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As Congress considers policies to bolster the recovery of the U.S. economy, it must consider the full range of tools available to stimulate growth and create new jobs, including promoting exports. According to the Department of Commerce, U.S. exports of manufactured goods totaled $1.8 trillion in 2008--accounting for approximately 13 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product. GAO's testimony addresses the benefits of exports and provides updated information on U.S. export promotion efforts. It also includes initial observations about foreign export promotion activities. The observations about U.S. export promotion efforts are based on a variety of reports and testimonies GAO has issued on international trade over the past 4 years. Observations about foreign export promotion practices are based on a preliminary review of several key expert studies.

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