International Procurement:

Problems in Identifying Foreign Discrimination Against U.S. Companies

NSIAD-90-127: Published: Apr 5, 1990. Publicly Released: Apr 23, 1990.

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Allan I. Mendelowitz
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO assessed the implementation of Title VII of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988, focusing on the: (1) availability and adequacy of information to the President about foreign discriminatory procurement; and (2) U.S. government's efforts to gather the information.

GAO found that: (1) the President's first report identifying countries that discriminated against U.S. companies in their government procurement practices was due April 30, 1990; (2) the U.S. Trade Representative's investigations were seeking detailed information on the procurement procedures and practices of many countries which sold little to the U.S. government, in some cases less than $100,000; (3) due to unchanged monitoring codes, the 1990 Title VII investigation will be based on some information that is over 2 years old; (4) the private sector had not come forward with many complaints; and (5) due to a lack of expertise and resources, the government's ability to obtain information about foreign government procurement has been limited.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The U.S. Trade Representative narrowed the scope of its most recent investigation, and plans future investigations to be more focused.

    Recommendation: The U.S. Trade Representative should narrow the scope of future Title VII investigations to only those countries over which the United States has leverage, as defined in the Omnibus and Trade Competitiveness Act, before information gathering begins.

    Agency Affected: Executive Office of the President: Office of the United States Trade Representative


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