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The Commodity Import Program (CIP), managed by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is intended to foster a competitive private sector in Egypt, in addition to assisting U.S. exporters. The program also supports the government of Egypt and USAID activities and expenses in Egypt. Since 1992, Congress has appropriated at least $200 million per year for the CIP. In 1998, the United States negotiated a reduction in its economic assistance to Egypt, including the CIP, through fiscal year 2009. In this context, GAO was asked to discuss its ongoing analysis of (1) program participants' use of the CIP and the Egyptian government's and USAID's use of program funds and (2) factors that have affected the CIP's ability to foster a competitive private sector in Egypt. We received comments on a draft of this statement from USAID, which we incorporated where appropriate. In general, USAID agreed with our observations.

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