International Trade

Coordination of U.S. Export Promotion Activities in Pacific Rim Countries Gao ID: GGD-94-192 August 29, 1994

In recent years, Congress has been concerned about the lack of coordination among federal agencies that conduct export promotion activities. This report identifies (1) the nature of export promotion activities in Pacific Rim countries by U.S. agencies--primarily the Department of Commerce, Agriculture, and State and the U.S. Agency for International Development and (2) the extent to which the programs are coordinated among U.S. agencies within each market. In addition, GAO provides information on the role that single, consolidated country commercial plans could play as part of an overall, governmentwide strategic plan to promote exports. GAO's review included U.S. embassies and consulates in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, as well as the American Institute in Taiwan.

GAO noted that: (1) of the many U.S. agencies that provide a wide range of export promotion services to U.S. businesses operating in the Pacific Rim, the four most important are the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, Foreign Agricultural Service, Department of State, and Agency for International Development; (2) these four agencies assist U.S businesses by facilitating nonagricultural export promotion, helping businesses compete more effectively overseas, providing businesses with information on local market conditions, settling trade disputes, and engaging in regional and bilateral development projects; (3) U.S. export promotion activities in the countries reviewed are better coordinated than in the United States because commercial activities are given a higher priority by the embassies and consulates; (4) the Ambassador or Consul General is the central coordinator of export promotion activities in each country; (5) there were some instances where export promotion activities lacked effective coordination; and (6) although the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee has been required to develop strategic plans that prioritize, coordinate, and reduce duplication in export promotion activities, it has not completed these plans.

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