Export Promotion:

Governmentwide Strategy Needed for Federal Programs

T-GGD-93-7: Published: Mar 15, 1993. Publicly Released: Mar 15, 1993.

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GAO discussed federal export promotion programs. GAO noted that: (1) there is no governmentwide export promotion strategy to govern any funding allocations; (2) in fiscal year 1991, the Department of Agriculture spent 74 percent of total federal outlays on export promotion and issued $5.7 billion in export loans and loan guarantees; (3) there is no single budget category for all export promotion programs; (4) no single agency can provide all the necessary information and services to assist small businesses, which confuses and discourages exporters; (5) the Export Enhancement Act established the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC) to devise a governmentwide export promotion strategy and propose a unified export promotion budget, but it has not had time to carry out its mandate; (6) a one-stop field office network would ease access to all government export promotion programs, but budget constraints and agency resistance may hinder service integration; (7) export promotion programs in four European countries are less fragmented than in the United States, and they offer more financial incentives and targeted services; and (8) Congress cannot determine whether the current level of export promotion funding is adequate until TPCC completes a governmentwide export promotion strategy and proposed budget.

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