International Trade:

Impact of the Uruguay Round Agreement on the Export Enhancement Program

GGD-94-180BR: Published: Aug 5, 1994. Publicly Released: Sep 8, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the potential impact of the Uruguay Round Agreement on the Export Enhancement Program (EEP) and other Department of Agriculture (USDA) export programs.

GAO found that: (1) the United States may have to reduce its agricultural export subsidies by 1995 if the agreement is implemented; (2) the potential subsidized export reductions would be based on a commodity-specific basis and phased in over a 6-year period; (3) the impact of subsidy reductions on EEP and other U.S. agricultural export programs would vary; (4) although the agreement would not directly restrict USDA export credit, food aid, or market promotion and development programs, it establishes guidelines for food aid and market promotion to ensure export subsidy reduction compliance; (5) proposed EEP changes include expanding or eliminating EEP targeting, making the program more flexible for exporters and buyers, changing U.S. agricultural trade policies, and having Congress establish a marketing board; (6) there is no consensus among exporters about the continued need for EEP or its ideal structure; (7) the Foreign Agricultural Service is preparing a position paper on the implications of the agreement for EEP; (8) if the agreement is implemented, the goals and objectives of EEP will need to be revised; and (9) any alternative proposals or significant changes to EEP will need to be evaluated against the role and purpose of the program.

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