Trade Liberalization: Recent Developments in Western Hemisphere Trade Arrangements

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-07-22.

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

                          United States General Accounting Office

GAO                       Testimony
                          Before the Subcommittee on Trade, Committee on Ways
                          and Means, House of Representatives

For Release on Delivery
Expected at
10:00 a.m., EDT
                          TRADE LIBERALIZATION
July 22, 1997

                          Recent Developments in
                          Western Hemisphere Trade
                          Statement of JayEtta Z. Hecker, Associate Director,
                          International Relations and Trade Issues, National
                          Security and International Affairs Division

          Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee:

          We are pleased to be here today to talk about various issues regarding
          Western Hemisphere trade liberalization. As you know, the United States
          is proceeding with discussions leading to a Free Trade Area of the
          Americas (FTAA) by the year 2005, a goal established at the Miami Summit
          of the Americas in December 1994. My statement will focus on (1) the
          principal existing subregional trade arrangements in the Western
          Hemisphere, (2) the current status of FTAA discussions, and (3) recent
          developments in regional trade liberalization outside the FTAA process and
          their possible implications for the United States.

          This testimony summarizes our observations in a report to you on these
          issues being released today.1 This work was based on (1) our past and
          ongoing work on Western Hemisphere trade issues; (2) a review of
          documents on subregional multilateral and bilateral trade arrangements;
          (3) reports from the FTAA working groups; (4) analyses of regional trade
          developments from academic and technical publications; and
          (5) interviews with officials from the Office of the U.S. Trade
          Representative (USTR), the Organization of American States (OAS), the U.S.
          International Trade Commission, and representatives from five other
          Western Hemisphere nations at the forefront of regional trade

          Before we discuss the specifics of our presentation, we will give you a
          brief overview.

          While trade agreements in the Western Hemisphere are not new, they have
Summary   recently been revitalized as more countries in the region have committed
          to liberalizing their trade regimes. Almost all countries in the region
          participate in at least one subregional trade grouping, and many have
          concluded numerous bilateral agreements. There are now six major
          subregional multilateral trade groupings in the Western Hemisphere.
          Among these trade blocs, the two most significant are the North American
          Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Common Market of the South,
          known as Mercosur. In addition to these multilateral trade groupings,
          there are more than 20 bilateral trade agreements involving countries in
          the hemisphere.

           Trade Liberalization: Western Hemisphere Trade Issues Confronting the United States
          (GAO/NSIAD-97-119, July 22, 1997).

          Page 1                                               GAO/T-NSIAD-97-220 Trade Liberalization
The FTAA, which was called for at the 1994 Miami Summit of the Americas,
represents the most ambitious effort in regional trade liberalization to
date. At the Miami Summit, regional leaders agreed to establish a free
trade agreement encompassing the entire Western Hemisphere by the
year 2005.2 In the last 2-1/2 years, countries have taken numerous steps to
prepare for formal negotiations. Trade ministers from participating
countries have met three times and have established a number of working
groups to address substantive issues, such as market access, services, and
investment. The United States has been active in all FTAA meetings and
working groups, and chairs the Working Group on Government

Substantial agreement has been reached on several key issues in
preparation for formal FTAA negotiations. For example, countries have
agreed that formal negotiations should be launched by the Western
Hemisphere leaders at their next summit scheduled to take place in
Santiago, Chile, in April 1998, and that an agreement encompassing the
entire hemisphere should be concluded by 2005. Consensus has also been
reached on the right of countries to negotiate independently or, if
members of subregional trade groupings, as a unit. Moreover, countries
agreed to establish a Preparatory Committee at the vice-ministerial level to
complete recommendations on the FTAA negotiations early next year.
Disagreement remains, however, regarding the pace and direction of
negotiations. The United States and most other countries favor immediate
negotiations on all issues beginning in 1998. In contrast, Mercosur
countries would delay negotiations on certain issues, such as market
access, until 2003.

Since the Mexican financial crisis, which surfaced only days after the
Miami Summit, the United States has not actively pursued further trade
liberalization efforts in the hemisphere. At the same time, other countries
have moved forward with a wide range of new free trade initiatives. For
example, Canada and Chile recently concluded a free trade agreement.
Mexico has also negotiated an extensive network of free trade agreements
with countries in the region, including Columbia, Chile, Costa Rica, and
Venezuela. Similarly, the Mercosur countries have concluded free trade
arrangements with Chile and Bolivia, and they are now entering into trade
negotiations with Mexico and the European Union. U.S. exporters’ access
to markets in the region is starting to be adversely affected by these new
trade agreements. Their impact is starting to be felt by U.S. firms in

 All 34 democratically elected governments in the Western Hemisphere were represented at the Miami
Summit and are involved in the FTAA. Cuba is the only major country in the region that has not
participated in the FTAA process.

