World Agriculture:

Factors Influencing Trends in World Agricultural Production and Trade

RCED-89-1: Published: Jan 19, 1989. Publicly Released: Jan 19, 1989.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO provided information on issues affecting global agricultural production and trade, and the resulting impact on U.S. agricultural exports.

GAO found that: (1) a sharp rise in global food imports and U.S. agricultural exports resulted from past economic growth and international lending; (2) poor economic growth and heavy debt burdens for developing countries have curtailed demand; (3) many developed countries have subsidized domestic agricultural production to protect their market shares, while many others have attempted to achieve self-sufficiency through increased domestic production, leading to reductions in U.S. exports; (4) U.S. and other developed nations' conflicting agricultural policies have hampered U.S. agricultural exports; and (5) technological advances in developing countries and biotechnological advances in developed countries could further reduce the demand for U.S. agricultural exports.

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