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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Year: 2012
 Month: April
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Trade Primer: Qs and As on Trade Concepts, Performance, and Policy

Trade Primer: Qs and As on Trade Concepts, Performance, and Policy

Date: April 16, 2012
Creator: Hornbeck, J. F.
Description: The 112th Congress has a full legislative and oversight agenda on international trade. The agenda so far has included approval of legislation to implement free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea, and may take up enhanced enforcement of U.S. trade agreements, as well as Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status, oversight of the World Trade Organization's Doha Round, and trade relations with China. This report provides information and context for many of these topics. It is divided into four sections in a question-and-answer format: trade concepts; U.S. trade performance; formulation of U.S. trade policy; and trade and investment issues. Additional suggested readings are provided in an appendix.
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Trade Law: An Introduction to Selected International Agreements and U.S. Laws

Trade Law: An Introduction to Selected International Agreements and U.S. Laws

Date: April 3, 2012
Creator: Barbour, Emily C.
Description: This report is an introductory overview of the legal framework governing trade-related measures. The agreements and laws selected for discussion are those most commonly implicated by U.S. trade interests, but there are U.S. trade laws and obligations beyond those reviewed in this report.
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Generalized System of Preferences: Background and Renewal Debate

Generalized System of Preferences: Background and Renewal Debate

Date: April 19, 2012
Creator: Jones, Vivian C.
Description: This report presents, first, a brief history, economic rationale, and legal background leading to the establishment of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). Second, the report presents a discussion of U.S. implementation of the GSP, along with the present debate surrounding its renewal and legislative developments to date. Third, an analysis of the U.S. program's effectiveness and the positions of various stakeholders are presented. Fourth, implications of the expiration of the U.S. program and possible options for Congress are discussed.
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U.S. Trade Remedy Laws and Nonmarket Economies: A Legal Overview

U.S. Trade Remedy Laws and Nonmarket Economies: A Legal Overview

Date: April 23, 2012
Creator: Grimmett, Jeanne J.
Description: Two major U.S. trade remedies are antidumping (AD) law, which combats the sale of imported products at less than their fair market value, and countervailing duty (CVD) law, which aims to offset foreign government subsidization of imported goods. This report discusses these two law's impact on U.S. foreign relations.
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Export-Import Bank: Background and Legislative Issues

Export-Import Bank: Background and Legislative Issues

Date: April 3, 2012
Creator: Ilias, Shayerah
Description: The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank, EXIM Bank, or the Bank), an independent federal government agency, is the official export credit agency (ECA) of the United States. It helps finance U.S. exports of manufactured goods and services, with the objective of contributing to the employment of U.S. workers, primarily in circumstances when alternative financing is not available. Members of the 112th Congress may examine issues related to the Ex-Im Bank that center on the economic rationale for the Bank; the impact of the Bank on the federal budget and U.S. taxpayers; the Bank's support for specific types of business or industries; the current balance between the Bank's advancement of U.S. commercial interests and other U.S. policy goals; the competitive position of the Bank compared to foreign ECAs; and the Bank's organizational structure.
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Peru in Brief: Political and Economic Conditions and Relations with the United States

Peru in Brief: Political and Economic Conditions and Relations with the United States

Date: April 10, 2012
Creator: Taft-Morales, Maureen
Description: This report provides an overview of Peru's government and economy and a discussion of issues in relations between the United States and Peru.
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WTO Dispute Settlement: Status of U.S. Compliance in Pending Cases

WTO Dispute Settlement: Status of U.S. Compliance in Pending Cases

Date: April 23, 2012
Creator: Grimmett, Jeanne J.
Description: Although the United States has complied with adverse rulings in many past World Trade Organization (WTO) disputes, there are currently 14 cases in which rulings have not yet been implemented or the United States has acted and the dispute has not been fully resolved. Nine unresolved cases involve trade remedies. The report discusses all fourteen cases in detail, which include antidumping, aircraft subsidies, cotton subsidies, online gambling restrictions, music copyright law, and trademark infringement.
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U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Changing Oil Prices

U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Changing Oil Prices

Date: April 13, 2012
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: This report provides an estimate of the initial impact of the changing oil prices on the nation's merchandise trade deficit.
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The Dominican Republic-Central America- United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA DR): Developments in Trade and Investment

The Dominican Republic-Central America- United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA DR): Developments in Trade and Investment

Date: April 23, 2012
Creator: Hornbeck, J. F.
Description: On August 5, 2004, the United States entered into the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). This permanent, comprehensive, and reciprocal trade agreement eliminates tariff and non-tariff barriers to two-way trade, building on unilateral trade preferences begun under the 1983 Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI). CAFTA-DR reinforces the idea that growth in trade correlates closely with policies that promote economic stability, private investment in production, public investment in education, infrastructure, logistics, and good governance in general.
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The Dominican Republic-Central America- United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTADR): Developments in Trade and Investment

The Dominican Republic-Central America- United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTADR): Developments in Trade and Investment