Page 2                                               GAO/T-NSIAD-97-220 Trade Liberalization
                     various sectors, such as agriculture, telecommunications, and the
                     pharmaceutical industry. Whether or not the United States participates in
                     shaping future trade liberalization efforts, representatives of several
                     countries in the hemisphere generally agree that their countries will
                     continue to advance their own regional free trade initiatives.

                     As the largest regional market for U.S. products, accounting for
Background           approximately $242 billion, or 40 percent of U.S. exports in 1996, the
                     Western Hemisphere has assumed growing importance for U.S.
                     commercial interests. Canada and Mexico are by far the largest U.S. trade
                     partners in the hemisphere, accounting for approximately two-thirds of
                     total U.S. exports to the region. The United States is the largest source of
                     foreign investment in the Western Hemisphere, accounting for about
                     30 percent of total U.S. foreign direct investment.

                     By the late 1980s, most Latin American countries instituted
                     market-oriented economic reforms to stimulate economic growth and
                     development. Although these reforms were primarily intended to address
                     domestic economic problems, they also facilitated trade liberalization
                     efforts. The 1988 U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement, which coincided
                     with Latin America’s opening to international trade, signalled a new
                     commitment on the part of North American countries to regional trade
                     liberalization. Currently, almost all countries in the hemisphere are
                     involved in some form of free trade arrangement in what is becoming an
                     increasingly complex web of subregional and bilateral trade groupings.

                     In launching the FTAA discussions, Western Hemisphere leaders sought to
                     capitalize on the momentum toward regional trade liberalization, bringing
                     together all countries in the hemisphere under a single and comprehensive
                     free trade agreement by 2005. The summit declaration committed
                     participating governments to negotiate the elimination of barriers to trade
                     in goods and services as well as investment and to provide rules in such
                     areas as intellectual property rights and government procurement. Since
                     the summit, trade ministers from participating countries have met three
                     times—in Denver, Colorado (1995), Cartagena, Colombia (1996), and Belo
                     Horizonte, Brazil (1997)—and have effectively laid the foundation for
                     formal FTAA negotiations to begin in 1998.

                     The six major multilateral trading arrangements among countries of the
Western Hemisphere   Western Hemisphere are NAFTA, Mercosur, the Andean Pact, the Caribbean
Trade Arrangements

                     Page 3                                   GAO/T-NSIAD-97-220 Trade Liberalization
                     Community, the Central American Common Market, and the Latin
                     American Integration Association. The United States is only a party to
                     NAFTA. There are also over 20 smaller multilateral and bilateral free trade
                     accords among countries in the region.

NAFTA                NAFTA,  the most comprehensive trade arrangement in the region, was
                     concluded in 1992 by Canada, Mexico, and the United States and became
                     effective in January 1994. NAFTA created the world’s largest free trade area,
                     with a combined population of nearly 400 million and a combined gross
                     domestic product of $8 trillion. NAFTA provides for the gradual elimination
                     of tariff barriers on most goods over a 10-year period. It covers trade in
                     services, provides protection for investment and intellectual property
                     rights, applies rules to government procurement, and contains a dispute
                     settlement system. A distinct feature of NAFTA is the two side agreements
                     on labor and the environment.

Mercosur             Mercosur was created in March 1991 by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and
                     Uruguay. Comprising a population of approximately 200 million and with a
                     combined gross domestic product of about $851 billion, Mercosur is the
                     world’s third largest integrated multinational market after NAFTA and the
                     European Union. Mercosur currently functions as a customs union,
                     providing not only for a free trade area but also for the establishment of a
                     common external tariff.3 Mercosur countries are committed to coordinate
                     macroeconomic policies and to agree on a common foreign trade policy.
                     Unlike NAFTA, Mercosur lacks agreements on intellectual property rights4
                     and government procurement.

