Defense offsets are the full range of industrial and commercial benefits that firms give to foreign governments as conditions for the purchase of military goods and services. They have gained attention because of the potential impact they may have on the economy and national security. In 1984 and 1999, data collection and reporting requirements were levied by Congress to obtain information on the impact of offsets on the U.S. industrial base; the Departments of Commerce, State, and Defense are all required to report to Congress on defense offsets. GAO found that although coordination of data collection is limited, it may not be significant because the agencies collecting offsets cover different time periods or situations. Additional coordination may occur after the National Commission on the Use of Offsets begins its work.
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