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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Year: 2012
 Month: March
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Dispute Settlement in the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA)

Dispute Settlement in the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA)

Date: March 21, 2012
Creator: Grimmett, Jeanne J.
Description: A look at the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA), including its background and, most specifically, steps taken when disputes occur.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement: Background and Key Issues

The Proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement: Background and Key Issues

Date: March 1, 2012
Creator: Ilias, Shayerah
Description: The proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is a new agreement for combating intellectual property rights (IPR) infringement. The ACTA negotiation concluded in October 2010, nearly three years after it began, and negotiating parties released a final text of the agreement in May 2011. Negotiated by the United States, Australia, Canada, the European Union and its 27 member states, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and Switzerland, the ACTA is intended to build on the IPR protection and enforcement obligations set forth in the 1995 World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Latin America: Terrorism Issues

Latin America: Terrorism Issues

Date: March 2, 2012
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.
Description: U.S. attention to terrorism in Latin America intensified in the aftermath of the September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, with an increase in bilateral and regional cooperation. Over the past several years, policymakers have been concerned about Iran's increasing activities in Latin America, particularly its relations with Venezuela, although there has been disagreement over the extent and significance of Iran's relations with the region. In the 112th Congress, several initiatives have been introduced related to terrorism issues in the Western Hemisphere regarding Mexico, Venezuela, and the activities of Iran and Hezbollah, and several oversight hearings have been held.
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Aviation and the European Union's Emission Trading Scheme

Aviation and the European Union's Emission Trading Scheme

Date: March 7, 2012
Creator: Leggett, Jane A.; Elias, Bart & Shedd, Daniel T.
Description: This report looks at how the European Union Emission Trading Scheme's coverage of carbon emission from commercial flights affects air carriers from the United States and other countries.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Russia's March 2012 Presidential Election: Outcome and Implications

Russia's March 2012 Presidential Election: Outcome and Implications

Date: March 14, 2012
Creator: Nichol, Jim
Description: Challenges to Russia's democratic development have long been of concern to Congress as it has considered the course of U.S.-Russia cooperation. Some in Congress have criticized the conduct of the election, but have endorsed continued engagement, while others have called for stepping back and reevaluating the Obama Administration's engagement policy which assists in solving mutual strategic concerns. Congress may consider the implications of another Putin presidency, lagging democratization, and human rights abuses in Russia as it debates possible future foreign assistance and trade legislation and other aspects of U.S.-Russia relations.
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Iran Sanctions

Iran Sanctions

Date: March 6, 2012
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: This report focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administration's economic sanctions against Iran. The Obama Administration's policy approach toward Iran has contrasted with the Bush Administration's by attempting to couple the imposition of sanctions to an active and direct U.S. effort to negotiate with Iran on the nuclear issue. That approach was not initially altered because of the Iranian dispute over its June 12, 2009, elections. However, with subsequent negotiations yielding no firm Iranian agreement to compromise, since early 2010 the Administration has focused on achieving the imposition of additional U.N., U.S., and allied country sanctions whose cumulative effect would be to compel it to accept a nuclear bargain.
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Iran Sanctions

Iran Sanctions

Date: March 28, 2012
Creator: Kenneth Katzman
Description: The objective of sanctions-to compel Iran to verifiably demonstrate that its nuclear program is for purely peaceful uses-has not been achieved to date. The international coalition that is imposing progressively strict economic sanctions on Iran is broadening and deepening, with increasingly significant effect on Iran's economy. U.S. officials believe that these sanctions might yet cause Iran to return to the nuclear bargaining table with greater seriousness and intent toward peaceful resolution. The report discusses the effect of these sanctions as well as the pros and cons of increasing sanction.
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Nonproliferation and Threat Reduction Assistance: U.S. Programs in the Former Soviet Union

Nonproliferation and Threat Reduction Assistance: U.S. Programs in the Former Soviet Union

Date: March 6, 2012
Creator: Woolf, Amy F.
Description: Congress passed the Nunn-Lugar amendment, authorizing U.S. threat reduction assistance to the former Soviet Union, in November 1991, after a failed coup in Moscow and the disintegration of the Soviet Union raised concerns about the safety and security of Soviet nuclear weapons. It has evolved from an emergency response to impending chaos in the Soviet Union, to a more comprehensive threat reduction and nonproliferation effort, to a broader program seeking to keep nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons from leaking out of the former Soviet Union and into the hands of rogue nations or terrorist groups, to a global program to address the threat of weapons of mass destruction. Analysts have debated numerous issues related to U.S. nonproliferation and threat reduction assistance. These include questions about the coordination of and priority given to these programs in the U.S. government, questions about Russia's willingness to provide the United States with access to its weapons facilities, questions about the President's ability to waive certification requirements so that the programs can go forward, and questions about the need to expand the efforts into a global program that receives funding from numerous nations and possibly extends assistance to others outside the former Soviet Union.
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The U.S. Congress and the European Parliament: Evolving Transatlantic Legislative Cooperation

The U.S. Congress and the European Parliament: Evolving Transatlantic Legislative Cooperation

Date: March 20, 2012
Creator: Archick, Kristin & Morelli, Vincent
Description: This report provides background on the Congress-EP relationship and the role of the TLD. It also explores potential future options should an effort to strengthen ties between the two bodies gain momentum.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA): What Is It, and How Has It Been Utilized?

Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA): What Is It, and How Has It Been Utilized?

Date: March 15, 2012
Creator: Mason, Chuck R.
Description: The deadly attacks on Afghan civilians allegedly by a U.S. service member have raised questions regarding the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) in place between the United States and Afghanistan that would govern whether Afghan law would apply in this circumstance. In the case of Afghanistan, the SOFA, in force since 2003, provides that U.S. Department of Defense military and civilian personnel are to be accorded status equivalent to that of U.S. Embassy administrative and technical staff under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic relations of 1961. Accordingly, U.S. personnel are immune from criminal prosecution by Afghan authorities and are immune from civil and administrative jurisdiction except with respect to acts performed outside the course of their duties. Under the existing SOFA, the United States would have jurisdiction over the prosecution of the service member who allegedly attacked the Afghan civilians.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department