Date: April 9, 2012
Creator: Hornbeck, J. F.
Description: On August 5, 2004, the United States entered into the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). This permanent, comprehensive, and reciprocal trade agreement eliminates tariff and non-tariff barriers to two-way trade, building on unilateral trade preferences begun under the 1983 Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI). CAFTA-DR reinforces the idea that growth in trade correlates closely with policies that promote economic stability, private investment in production, public investment in education, infrastructure, logistics, and good governance in general.
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The Lacey Act: Protecting the Environment by Restricting Trade

The Lacey Act: Protecting the Environment by Restricting Trade

Date: April 12, 2012
Creator: Alexander, Kristina
Description: This report looks at the history and applications of the Lacey Act. As it stands now the Act, via a 2008 amendment, allows the U.S. to enforce the laws of other countries as well. One currently proposed legislation would limit application of the law to specific wood products, while another would eliminate any reference to violations of foreign laws and end criminal prosecutions for violating the act.
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Domestic Content Legislation: The Buy American Act and Complementary Little Buy American Provisions

Domestic Content Legislation: The Buy American Act and Complementary Little Buy American Provisions

Date: April 25, 2012
Creator: Luckey, John R.
Description: Congress has broad authority to place conditions on the purchases made by the federal government or with federal dollars. One of many conditions that it has placed on direct government purchases is a requirement that they be produced in the United States. The most well-known of these requirements is the Buy American Act, which is the major domestic preference statute governing procurement by the federal government. This report summarizes (1) the Buy American Act, what it does and does not cover; (2) the Little Buy American Acts found in permanent law, emphasizing what they govern, major exceptions and why Congress felt them necessary in light of the requirements of the Buy American Act; and (3) the temporary Little Buy American provision found in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
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The U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Background and Issues

The U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Background and Issues

Date: April 27, 2012
Creator: Villarreal, M. Angeles
Description: The U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, or U.S. Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, is a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) between the United States and Colombia, which will eventually eliminate tariffs and other barriers in bilateral trade in goods and services. The agreement will enter into force on May 15, 2012. The United States is Colombia's leading trade partner. Colombia accounts for a very small percentage of U.S. trade (1.0% in 2011), ranking 22nd among U.S. export markets and 23rd as a supplier of U.S. imports. Economic studies on the impact of a U.S.-Colombia FTA have found that, upon full implementation of an agreement, the impact on the United States would be positive but very small due to the small size of the Colombian economy when compared to that of the United States (about 2.2%). This report also discusses concerns that Congress has with Colombian human rights violations.
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China's Rare Earth Industry and Export Regime: Economic and Trade Implications for the United States

China's Rare Earth Industry and Export Regime: Economic and Trade Implications for the United States

Date: April 30, 2012
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M. & Tang, Rachel
Description: Over the past few years, the Chinese government has implemented a number of policies to tighten its control over the production and export of "rare earths"-a unique group of 17 metal elements on the periodic table that exhibit a range of special properties, such as magnetism, luminescence, and strength. Rare earths are important to a number of high technology industries, including renewable energy and various defense systems. This report examines the economic and trade implications of China's rare earth policies for the United States.
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The G-20 and International Economic Cooperation: Background and Implications for Congress

The G-20 and International Economic Cooperation: Background and Implications for Congress

Date: April 12, 2012
Creator: Nelson, Rebecca M.
Description: The G-20 is an international forum for discussing and coordinating economic policies among major advanced and emerging economies. Congress may want to exercise oversight over the Administration's participation in the G-20 process, including the policy commitments that Administration is making in the G-20 and the policies it is encouraging other G-20 countries to pursue.
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Iran Sanctions

Iran Sanctions

Date: April 26, 2012
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: The objective of sanctions may be on its way to achievement but has not been accomplished to date. U.S. officials believe that these sanctions caused Iran to return to the nuclear bargaining table in April 2012 with greater seriousness and intent toward peaceful resolution. Despite the imposition of what many now consider to be "crippling" sanctions, some in Congress believe that economic and diplomatic pressure on Iran needs to increase further and faster. In the 112th Congress, legislation would enhance both the economic sanctions and human rights-related provisions of a previous Iran sanctions laws However, movement on new sanctions might be on hold pending the outcome of a second round of nuclear talks slated for May 23 in Baghdad.
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Burma's Political Prisoners and U.S. Sanctions

Burma's Political Prisoners and U.S. Sanctions

Date: April 24, 2012
Creator: Martin, Michael F.
Description: The installation of the Union Government in 2011 and the undertaking of initial reforms have raised the prospects for the resumption of a democratically elected civilian government in Burma after five decades of military rule. The release of Burma's political prisoners has a central role in U.S. policy and Burma's political future. Many of the U.S. sanctions on Burma were implemented after Burma's ruling military junta suppressed protests and detained many political prisoners. In addition, the removal of many of the existing U.S. sanctions requires the release of all political prisoners in Burma.
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