If anybody is interested, I have tried the above suggestion and it does work for copying records. I am using a "template" supplier to copy to a new temporary supplier that is being handled by file transfers, replacing only the supplier code and name fields. Here's a sampling of the code for B4c4:
if tccomf2101m000.find() <> 1 then
|error - can't find supplier template
stpapi.application.option( "tccom2101m000", 1, -32, err.mess)
Thanks to all those who hinted at a solution here. There are way too many fields in the supplier table to make this a palatable experience.