Government Programs and Organization Affecting Exports

ID-79-41: Published: Aug 17, 1979. Publicly Released: Aug 17, 1979.

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During the past 10 years the U.S. balance of trade has steadily deteriorated reaching $26.5 billion in 1977 and $28.5 billion in 1978. Presently, government export assistance is available through the programs of various agencies. Assistance to the industrial sector is available through the Departments of Commerce and State, the Export-Import Bank, and the Small Business Administration (SBA). The Department of Agriculture is the focal point for export assistance to the agricultural sector.

Business spokesmen have argued that the export assistance provided to the private sector is negated by a series of policies which taken together have an adverse affect on trade. Such policies include export licensing, human rights, antiboycott legislation, foreign corrupt practices law, antitrust regulations, and certain tax policies, especially concerning the Domestic and International Sales Corporation and provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. Uncertainties surrounding the administration of these policies makes it extremely difficult for them to make the decisions necessary to enter or remain in the export market. Congress and SBA have recently put forward various plans to reorganize the government's trade policymaking structure. These plans include proposals to create a new cabinet level department which would be composed of various trade-related agencies and activities presently dispersed throughout the federal government; strengthen the existing Commerce by transferring to it various federal trade agencies and activities; and consolidate trade policymaking, administration of trade regulations and laws, and coordination of industrial and agricultural trade activities under the Special Representative for Trade Negotiations.

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