WASHINGTON (Jul. 21)
The Nixon Administration issued rules Friday to discourage American firms from selling sophisticated law enforcement devices at a Moscow trade fair in August which critics said could be used by Soviet secret police against Jewish and other dissidents.
The effect of the new rules, sources here said, was to make it highly unlikely that any American firm would exhibit or try to sell its products to Soviet authorities. Commerce Secretary Frederick Dent said specific licenses would be required for the sale to Russia and other Communist nations of “any instruments and equipment particularly useful in crime control and detection.” Dent said the decision had the approval of Secretary of State Kissinger.
Charles Vanik, (D., Ohio), said on the House floor two weeks ago that some Ameri-firms were planning to exhibit and sell such equipment at the Moscow fair. He and other Congressmen, including Sen. Henry Jackson (D., Wash.) said such equipment as voice-identification devices and lie detectors could logically be expected to be provided to Soviet secret police for anti-dissident efforts.
Dent said the new rules do not bar exhibiting at the Moscow fair but do require licenses before sales can be made and that such sales would be studied stringently before permission would be granted. Trade sources said that it was unlikely any American firms would exhibit because it would be difficult and perhaps impossible to get licenses in time for the fair.