GAO’s reports and testimonies give Congress, federal agencies, and the public timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can improve government operations and save taxpayers billions of dollars.
With U.S. crude oil production nearly doubling from 2009 to 2015, Congress repealed the crude oil export ban in December 2015—allowing the free export of U.S. crude oil worldwide.
We found that repealing the ban was associated with:
Expanding the market for U.S.
Over 1.2 million foreign students studied—with many contributing to important research—at U.S. universities in 2018. But there is a risk they may “export” sensitive knowledge that they gain to their home countries.
The State Department has expressed a commitment to building a workforce that reflects the diverse composition of the United States.
Though State's workforce has grown more diverse, racial or ethnic minorities are still underrepresented, particularly in the senior ranks.
When foreign countries engage in activities that threaten U.S. interests, the U.S. government can impose economic sanctions. For example, the United States may prohibit certain exports or freeze a foreign entity’s U.S. assets to try to stop weapons proliferation or human rights abuses.
Over the last 15 years, use of electronic cigarettes in the United States has grown rapidly as use of traditional cigarettes declined. Most e-cigarettes sold here are thought to be imported.
The government began collecting data on imported e-cigarette devices, parts, and liquid in 2016.
The State Department reviewed about 69,000 commercial export licenses for firearms, artillery, and ammunition in 2013-17. Proposed changes would transfer export control responsibility to the Commerce Department for many of these items.
To encourage companies to maintain and expand operations in the United States, the Foreign-Trade Zones program offers a range of benefits, such as the possible reduction or elimination of customs duties on certain imported goods.
Unlike airport duty-free shops, U.S. duty-free stores on the border with Mexico can sell you an unlimited quantity of tax-free cigarettes. Sometimes criminals buy thousands of dollars' worth of these cigarettes to sell illegally (as shown below), which can generate revenue for organized crime.