WASHINGTON — The House on Monday passed a bill prohibiting the sale of Toshiba Corp. products at post exchange stores on U.S. military bases, in retaliation for the Japanese firm's sale of secret submarine technology to the Soviets.
The measure was approved on a voice vote and sent to the Senate less than a week after the House Armed Services Committee voted 31 to 0 for the bill.
Legislation that would take even harsher steps against Toshiba--such as a Senate trade bill amendment that would ban U.S. sales of the company's products for two to five years--also is pending in Congress.
Between 1982 and 1984, Toshiba Machine Co., a subsidiary of the giant electronics firm, sold to the Soviets computer-controlled machine tools that U.S. officials contend enabled the Soviets to produce quieter submarine propellers, making the subs more difficult to track.
The base PX ban wouldn't make much of a dent in Toshiba's annual sales of $3 billion in the United States. An estimated $23 million worth of Toshiba electronics were sold at post exchanges last year.