Perspectives on Trade and International Payments

ID-79-11A: Published: Oct 10, 1979. Publicly Released: Oct 10, 1979.

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Growing concern over the U.S. trade deficit in 1978 and 1979 and depreciation of the dollar in foreign exchange markets caused concern over U.S. trade policies. In order to help fill the need for long-range world trade information, a detailed report was compiled from past GAO reports and testimony, published data on the issues discussed, and from agency and congressional records, testimony, and reference material. The following questions are posed as chapter headings and explored in detail: (1) What has happened with U.S. trade and payments problems since 1975? (2) Is there a coherent international trade policy? (3) Is the Government's organization adequate for handling trade matters? (4) Will the dollar exchange rate redress the trade imbalance? (5) Can export controls be administered better to support U.S. export goals? (6) Can foreign trade barriers/import restrictions be reduced? (7) Should something be done about imports? (8) Are changes needed in U.S. investment policies? (9) Can productivity be increased to make U.S. products more competitive? (10) What is the relationship between technology transfer and trade? (11) What effect does government regulation have on exports and imports? (12) Will government promotion increase U.S. exports? (13) What export financing assistance should be made available to exporters? (14) Can the U.S. payments position be improved through better administration of collections and payments? Appendices included in the report present a review of trade and payments legislation and a directory of selected GAO reports on trade and international payments issued since July 1973.

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