High-Value Product Exports:

Good Potential Exists for More Trade With Taiwan, Malaysia, and Indonesia

GGD-94-52: Published: Nov 19, 1993. Publicly Released: Nov 24, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the: (1) potential for increased exports of U.S. agricultural high-value products (HVP) to Indonesia, Malaysia, and Taiwan; (2) factors that could limit HVP exports to these countries; (3) need for competitive market development activities in these countries; and (4) need to enhance the competitiveness of U.S. businesses in these markets.

GAO found that: (1) Taiwan, Malaysia, and Indonesia are potentially good markets for increased U.S. HVP exports, since rising incomes, an expanding middle class, an increasing preference for Western-style food, and more women in the workforce have increased the demand for HVP; (2) U.S. HVP exports to these countries are increasing faster than U.S. exports of bulk products; (3) the factors that could limit increases in HVP exports include high tariffs, nontariff trade barriers such as import licensing, and local and third-country competition; (4) although the countries have attempted to reduce their tariffs, import tariffs in these markets remain high on many agricultural products; (5) U.S. companies lack a strong commitment to exporting, which is a key to success in these markets; (6) U.S. companies' commitment to exporting can be demonstrated through marketing activities such as developing an export strategy, conducting market research, adapting products to specific markets, establishing a local presence, developing a promotion plan, and providing after-trade servicing, but few U.S. companies engage in these activities; and (7) the U.S. government could help exporters by providing more practical and product-specific market information and working with foreign countries to lower tariffs and remove nontariff trade barriers on HVP.

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