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SCIENCE/TECHNOLOGY : Toshiba Products Ban Not Expected to Hurt Operations in County Much

January 05, 1988|David Olmos, Times Staff Writer

Toshiba's operations in Orange County will feel little impact from a ban on Toshiba products contained in a recently approved federal budget bill, company officials said.

The Toshiba ban was part of a $600-billion spending bill approved by Congress in late December and signed into law by President Reagan.

The congressional action was in retaliation for a Toshiba subsidiary's illegal sale of grinding machinery to the Soviet Union in 1983 and 1984. The machinery, incorporating U.S. technology, can be used to make ultraquiet submarine propellers.

Sales of Toshiba products will be banned at U.S. military stores, such as post exchanges, beginning March 22. Congress could still change its mind and lift the ban before it goes into effect.

Dennis Eversole, vice president of finance for Toshiba's Industrial Electronics Business Sector in Irvine, said the ban should have little effect on Toshiba's Orange County operations.

"That segment of our business is relatively small," Eversole said. Toshiba has several operations in Orange County that manufacture lap-top computers, office copiers, business telephones, semiconductors and medical equipment.

Toshiba America had sales of about $2.6 billion in 1986. The Pentagon accounted for about $100 million of that.

Eversole said Toshiba is also monitoring major trade legislation that is pending in Congress. The House version of the bill includes an amendment that would ban Toshiba from doing business in the United States.

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