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Apr 02,2008
U.A.E.-U.S. trade row over dual-use items
by UPI

WASHINGTON -- American-made circuit boards sold to the United Arab Emirates ended up in roadside bombs in Iraq, prompting a trade row between the two allies, officials said.

Officials in the Bush administration sparked a standoff with U.A.E. officials over the alleged sale of dual-use technology to Iran, Syria or Pakistan, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The United Arab Emirates boasts one of the best economies in the world but an export control fight erupted in 2006 when Dubai Ports World lobbied to manage shipyards in the United States, a move lawmakers eventually said threatened national security.

The Bush administration threatened to impose tough export measures as a result but backed down when U.A.E. officials promised to monitor the trade of items U.S. officials claim are dual-use items that could find their way into military technology.

Trade experts and U.A.E. officials say U.S. officials exaggerate the dual-use classification and unduly complicate matters, the Times said, but the discovery of the U.S.-made computer components prompted the U.S. Commerce Department to push for tougher control measures, to which U.A.E. officials reportedly obliged.

"The (United Arab Emirates) has made progress," Mario Mancuso, an export official at the Commerce Department, told the Times. "But more needs to be done."

Copyright © 2008, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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