International Trade:

Activity Under the Export Enhancement Program

NSIAD-90-59FS: Published: Feb 12, 1990. Publicly Released: Feb 20, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Foreign Agricultural Service's (FAS) Export Enhancement Program.

GAO noted that: (1) FAS has made $2.6 billion in surplus U.S. agricultural products available as bonuses to U.S. exporters; (2) FAS had targeted 65 countries and 12 products in 105 export initiatives and approved 144 additional allocations under the initiatives through September 1989; (3) wheat comprised $5.5 billion, or 81 percent of program sales totalling $6.8 billion; (4) barley accounted for $463 million, or 12 percent of program sales; (5) 5 countries bought 74 percent of the wheat, or 1.4 billion out of the 1.9 billion bushels sold under the program; (6) wheat accounted for $1.6 billion of the total $2.3 billion in program bonuses distributed to exporters, followed by barley and wheat flour, at $233 million and $176 million, respectively; (7) $1.7 billion, or 74 percent of the bonuses, supported export activities to 7 of the 65 targeted countries; (8) the amount of bonuses needed to make U.S. exporters competitive varied over time and by commodity; (9) by February 1989, 71 exporters had participated in the program; and (10) 61 of those firms were classified as U.S. corporations and many of those firms were foreign-owned businesses.

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