U.S. Department of Agriculture:
Issues Related to the Export Credit Guarantee Programs
T-GGD-93-28, May 6, 1993
GAO discussed the operations of the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Export Credit and Intermediate Export Credit Guarantee Programs. GAO noted that: (1) USDA makes a total of $5.7 billion in government loan guarantees available each year to foreign buyers of U.S. agricultural commodities; (2) the government has paid out $4.2 billion because of loan repayment defaults by foreign buyers; (3) future program costs will increase if risky foreign buyers continue to participate in these loan guarantee programs; (4) USDA has taken action to improve program management weaknesses, but additional actions are needed; (5) legislative restrictions on the programs have a limited impact on program operations; and (6) the creditworthiness of a country is only one factor considered by the Secretary of Agriculture in assessing the likelihood of repayment of a specific credit guarantee.