Other Multilateral   Besides NAFTA and Mercosur, which were established in the 1990s, there
Agreements           are four older subregional multilateral trade groupings in the Western
                     Hemisphere. Three of these groupings—the Andean Group, the Caribbean
                     Community, and the Central American Common Market—are customs
                     unions at varying stages of implementation. They have all recently taken

                      According to a USTR official, the World Trade Organization (WTO)’s Committee on Regional Trade
                     Agreements is currently reviewing Mercosur to ensure that it conforms with article 24 of the General
                     Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. Article 24 lays out conditions under which member countries may
                     form preferential trading arrangements, such as customs unions and free trade areas. This official
                     noted, however, that without detailed information on Mercosur’s implementation and schedule for
                     liberalization, it is difficult to fully evaluate the agreement under the criteria set forth by article 24.
                      An August 1995 protocol among Mercosur countries, however, provides limited common terms of
                     reference on intellectual property rights.

                     Page 4                                                     GAO/T-NSIAD-97-220 Trade Liberalization
                 steps to further liberalize trade and promote economic integration. The
                 fourth subregional trade arrangement, the Latin American Integration
                 Association, is a network of agreements granting tariff preferences for
                 certain product categories to member countries.

                 In addition to the larger trade blocs, there are more than 20 smaller
                 multilateral and bilateral trade accords among the countries of the
                 Western Hemisphere. Many of these have been established in this decade.

                 At the FTAA meetings of ministers in Denver, Cartagena, and Belo
Status of FTAA   Horizonte, 12 working groups were established for the purpose of
Discussions      collecting information to prepare for FTAA negotiations. The areas of
                 responsibility assigned to the 12 FTAA working groups reflect some of the
                 priorities of the United States and other countries in the hemisphere. For
                 example, there are working groups on intellectual property rights and
                 government procurement, issues of key interest to the United States; on
                 subsidies, antidumping, and countervailing duties, areas of special concern
                 to Argentina; and on smaller economies, a priority for Caribbean
                 countries. The United States chairs the Working Group on Government

                 The working groups were established to collect basic information on key
                 issues in preparation for FTAA negotiations. U.S. and OAS officials explained
                 that the working groups have been the mechanism for accelerating
                 progress on the priorities of participating countries. Progress in meeting
                 the information mandates set forth at the ministerials differs for each of
                 the 12 working groups. The Working Group on Investment, for example, is
                 particularly advanced, having prepared a comprehensive technical
                 compendium on investment treaties in the region. According to both U.S.
                 and OAS officials, the Working Group on Investment has also made
                 considerable progress, exchanging views on elements that could be
                 included in a FTAA investment chapter, including investor protection,
                 national treatment, and dispute settlement. Progress in other working
                 groups has been more modest. For example, the Working Group on
                 Market Access reported in February 1997 that many countries had yet to
                 submit the schedules and statistics required to prepare a hemispheric
                 database on tariff structures and nontariff measures.

                 A Tripartite Committee, made up of the OAS, the Inter-American
                 Development Bank (IDB), and the United Nations Economic Commission
                 on Latin America and the Caribbean, was formed after the first ministerial

                 Page 5                                   GAO/T-NSIAD-97-220 Trade Liberalization
                           in Denver to provide analytical support to the working groups as
                           requested. Each organization in the Tripartite Committee is responsible for
                           providing technical support to the FTAA process through the working
                           groups. For example, the IDB is collecting trade statistics to assist the
                           Working Group on Market Access, while the OAS has provided support to
                           other groups on trade policy issues, such as subsidies and competition
                           policy. At this time, the Tripartite Committee’s role in support of the FTAA
                           is anticipated to be transitory. The countries are considering the
                           possibility of establishing a temporary FTAA secretariat during the

Different Strategies for   At Belo Horizonte, consensus was reached on several key issues advanced
Pursuing FTAA              in these proposals. A joint declaration was issued that called for formal
                           FTAA negotiations to be launched by the next summit of Western
                           Hemisphere leaders scheduled to take place in Chile in April 1998. In the
                           declaration, countries agreed that the FTAA would be consistent with
                           member countries’ commitments under the WTO. Moreover, countries
                           agreed that the FTAA would co-exist with rather than supplant existing
                           subregional trade arrangements, such as NAFTA or Mercosur, to the extent
                           that rights and obligations under these agreements are not covered or go
                           beyond rights and obligations under the FTAA. The declaration also
                           recognized the right of participating countries to negotiate independently
                           or as members of subregional trade groupings, and the need to establish a
                           temporary administrative secretariat to support future negotiations.
                           Finally, the declaration reiterated the commitment of participating
                           countries to conclude a trade agreement encompassing the entire
                           hemisphere by 2005 at the latest.

