The Export Enhancement Program, U.S. Foreign Agricultural Market Development Cooperator Program, Long Term Bilateral Grain Agreements and Countertrade, Alternative Agricultural Trade Legislation Proposals

T-NSIAD-87-9: Published: Mar 12, 1987. Publicly Released: Mar 12, 1987.

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GAO discussed the Export Enhancement Program (EEP), the Foreign Market Development Cooperator Program, and bilateral grain agreements and countertrade. GAO noted that EEP increases U.S. exports, regains the lost U.S. market share, and disposes of surplus U.S. wheat and other agricultural commodities, but: (1) EEP sales represented only 3 percent of total U.S. agricultural exports; and (2) U.S. exports not targeted under EEP decreased significantly in the 1986 crop year because of increased production and limited availability of foreign currency. GAO found that: (1) although there was little evidence that EEP sales directly displaced European sales for the 1986 crop year, EEP could lower European export volume or prices; (2) EEP was designed to be budget-neutral, but there were examples where individual EEP sales could result in higher government outlays; (3) cooperator programs are geared to increasing consumer and commercial uses of U.S. agricultural products and developing long-term markets; and (4) bilateral grain agreements and countertrade were used extensively in countries where the government attempted to maintain and expand market share, but these agreements declined as a result of a buyer's market. GAO concluded that more emphasis on market development, coordination of existing and newly established programs, and new markets and value-added commodities are positive responses to increasing foreign competition.

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