Agricultural Trade Legislation:

Title VI, H.R. 3

T-NSIAD-87-24: Published: Mar 31, 1987. Publicly Released: Mar 31, 1987.

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GAO discussed Title VI of the Trade and International Economic Policy Reform Act of 1987, which would significantly restructure and reorient the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) management of agricultural trade. GAO believes that: (1) designating USDA as lead agency for agricultural trade and trade policy matters is unnecessary; (2) transferring the International Economic Division and the World Outlook Board to the Foreign Agricultural Service is undesirable; (3) separating responsibility for trade and domestic commodity programs between two Under Secretaries severs a natural link between international and domestic programs; (4) creating two additional Assistant Secretary positions conflicts with the objective of improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the decisionmaking process; (5) establishing a General Sales Manager's Office is unnecessary; and (6) establishing an office to monitor and report on trade practices of foreign competitors is unnecessary. GAO stated that it supports the: (1) establishment of an office responsible for developing effective agricultural trade strategies; (2) declaration of a policy concerning food aid and market development; and (3) establishment of an office responsible for food aid policy. GAO questioned the proposed: (1) use of surplus commodities by cooperators for projects designed to expand markets for U.S. agricultural commodities; (2) instructions for targeting traditional customers under the Export Enhancement Program; and (3) barter provisions of the act.

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