Export Controls:

U.S. Controls on Trade With Selected Middle Eastern Countries

NSIAD-91-193FS: Published: Apr 12, 1991. Publicly Released: Apr 29, 1991.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed U.S. export controls in the Middle East, to determine the: (1) number and dollar value of license applications for exports of dual-use items to 10 Middle East countries; and (2) level and commodity structure of trade between the U.S. and those countries.

GAO found that: (1) annual U.S. exports averaged $10.9 billion for the 10 countries, representing less than 5 percent of total annual U.S. exports; (2) about $3.2 billion per year represented government-to-government military sales; (3) due to stricter export controls in Iran, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and Syria, the United States annually approved about 67 percent of all applications for exports of dual-use items; (4) the United States approved about 94 percent of applications for dual-use exports to Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia; (5) exports of dual-use items to the 10 countries decreased from $2.6 billion in 1987 to $2 billion in 1990; (6) 95 percent of all foreign military sales deliveries were made to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Israel, and no deliveries were made to Iran, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, or Syria; and (7) fuels were the largest U.S. imports from the countries, while machinery and equipment accounted for the largest proportion of U.S. exports to those countries.

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