International Trade:

Foreign Market Development for High Value Agricultural Products

NSIAD-90-47: Published: Jan 17, 1990. Publicly Released: Jan 26, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed competitor and U.S. market development for high-value agricultural products.

GAO found that: (1) the United States and its foreign competitors conducted similar marketing activities for high-value agricultural products, but some competitors used a highly targeted approach which integrated market research with production and distribution capacities; (2) private-sector associations were responsible for most foreign market development activities in the United States, while foreign public and private sectors commonly worked together to achieve marketing goals; (3) foreign governments generally played a more active role than the U.S. government in managing and funding market development activities; (4) the Department of Agriculture had not developed a marketing approach for encouraging U.S. producers to be more export-oriented; (5) foreign competitors placed a high value on trade exhibition participation; (6) foreign governments regulated marketing operations less than the United States and allowed preferential access to export information and public funds, while the U.S. government emphasized non-discriminatory access; and (7) neither the United States nor its competitors emphasized formal evaluations of marketing activities.

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