Foreign Governments' Stockpile Policies--Actual and Proposed

ID-83-16: Published: Dec 2, 1982. Publicly Released: Jan 3, 1983.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the methods used by other industrialized countries to finance stockpiles of critical materials. This review included both the programs of countries which are presently stockpiling and the plans of countries which have considered stockpiling.

Certain industrialized countries have long been stockpiling critical materials for economic as well as strategic reasons. Recent efforts to establish stockpiles in West Germany and Spain were not successful due to budgetary problems and lack of private sector support. Preliminary discussions concerning the development of a stockpiling plan in the United Kingdom have taken place. The stockpiling programs adopted or considered by all of the countries under study, except Sweden and France, are joint government-private sector efforts. The stockpiles in Sweden and France are government-owned, with France's stockpile being financed by bonds and budget appropriations. The other countries' stockpiles are financed essentially by the private sector, but governments provide financial assistance in the form of guaranteed loans, interest subsidies, loans at concessionary interest rates, tax incentives, and administrative expense subsidies.

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