                           At Belo Horizonte, participating countries also agreed to set up a
                           Preparatory Committee at the vice-ministerial level that will make
                           recommendations for FTAA negotiations. The Preparatory Committee is
                           supposed to meet at least three times between May 1997 and
                           February 1998, when the next FTAA ministerial is scheduled to take place in
                           San José, Costa Rica. At San José, trade ministers are committed to reach
                           agreement on the objectives, approaches, structure, and location of the
                           FTAA negotiations, based on the recommendations of the Preparatory

                           Still, there is disagreement among participating countries on the pace and
                           direction of formal negotiations. Most countries, including the United
                           States, would prefer that formal FTAA negotiations on all issues begin

                           Page 6                                   GAO/T-NSIAD-97-220 Trade Liberalization
                           during the next summit of regional leaders in 1998 and conclude no later
                           than 2005. The members of Mercosur, however, have proposed that
                           negotiations proceed in three phases: (1) in 1998 and 1999, countries
                           would agree on and begin to implement “business facilitation” measures,
                           such as adopting common customs documents or harmonized plant and
                           animal health certificates; (2) from the year 2000 to 2002, work would
                           begin on “standards and disciplines,” including antidumping and
                           countervailing duty rules, and market access for services; and (3) from
                           2003 to 2005, other disciplines and market access issues would be
                           negotiated, including tariff reductions, a key concern of the United States.

                           In launching the FTAA discussions at the Miami Summit, the United States
Recent Developments        was building on the momentum for free trade generated by the passage of
in Regional Trade          NAFTA a year earlier. At that time, NAFTA was generally regarded as a

Liberalization Outside     blueprint for further trade liberalization in the region. This expectation
                           was also grounded on the anticipated Chilean accession to NAFTA. Only
the FTAA Process           days after the summit, however, Mexico was hit by a serious financial
                           crisis, with spillover effects in other Latin American economies. The
                           commitment by the U.S. government of significant resources to stem and
                           resolve the crisis raised concerns in the United States about further
                           regional trade liberalization efforts. In the intervening period, fast track
                           authority lapsed, and, although U.S. participation in the FTAA preparatory
                           process continued, the executive branch has been constrained from
                           pursuing other tariff liberalization negotiations in the region. Formal
                           negotiations on Chilean accession to NAFTA, for example, were suspended
                           in 1995.

Other Countries Have       While debate continues in the United States regarding further regional
Moved Forward With Their   trade liberalization efforts, other countries in the region have proceeded to
Own Trade Initiatives      negotiate new trade agreements and deepen their participation in existing
                           arrangements. Chile has been at the forefront of this trend; it has
                           negotiated a network of free trade agreements with several countries in
                           the region, including Colombia and Venezuela. In 1996, Chile concluded a
                           free trade arrangement with Mercosur, becoming in effect an associate
                           member of that trade bloc.

                           Chile’s pursuit of free trade is not limited to South America. The
                           Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement, which became effective on July 1 of
                           this year, is modeled on NAFTA and is intended as a provisional agreement
                           to facilitate Chilean accession to NAFTA. Nevertheless, there are some

                           Page 7                                   GAO/T-NSIAD-97-220 Trade Liberalization
                         notable differences between this bilateral agreement and NAFTA, reflecting
                         some of the areas where Chilean and Canadian interests differ from those
                         of the United States. For example, under their bilateral agreement, Chile
                         and Canada are committed to forgo imposing antidumping and
                         countervailing duties within 6 years after the agreement goes into effect.

                         Mexico has also been extending its own web of bilateral trade agreements
                         throughout the hemisphere. It has concluded bilateral free trade
                         agreements with Costa Rica and Bolivia, and has a trilateral arrangement
                         with Columbia and Venezuela. Mexico is also negotiating free trade
                         agreements with Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama,
                         and Peru. In addition, it plans to negotiate a transitional agreement with
                         Mercosur that will cover key areas, such as market access, government
                         procurement, intellectual property rights, and investment.

                         Mercosur has also been active in subregional trade initiatives since the
                         Miami Summit. In addition to its arrangement with Chile, Mercosur has
                         concluded a free trade agreement with Bolivia and is engaged in
                         negotiations to widen its reach to other Andean Group countries.
                         Mercosur has also concluded a framework agreement on trade with the
                         European Union and is scheduled to begin formal trade negotiations with
                         Mexico in December 1997.

