International Trade Issues

OCG-93-11TR: Published: Dec 1, 1992. Publicly Released: Dec 1, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO summarized issues relating to the federal government's role in international trade, focusing on: (1) enhancing U.S. competitiveness in an interdependent world; (2) promoting U.S. exports; (3) managing the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) export programs; (4) negotiating and administering trade agreements; and (5) analyzing national security-related foreign investments.

GAO noted that: (1) international trade has become an increasingly critical part of the U.S. economy, although many believe that the United States is losing ground in global competition; (2) the Department of Commerce and USDA have addressed some organizational and management problems in their export promotion programs, but there is still a need for a comprehensive, government-wide strategy for those programs, which are spread among several agencies; (3) although multilateral trade negotiations which could enhance U.S. exports have not been completed, the United States has successfully advanced some bilateral trade agreements; and (4) the federal government needs to enhance its procedures for monitoring and analyzing proposed foreign investments in U.S. firms conducting national security-related work.

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