International Trade:

Soviet Export Data

NSIAD-90-209BR: Published: Jul 18, 1990. Publicly Released: Jul 18, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on Soviet exports, focusing on: (1) Soviet exports to the United States and other countries; (2) the similarity between leading Soviet exports to the United States and other selected countries; (3) the differences between tariff rates for U.S. imports from the Soviet Union and countries granted most-favored-nation (MFN) trade status.

GAO found that: (1) the bulk of Soviet exports are natural resources and semiprocessed goods, with fuel products accounting for over half of its total exports in recent years; (2) although the United States has not granted the Soviet Union MFN status, the commodities the United States imports from the Soviet Union are generally similar to those imported by countries that have offered the Soviet Union MFN status; (3) such a status arrangement suggests that the types of commodities the Soviet Union would export to the United States under MFN status would probably not differ significantly from those the Soviet Union presently exports; (4) U.S. tariff rates on Soviet imports were generally low, primarily due to their nonmanufactured goods having low tariff rates; (5) more than half of Soviet exports entered the United States duty free; (6) the average tariff rate for the Soviet exports was 9.9 percent, compared to an average tariff rate for MFN countries of 5.2 percent; (7) granting MFN status to the Soviet Union would reduce its average tariff rates by 4.7 percent; and (8) a drop in tariff rates would make a substantial difference on the tariff rate differentials between MFN and non-MFN status exports.

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