Military Exports:

Analysis of an Interagency Study on Trade Offsets

NSIAD-86-99BR: Published: Apr 4, 1986. Publicly Released: Apr 10, 1986.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed an interagency study on the impact of trade offsets on defense-related exports.

GAO found that: (1) subcontractors, the group most likely to be hurt by trade offsets, were underrepresented in the survey; (2) information from nondefense industries was not gathered, even though nondefense firms can be affected when defense contractors agree to offsets; (3) the interagency survey did not clearly distinguish between the total companies sampled and the lesser number of companies who reported military sale dollar values; (4) there was no mention of the number of companies that did not report any offset activities; and (5) the defense trade offset section of the survey was not properly designed and included nonstandardized response formats and undefined terms. GAO also found that: (1) survey design problems led respondents to base their answers on different considerations and report them in a nonuniform manner; (2) some errors in processing questionnaire responses resulted in the overreporting of sales and the underreporting of offset values; (3) interagency disagreements concerning access to survey data and what should be reported affected the completion of the survey; and (4) survey findings and conclusions were not appropriately qualified.

Jan 14, 2021

Jan 12, 2021

Dec 10, 2020

Dec 2, 2020

Nov 20, 2020

Nov 19, 2020

Looking for more? Browse all our products here