                         Mercosur has not only been broadening its network of agreements with
                         other countries, it has also been deepening the level of economic
                         integration among the four original member countries. In 1995, Mercosur
                         countries instituted a common external tariff, which is currently applied to
                         about 85 percent of imports from outside the bloc. Trade among Mercosur
                         member countries has almost tripled, from approximately $5 billion in
                         1991 to $14.5 billion in 1995.

Some U.S. Sectors Feel   Lack of U.S. participation in shaping emerging Western Hemisphere trade
Impact of Other          agreements has created disadvantages for some U.S. exporters’ access to
Subregional Trade        these markets.5 By lowering or eliminating tariffs among participating
                         countries, subregional free trade agreements that exclude the United
Agreements               States result in comparatively higher duties for U.S. exports. For example,

                          These examples of select sectors illustrate cases where U.S. export opportunities have been adversely
                         affected by subregional trade agreements. A broader evaluation of the costs and benefits of increased
                         trade and specific trade agreements requires a consideration of both U.S. export and import-competing
                         sectors. While trade liberalization has historically created net benefits to the aggregate economy
                         through improvements in efficiency, it creates costs that fall more directly on certain sectors of the
                         economy and labor force.

                         Page 8                                                 GAO/T-NSIAD-97-220 Trade Liberalization
Chile’s network of bilateral trade agreements has given Chilean
agricultural products an edge over U.S. exports in South America. Thus,
while Chilean apples enter many South American markets duty free,
Washington State apples face 10 to 25 percent tariffs. In recent years,
Washington growers have seen their share of these markets dwindle as
Chile capitalizes on its tariff preferences.

Like Chile’s arrangements with other South American countries, the
Canada-Chile agreement has already yielded benefits for Canadian firms
not enjoyed by U.S. companies. Recently, Canada’s Northern Telecom won
a nearly $200-million telecommunications equipment contract in Chile.
According to the State Department, the choice of Northern Telecom over
U.S. companies was at least in part due to the fact that buying from a U.S.
producer would have meant an additional $20 million cost in duties
relative to purchasing from Canada.

While U.S. exports to Mercosur countries have been growing, U.S.
exporters will likely face increasing difficulties in penetrating markets in
Mercosur countries as commitment to common bloc trade policies
deepens. For example, a USTR official noted that Mercosur is currently
considering adopting product safety standards that are quite different from
U.S. standards. This official explained that if these standards are adopted,
U.S. auto manufacturers could be at a disadvantage in accessing the
growing markets of Mercosur member countries.

Mercosur’s position on the recent WTO Information Technology Agreement
also provides an indication of how the bloc’s common foreign trade policy
will complicate U.S. efforts to promote its economic interests in the
region. The Information Technology Agreement, which was signed by 28
WTO members in Singapore in December 1996, provides important tariff
concessions in an industry where the United States enjoys a considerable
competitive advantage. Brazil did not join in the Information Technology
Agreement, seeking to protect its own emerging information technologies
industry. Brazil’s position on the agreement has now been adopted as an
element of Mercosur’s common external trade policy, while other partners
like Argentina, if acting individually, might have taken a different position.

The difficulties faced by the U.S. pharmaceutical industry in the Argentine
market also illustrate some of the drawbacks encountered by U.S. firms as
countries in the region drift away from the long-standing U.S. concern
regarding intellectual property protection. In a recent statement before the

Page 9                                    GAO/T-NSIAD-97-220 Trade Liberalization
                           Trade Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee,6 the
                           President of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
                           estimated that annual losses by member companies due to patent
                           infringement in Argentina amount to several hundred million dollars. This
                           official noted that NAFTA has the strongest safeguards for intellectual
                           property rights of any trade agreement. He concluded that if Argentina had
                           been brought into NAFTA, that government would have had to seek to
                           curtail patent infringement more decisively than it does now. It is worth
                           noting that Argentina’s former Finance Minister favored joining NAFTA
                           rather than integrating further within Mercosur. However, after NAFTA
                           negotiations with Chile were suspended, it became clear that prospects for
                           Argentine accession to NAFTA were rather distant, and Argentina
                           proceeded to cement its position within Mercosur.

