycott law.

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