ARMS manufacturers and Indonesian lobbyists have joined forces to fight a congressional proposal to ban weapons sales to Jakarta over its human rights record. The Senate will soon vote on an amendment proposed by Senator Russell Feingold banning all arms sales over US$14 million (HK$108.2 million) because of the situation in East Timor. Indonesia has warned that if the proposal is passed, it will buy its arms elsewhere. American defence contractors, led by Lockheed, are concerned that following the US campaign on China's human rights, the Indonesia move could be the tip of the iceberg,with other Asian countries coming into the human rights spotlight. Mr Feingold has described his amendment as ''precedent-setting''. Joining the side of arms lobbyists has been the US-Asean Business Council, which represents more than 80 firms doing business in Southeast Asia. The council has written to senators, warning that Jakarta may indeed turn to other suppliers if the proposal passes. The Clinton administration's position on the Feingold amendment is unclear. The State Department has contacted Mr Feingold warning that his amendment would confuse its foreign policy, but has taken action itself - banning a transfer of F-5 jets from Jordan to Indonesia in June. Although US arms companies accounted for a massive 57 per cent of the world conventional weapons market last year, they are struggling to keep up with cuts in domestic defence spending following the end of the Cold War. Indonesia, which has one of the biggest lobbying budgets of its Asian neighbours, is pulling no punches to stop the plan. An embassy spokesman said: ''Our position is that this could have an impact on our relations with the US.'' Mr Feingold's campaign is being backed by the Peace Action group, whose official, Burt Glass, called it the ''first salvo of many'' in trying to link US arms sales to human rights issues. A spokesman for Mr Feingold said he had never been to East Timor, but had been moved by the requests of college students from his Wisconsin electorate, who have been leading a campaign on the issue.