WASHINGTON—Most members of Congress and the executive branch have a nagging fear that visiting foreign scientists are stealing research secrets from United States labs and turning them into products that compete successfully against those of U.S. firms. Indeed, the Reagan administration wants to both restrict foreign access to information from U.S. government labs and pressure foreign nations to open up their labs.


As part of its attempt to gauge the extent of foreign particapation in U.S. labs the GAO found that:

" About 44% of the 8,252 outside senior scientists who conduct research at federal labs are foreigners

" The National Institutes of Health have the largest contingent of outside foreign researchers, with 1,934, followed by the Energy Department's research laboratories, within 1,1791 Foreign organizations, mostly governements, sponsor less than 2% of the $1.8 billion in outside research conducted by U.S. federal labs. U.S. companies...

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