Agricultural Trade:

High-Value Product Sales Are Limited in Export Enhancement Program

RCED-93-101: Published: Apr 6, 1993. Publicly Released: Apr 22, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) export enhancement program (EEP), focusing on: (1) factors limiting agricultural high-value product (HVP) sales under EEP; and (2) other USDA efforts to increase HVP exports.

GAO found that: (1) in fiscal years 1990 and 1991, HVP sales represented only 8 percent of total EEP funds instead of the 25 percent specified in the 1990 farm bill; (2) HVP sales under EEP are limited by restrictive program guidelines, foreign policy considerations, and cumbersome administrative processes; (3) other USDA export subsidy programs may be better able to promote HVP exports, since these programs allow USDA to provide cash bonuses to U.S. exporters to facilitate HVP sales in selected foreign markets; and (4) in response to a congressional mandate, USDA has proposed a long-term agricultural trade strategy to expand the total dollar amount of HVP exports and the percentage of U.S. exports represented by HVP.

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