GOP Urges Technology Growth

Monday, October 16th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumers are enjoying the benefits of a fast-paced, innovative high-tech industry and the proposed breakup of Microsoft Corp. backed by the Clinton-Gore administration will hurt the market, Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash., said Saturday.

``The Clinton-Gore administration's proposed solution is almost too amazing to be true,'' Gorton said in the weekly GOP radio address. ``Its solution is to break up the company and put government employees in positions to supervise a divided Microsoft company.''

The computer software giant, based in Gorton's home state, is appealing a federal court ruling that would split it into two separate companies. A judge ruled that Microsoft had abused its monopoly power to suppress competition and ordered it broken up into two companies: one selling the Windows computer operating system and the other handling Microsoft's other software and Internet products.

``Republicans don't want software developers to have to check in with the federal government every time they get a new idea,'' Gorton said. ``We understand that the best role for government is to allow our workers to continue to create new and better products that enrich our lives — free from the federal government's heavy hand of regulation.''

He said Republicans think that the power behind the United States' technology success is the ``entrepreneurial spirit'' of Americans who have been able to flourish without government intervention. Democrats want government intervention and they think the high-tech industry was created by government, he contended.

Republicans support establishing normal trade relations with China to open up that market to American software and computer products, Gorton said. He said the GOP also worked to increase the number of so-called H1-B visas that allow high-tech companies to hire foreign workers for temporary stays in this country. Microsoft has estimated that about 8 percent of its employees are H1-B workers.