The State Department's leading East-West trade expert, ending his government career with an attack on what he called American "arrogance," yesterday accused Defense Department officials of refusing to cooperate with U.S. allies to prevent the sale of high technology to Moscow.

William A. Root, director of the State Department's Office of East-West Trade for the past seven years, said such unilateral U.S. action weakens western efforts to keep strategically vital products from the Soviet military machine.

"Those who proclaim the loudest the need to strengthen these controls on exports of high technology to the Soviets are doing the most to weaken them," said Root, who abruptly submitted his resignation 10 days ago but was persuaded hours later to reconsider after a meeting with Undersecretary of Commerce Lionel H. Olmer.

But yesterday, Root, who made his comments in an interview with The Washington Post and in a three-page "open letter to the president and to the Congress," said he had no choice but to carry on with his resignation.

The major issue, he said, was a battle over a much-needed updating of controls on export sales of high technology--including computer hardware, software programs, microprocessors and common items such as computerized telephone switching equipment.

He said the most "vocal advocates" of unilateral controls are Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger; Fred C. Ikle, undersecretary of defense for policy; Richard N. Perle, assistant secretary of defense for international security policy, and Stephen D. Bryen, a longtime Perle associate and a deputy assistant defense secretary.

"Effective controls depend upon negotiations, because the United States is not the unique supplier of most strategic items," Root said.

In response, Perle denied that the Defense Department opposed working with U.S. allies on coordinated controls and added that Root never threatened to resign "during the decade in which there were tremendously damaging leakages of technology from the West to the East." While not holding Root responsible, Perle asserted that "this administration is trying to reverse the mistakes that had been made in the past."

Root said he has decided that "I have no choice but to resign" because the Defense Department refuses to negotiate with American allies through Cocom, the Paris-based coordinating committee where the United States, its European allies and Japan develop joint export controls.

Instead of following President Reagan's promise "to redouble our efforts" to work with allies on export controls," Root said, "we have instead been redoubling our efforts to convey to our allies that their views do not count, that we know best and that they had better shape up."

Previous American attempts to go it alone in limiting exports to the Soviets have produced angry reactions from allies, who have refused to accept Washington's attempts to force them to accept its controls, and have opened political rifts that threatened the western alliance.

Root said his resignation came as a result of defense officials' refusal to join in final Cocom talks set for Oct. 17 to update the "obsolete" 1974 definitions of strategically vital computer products--the most important item on Cocom's long list of materials to be kept from the Soviet bloc on national security grounds.

"The allies have been receptive to a wide range of U.S. strengthening proposals for both hardware and software," Root said. "But they have also submitted many constructive proposals of their own which would make the controls more effective."

Last July, he continued, Cocom representatives approved a compromise draft that was "not a drastic revision" of the original American stance, strengthening it in 15 technological areas and offering relaxed curbs "only marginally different from what Defense had already agreed on."

Nonetheless, he said, East-West Trade Expert Quits, Says U.S. Arrogant to Allies By Stuart Auerbach Washington Post Staff Writer

The State Department's leading East-West trade expert, ending his government career with an attack on what he called American "arrogance," yesterday accused Defense Department officials of refusing to cooperate with U.S. allies to prevent the sale of high technology to Moscow.

William A. Root, director of the State Department's Office of East-West Trade for the past seven years, said such unilateral U.S. action weakens western efforts to keep strategically vital products from the Soviet military machine.

"Those who proclaim the loudest the need to strengthen these controls on exports of high technology to the Soviets are doing the most to weaken them," said Root, who abruptly submitted his resignation 10 days ago but was persuaded hours later to reconsider after a meeting with Undersecretary of Commerce Lionel H. Olmer.

But yesterday, Root, who made his comments in an interview with The Washington Post and in a three-page "open letter to the president and to the Congress," said he had no choice but to carry on with his resignation.

The major issue, he said, was a battle over a much-needed updating of controls on export sales of high technology--including computer hardware, software programs, microprocessors and common items such as computerized telephone switching equipment.

He said the most "vocal advocates" of unilateral controls are Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger; Fred C. Ikle, undersecretary of defense for policy; Richard N. Perle, assistant secretary of defense for international security policy, and Stephen D. Bryen, a longtime Perle associate and a deputy assistant defense secretary.

"Effective controls depend upon negotiations, because the United States is not the unique supplier of most strategic items," Root said.

In response, Perle denied that the Defense Department opposed working with U.S. allies on coordinated controls and added that Root never threatened to resign "during the decade in which there were tremendously damaging leakages of technology from the West to the East." While not holding Root responsible, Perle asserted that "this administration is trying to reverse the mistakes that had been made in the past."

Root said he has decided that "I have no choice but to resign" because the Defense Department refuses to negotiate with American allies through Cocom, the Paris-based coordinating committee where the United States, its European allies and Japan develop joint export controls.

Instead of following President Reagan's promise "to redouble our efforts" to work with allies on export controls," Root said, "we have instead been redoubling our efforts to convey to our allies that their views do not count, that we know best and that they had better shape up."

Previous American attempts to go it alone in limiting exports to the Soviets have produced angry reactions from allies, who have refused to accept Washington's attempts to force them to accept its controls, and have opened political rifts that threatened the western alliance.

Root said his resignation came as a result of defense officials' refusal to join in final Cocom talks set for Oct. 17 to update the "obsolete" 1974 definitions of strategically vital computer products--the most important item on Cocom's long list of materials to be kept from the Soviet bloc on national security grounds.

"The allies have been receptive to a wide range of U.S. strengthening proposals for both hardware and software," Root said. "But they have also submitted many constructive proposals of their own which would make the controls more effective."

Last July, he continued, Cocom representatives approved a compromise draft that was "not a drastic revision" of the original American stance, strengthening it in 15 technological areas and offering relaxed curbs "only marginally different from what Defense had already agreed on."

Nonetheless, he said, Pentagon officials told the State and Commerce departments on Sept. 14 that the U.S. position should be to refuse to agree to any changes.

Further, the Pentagon insisted that Cocom was "an inadequate forum" for key talks on computer technology, which should take place later in some other group with Pentagon officials as the American negotiators, Root said. Pentagon officials told the State and Commerce departments on Sept. 14 that the U.S. position should be to refuse to agree to any changes.

Further, the Pentagon insisted that Cocom was "an inadequate forum" for key talks on computer technology, which should take place later in some other group with Pentagon officials as the American negotiators, Root said.