International Trade:

Export of Wood Products Under Federally Assisted Export Programs

NSIAD-90-264: Published: Jul 31, 1990. Publicly Released: Aug 20, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed exports of wood products under the Commodity Credit Corporation's (CCC) export guarantee programs and the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954, focusing on: (1) how wood exports compared with exports of other agricultural commodities under the programs; (2) how wood exports' credit guarantee periods compared with other commodity credit periods; and (3) the principal international markets for wood products.

GAO found that: (1) from 1986 through 1989, wood exports accounted for 4 percent, or $556 million, of the total export value under the short-term credit guarantee program, and wood product exports under the act were very limited; (2) wood and wood products constituted about $6 billion, or nearly 15 percent, of all U.S. agricultural exports; (3) the Department of the Treasury's rationale for providing shorter credit periods for wood products was not consistently applied to all commodities eligible for the CCC programs; (4) although there were exceptions, credit periods Treasury provided for wood exports under the programs were generally shorter than other agricultural commodities' credit periods; (5) wood exporters claimed that the shorter credit periods were unfair and prevented them from making sales in certain countries; (6) Treasury believed that the shorter credit periods for wood exports prevented the undermining of an international agreement that established guidelines for providing officially supported export credits; and (7) the principal international markets for wood products were Algeria, Iraq, Mexico, South Korea, and Tunisia.

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