oversight

Department of Commerce 5-Year Export Expansion Proposals

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-03-23.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

INTERNAl-iOtV&   DIVISION




                                                  IlllllllllllllIlllllllllllllllllIlllllllllllllllll
                                                         LM093024



        Dear Mr. Lee:

               In our continuing review of United States efforts   to expand exports,
         we recently came upon a situation  with potential  for increasing sales of
         American products.

                 The Department of Agriculture,  Foreign Agricultural      Service (USDA,
         FAS) over the years has sponsored numerous foreign executive teams to the
         United States for the purpose of providing technical         assistance in the
         management, processing, and uses of agricultural       commodities.      These
         visiting    teams from a number of countries generally consist of upper level
         executives such as managing directors,      technical  services officials,
         purchasing agents, and others in decision-making       capacities.      Our limited
         review of this program disclosed that the potential        for exposing these
         officials    to the advantages of American equipment in improving their
         processing operations have not been fully explored.

               Cn indication      of this untapped potential      was disclosed to our
         representatives      during a survey of trade activities         in Taiwan. While there,
         the American Soybean Institute        representative     briefed them on their program
         of sending soybean industry officials           to the United States to learn of
         latest developments in the industry.           The results,     we were told, were
         technically    gratifying    but the operational      improvements later accomplished
         were with third country equipment.           The local USDA and Soybean Institute
         representatives      agreed that there was potential        for selling   American
         equipment to these foreign visitors          if the appropriate manufacturers could
         be programmed into the visitors?        itinerary.

                 Further exploration      at USDA and Commerce disclosed that while Commerce's
         International      Liaison Trade Opportunities     staff has a Foreign Business
         Visitors     Services program, the FAS sponsored teams have not been covered
         by this program, We found general agreement among Agriculture            and Commerce
         officials     that with proper coordination,      American manufacturers and suppliers
         could profitably        program seminars and demonstrations of their products with
         a view to satisfying         the visitors* needs.




                                     5QTW ANNIVERSARY        ?92l-   1971
       We reviewed some of the trip reports on file at USDA and noted that
many visitors     have expressed interest     in being shown equipment that might
be used in improving their operations.          In some cases, contact was made
with specific     equipment manufacturers,     but in other cases a secondary source
had to be arrangedo It seems to us that if visits          to prime equipment
suppliers    could be arranged before-hand, or catalogs and other sales material
collected    from potential   suppliers,   the sales of American products would be
materially     enhanced.

     The schedule below illustrates     the upward trend of foreign                  businessmen
who have visited  the United States    under FAS sponsorship:

            FO                   No. of Visitors                        FAS Funds

              1968                       76                             $ 70,044
              1969                      149                              169,314
              1970                      181                              247,131

       We plan to further extend our review to include visitors sponsored by
other government agencies as well as private business groups that represent
potential    customers for American products. However, rather than await the
results of these reviews, we thought you might wish to explore the FAS
program with USDA officials,

      A copy of this letter   is being sent to the Administrator,                   Foreign
Agricultural  Service.

     We would be pleased to learn your views on this                matter    and the course
of action contemplated, if any,,

                                                           Sincerely,



                                                       I



                                                  ,/
                                                           Assistant     Director
                                              f

                                            i/




 Mr. William D. Lee, Deputy Assistant       Secretary
Bureau  of Domestic Commerce
Department of Commerce




                                      -2-