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April 27, 2008 

At Trade Show, China's Police Shop for the Latest Equipment

Saturday's New York Times reported on the China International Exhibition on Police Equipment that was sponsored by China's Ministry of Public Security and recently held in Beijing. The article describes the large number of U.S. companies exhibiting at the show and that "the trade show coincided with increasing controversy in the United States over American exports of crime-control equipment to China."

The number of U.S. companies exhibiting at trade show has apparently attracted the interest of the Bureau of Industry and Security:

Asked about the abundant American gear shown at the police equipment trade show, Mario Mancuso, the under secretary of commerce for industry and security, replied with a one-sentence written statement: “Enforcing U.S. regulations on crime control equipment, including the Tiananmen Square Sanctions, is a top priority, and we continually review our regulations to ensure that they effectively support our national security and foreign policy.”

Another Commerce Department official said that questions from The New York Times about American equipment exhibited at the trade show had prompted the department to begin a review of whether American laws might have been broken. The official insisted on anonymity, in keeping with a department policy of not commenting on work that might lead to law enforcement actions.

The department has officials in Beijing and Hong Kong who look for violations of export control laws, but did not try to send anyone into the police equipment trade show.

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