News programs and the Internet have been carrying the results of a Pew Research poll that suggests nearly 8 of 10 Americans don't trust the U.S. Government to do the right thing. See http://apnews.myway.com/article/20100419/D9F64DD80.html
Unfortunately, the U.S. State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has been doing its part to help take these numbers to new lows.
First, according to a Declaration filed by CPAC's former Chairman in conjunction with Freedom of Information Act litigation, State rejected his Committee's recommendations against import restrictions on coins of Cypriot type, and then mislead the public and the Congress about the Committee's true recommendations. See http://culturalpropertyobserver.blogspot.com/2009/08/cpac-chair-kislaks-views-of-eca-and.html
Next, the State Department imposed broad import restrictions on Chinese cultural goods even though identical unprovenanced artifacts are openly available within China itself and no other market nation restricts imports of Chinese artifacts like the U.S. now does. That has been a boon to Chinese auction houses, but has achieved little else. See http://culturalpropertyobserver.blogspot.com/2009/12/treasures-reclaimed-economist-reports.html and http://culturalpropertyobserver.blogspot.com/2009/06/chinese-import-restrictions-have.html
Now, despite President Obama's promises of open and accountable government, the State Department seems intent on rushing through reconsideration of the current MOU with Italy, and in so doing, keeping the Coin Collecting Community guessing whether Italy has even asked that import restrictions be extended to ancient coins. See http://culturalpropertyobserver.blogspot.com/2010/04/state-department-provides-short-notice.html and http://culturalpropertyobserver.blogspot.com/2010/04/accg-fax-wizard-assists-collectors.html
The irony, of course, is that the larger mission of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is to promote the virtues of American Democracy abroad.