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Ohio Manufacturer to Pay Penalty for Violation of Anti-boycott Laws

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Another American company, F.E. Myers Co., an Ohio manufacturer of industrial hoses, has agreed to pay a fine for allegedly violating U.S. anti-boycott laws.

The U.S. Commerce Department announced that it was imposing a $65,000 civil penalty on the Ashland, Ohio, company for 10 alleged violations of the Export Administration Act relating to the Arab economic boycott of Israel.

The Arab boycott has become one of the hottest Middle East topics here in the past few months.

Administration officials and members of Congress have called for its removal, calling it both anachronistic and an impediment to Middle East peace.

Both houses of Congress voted overwhelmingly last month to urge the Arab League to end the 47-year-old boycott.

But the league recently voted to retain it despite the increased pressure to end it, particularly in light of the mutual recognition accord signed by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Oganization.

The Commerce Department has been penalizing American companies allegedly complying with the boycott, which affects both Israel and companies doing business with Israel.

The department’s Office of Antiboycott Compliance said it had imposed a total of $6,805,450 in penalties for boycott infringement in fiscal year 1993.

The money was collected in 37 separate consent agreements from American companies or their overseas subsidiaries, the office said.

While the primary boycott involves direct trade with Israel, the so-called secondary and tertiary boycotts involve blacklists of companies doing business with Israel and companies doing business with those companies.

The department has alleged that F.E. Myers cooperated with Saudi Arabian requests for information on its suppliers.

F.E. Myers allegedly refused to do business with a supplier after learning the supplier was blacklisted.

In addition, Myers allegedly provided prohibited information about other peoples’ business dealings relating to the boycott.

F.E. Myers agreed to pay the penalty but neither admitted nor denied having violated the law.

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