Trade in business, professional, and technical (BPT) services associated with offshoring needs to be accurately tracked, but a gap exists between U.S. and Indian data. The extent of and reasons for this gap are important to understand in order to address questions about the magnitude of offshoring and to analyze its future development. Under the authority of the Comptroller General of the United States, and as part of a body of GAO work on the issue of offshoring of services, this report (1) describes the extent of the gap between U.S. and Indian data, (2) identifies factors that contribute to the difference between the two countries' data, and (3) examines the challenges the United States has faced in collecting services trade data. GAO has addressed this report to the congressional committees of jurisdiction.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Commerce||1. The Secretary of Commerce should direct BEA to systematically expand its sources of information for identifying firms to survey. BEA should consider ways to improve its identification of the appropriate survey forms to send to firms and the information requested about services imports, particularly with regard to affiliated imports.|
|Department of Commerce||2. The Secretary of Commerce should direct BEA to pursue additional company information from previous Census surveys and consider requesting Census to add questions to future surveys to help identify services importers.|