Regional Trade             Other Western Hemisphere leaders have indicated their countries will
Liberalization Likely to   continue their initiatives toward free trade and economic integration. For
Continue Regardless of     example, a Chilean trade official told us that, like the United States, Chile
                           would like to see the widest and most comprehensive agreement possible
U.S. Participation         on free trade for the Western Hemisphere. However, this official noted
                           that whether through NAFTA or the FTAA, with or without the United States,
                           Chile intends to continue to pursue trade liberalization because it is seen
                           as furthering Chile’s own interests. Chile still wants to join NAFTA, but
                           NAFTA is now less critical to Chile than it was in 1995.

                           Like Chile, Canadian interests in regional trade liberalization generally
                           coincide with those of the United States. However, the recent
                           Canada-Chile free trade agreement demonstrates that Canada is pursuing
                           its commercial interests in the region. According to a Canadian
                           government spokesman on trade policy, Canada’s free trade agreement
                           with Chile was not only meant to expedite Chilean accession to NAFTA, but
                           it was also intended to keep alive the momentum for free trade in
                           anticipation of FTAA negotiations. Canada would like to see decisive U.S.
                           participation in FTAA negotiations because the two countries share many
                           interests with regard to trade.

                           Mexico’s interests in regional trade liberalization parallel those of Chile
                           and Canada. According to Mexican government trade officials, all of
                           Mexico’s agreements and negotiations with other countries in the
                           hemisphere have sought to encourage the adoption of trade disciplines
                           consistent with NAFTA. These officials explained that Mexico has actively

                            March 18, 1997.

                           Page 10                                   GAO/T-NSIAD-97-220 Trade Liberalization
           supported Chilean accession to NAFTA and the concept of a free trade
           agreement that would encompass the entire hemisphere. Moreover, they
           noted that Mexico is committed to the principles of free trade and will
           continue to pursue free trade arrangements with other countries in the
           hemisphere and other regions.

           In contrast to our NAFTA partners and Chile, the Mercosur countries’ vision
           of the FTAA differs significantly from that of the United States. As the
           largest member of Mercosur, Brazil has sought to shape the FTAA process
           to make it consistent with its distinct trade priorities. Since the FTAA would
           entail broadening Brazil’s ongoing market-opening efforts, Brazil favors a
           slower managed approach to hemispheric trade liberalization. Thus, Brazil
           has proposed that FTAA negotiations on market access be deferred until
           2003, while the United States would like to see this matter addressed as
           soon as negotiations begin in 1998. A Brazilian government spokesman
           noted that, at a minimum, FTAA negotiations in 1998 could include items
           such as common customs documents, which would not require legislative
           approval. However, if that is the extent of the negotiations, discussions on
           market access would be deferred, as favored by Mercosur.

           In conclusion, it appears that trade liberalization among countries in the
           Western Hemisphere will continue in the near future regardless of U.S.
           involvement. U.S. exporters’ access to markets in the region is already
           being adversely affected by these new trade agreements. U.S. involvement
           in shaping the FTAA and other regional trade arrangements is likely to play
           a key role in determining how U.S. exporters will fare in Western
           Hemisphere markets in the future.

           Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, this concludes my
           prepared statement. We will be glad to answer any questions you may

(711292)   Page 11                                   GAO/T-NSIAD-97-220 Trade Liberalization
Ordering Information

The first copy of each GAO report and testimony is free.
Additional copies are $2 each. Orders should be sent to the
following address, accompanied by a check or money order
made out to the Superintendent of Documents, when
necessary. VISA and MasterCard credit cards are accepted, also.
Orders for 100 or more copies to be mailed to a single address
are discounted 25 percent.

Orders by mail:

U.S. General Accounting Office
P.O. Box 6015
Gaithersburg, MD 20884-6015

or visit:

Room 1100
700 4th St. NW (corner of 4th and G Sts. NW)
U.S. General Accounting Office
Washington, DC

Orders may also be placed by calling (202) 512-6000
or by using fax number (301) 258-4066, or TDD (301) 413-0006.

Each day, GAO issues a list of newly available reports and
testimony. To receive facsimile copies of the daily list or any
list from the past 30 days, please call (202) 512-6000 using a
touchtone phone. A recorded menu will provide information on
how to obtain these lists.

For information on how to access GAO reports on the INTERNET,
send an e-mail message with "info" in the body to:


or visit GAO’s World Wide Web Home Page at:


United States                       Bulk Rate
General Accounting Office      Postage & Fees Paid
Washington, D.C. 20548-0001           GAO
                                 Permit No. G100
Official Business
Penalty for Private Use $300

Address Correction Requested