TEXT OF INTERVIEW
MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Some British businessmen could find themselves sitting in American jails. It all has to do with efforts by the Justice Department following 9-11 to crack down on trade with so-called “rogue states.” David Robertson is a Business Correspondent with the Times of London. I asked him what explanation the Department of Justice is using to jail citizens of other countries.
DAVID ROBERTSON: Well their argument is that if you buy American-made equipment, it remains part of their jurisdiction and that way, what they’re saying, is that if it’s produced in America we are going to control where it ends up.
THOMAS: The U.S. is using this method to impact China, how and why?
ROBERTSON: What the U.S. is doing is they’re being exceedingly careful about preventing high-tech military equipment getting into China. And ITT was fined $100 million, which is quite a staggering amount of money, because they were attempting to sell night-vision goggles to that country. They would have thought they were doing entirely legally but because of this change in emphasis in this U.S. law, they’re really cracking down on it.
THOMAS: Given that Iran is a particular point of interest by the U.S., it’s interesting that the U.S. wasn’t concerned about Shell’s plans to build a huge liquid natural gas operation in Iran.
ROBERTSON: There does seem to be an issue of size here. If you’re a little guy they’ll come after you. If you’re a big guy then they don’t seem quite as interested.
THOMAS: Thanks so much David
ROBERTSON: OK no problem.
THOMAS: David Robertson is a business correspondent with the Times of London.
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