Comments on Proposed National Export Policy Act of 1981

Gao ID: ID-82-4 December 30, 1981

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed a bill that would establish a national export policy for the United States. The GAO review encompassed the following topics: export financing, export-related tax policy, business accounting and foreign trade simplification, export competitiveness statements, export promotion programs, agricultural exports, and the GAO reporting requirement.

GAO stated that the sections of the bill dealing with export financing would attempt to do the following: (1) amend existing legislation concerning Eximbank's authority to finance exports with the intent of enhancing the competitiveness of U.S. exporters; (2) allow Eximbank to guarantee loans by private financial institutions when secured by accounts receivable or inventories; and (3) place stipulations on the allowable amount of Eximbank-provided financing for agricultural commodity exports. The sections on export-related tax policy would affect the taxation of Americans overseas and the use of foreign trade zones in exporting. The sections on business accounting and foreign trade simplification would amend the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, specifically the accounting and antibribery provisions. The section on export competitiveness statements provides for such a statement whenever a significant action could adversely affect the exports of the United States. The section on export promotion programs would encourage the formation of export trading companies and provide for the establishment of joint marketing agreements. The sections on agricultural exports would establish an agricultural export credit revolving fund. Finally, GAO believes that the section dealing with reporting requirements should be deleted because it would only provide for short-term examinations of the export policies of the United States.

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