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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Foreign Direct Investment in the United States: An Economic Analysis
This report discusses the foreign direct investment in the United States that declined sharply after 2000, when a record $300 billion was invested in U.S. businesses and real estate. While some in Congress encourage such investment to offset the perceived negative economic effects of U.S. firms investing abroad, others are concerned about foreign acquisitions of U.S. firms that are considered essential to U.S. national and economic security. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85486/
Outsourcing and Insourcing Jobs in the U.S. Economy: Evidence Based on Foreign Investment Data
The impact of foreign direct investment on U.S. employment is provoking a national debate regarding U.S. job creation versus outsourcing. Many economists argue that there is little evidence to support the notion that the overseas investment activities of U.S. multinational companies play a significant role in the rate at which jobs are created in the U.S. economy. They argue that the source of job creation in the economy is rooted in the combination of macroeconomic policies the nation has chosen, the rate of productivity growth, and the availability of resources. This report addresses these issues by analyzing the extent of direct investment into and out of the economy, the role such investment plays in U.S. trade, jobs, and production, and the relationship between direct investment and the broader economic changes that are occurring in the U.S. economy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85449/
Iceland's Financial Crisis
On November 19, 2008, Iceland and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) finalized an agreement on a $6 billion economic stabilization program supported by a $2.1 billion loan from the IMF. Iceland's banking system had collapsed as a culmination of a series of decisions the banks made that left them highly exposed to disruptions in financial markets. The collapse of the banks also raises questions for U.S. leaders and others about supervising banks that operate across national borders, especially as it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish the limits of domestic financial markets. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10825/
Financial Market Intervention
Financial markets continue to experience significant disturbance and the banking sector remains fragile. Efforts to restore confidence have been met with mixed success thus far. After attempting to deal with troubled institutions on a case-by-case basis, Treasury has proposed a plan to purchase mortgage-related assets to alleviate stress in financial markets and in the banking system. This report provides answers to some frequently asked questions concerning the financial disruptions of September 2008 and the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in H.R. 3997. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10801/
Trade, Trade Barriers, and Trade Deficits: Implications for U.S. Economic Welfare
This report provides an overview of the economics of international trade that may be helpful for consideration of many recurring international economic policy issues. It is intended as a general explanation of mainstream economic principles that may be considered in gauging the economic significance of trade issues as well as the trade-offs inherent in many policy choices. This report provides a brief overview of the economic arguments for free trade, common arguments for trade barriers, and the cause and economic significance of persistent large trade deficits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10196/
Gasoline Price Increases: Federal and State Authority to Limit "Price Gouging"
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The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act's Insurance for Troubled Assets
Many observers trace the root cause of recent instability in financial markets to uncertainty surrounding the value of widely held securities that are based on mortgages and mortgage-related assets. The introduction of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA) was designed to address said financial instability through a variety of measures, including an insurance program for "troubled assets." This report briefly summarizes and analyzes the insurance program contained in the enacted version of the EESA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10806/
Medical Records Privacy: Questions and Answers on the HIPAA Final Rule
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1458/
The Supreme Court Upholds EPA Standard-Setting Under the Clean Air Act:
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Authority of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to Fix Electricity Rates and Charges and to Require Refund Payments by a Public Utility
Sections 205 and 206 of the Federal Power Act concern rates and charges collected by a public utility in transmitting or selling electric energy in interstate commerce. These rates and charges are required to be just and reasonable. States retain jurisdiction over facilities for generation, distribution, or transmission of electric energy in intrastate commerce. The Commission has the authority to determine that an existing rate is unjust or unreasonable and set a new rate. In certain situations Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) may have authority to refund amounts paid in excess of just and reasonable rates. Case law is useful in determining when such a situation may exist. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1620/
The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for U.S. Policy
Report that describes the open economy and society of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as well as U.S. concern over proliferation of advanced technology due to said open economy and the UAE's lax export controls. This report describes these issues in relation to a recently-signed U.S.-UAE civilian nuclear agreement. It also provides a general description of the UAE's government and political structure, as well as the effects of the recent global economic downturn on the UAE in general and on the city of Dubai in particular. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228120/
Foreign Direct Investment in the United States: An Economic Analysis
Report that discusses the foreign direct investment in the United States that declined sharply after 2000, when a record $300 billion was invested in U.S. businesses and real estate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228124/
The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases
This report discusses how the total debt of the federal government can increase, an historical overview of debt limits, and how the current economic slowdown has led to higher deficits and thereby a series of debt limit increases, as well as legislation related to these increases. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84037/
Europe's Energy Security: Options and Challenges to Natural Gas Supply Diversification
This report focuses on potential approaches that Europe might employ to diversify its sources of natural gas supply, Russia's role in Europe's natural gas policies, and key factors that could hinder efforts to develop alternative suppliers of natural gas. The report assesses the potential suppliers of natural gas to Europe and the short- to medium-term hurdles needed to be overcome for those suppliers to be credible, long-term providers of natural gas to Europe. The report looks at North Africa, potentially the most realistic supply alternative in the near term, but notes that the region will have to resolve its current political, economic, and security instability as well as the internal structural changes to the natural gas industry. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227749/
Diesel Fuel and Engines: An Analysis of EPA's New Regulations
This report reviews the final regulations on diesel fuel and diesel engine emissions signed by Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol Browner December 21, 2000 and promulgated January 18, 2001. This report examines the rule’s potential impacts on fuel supply, summarizes the issues related to pollution controls, discusses potential impacts on the economy, and discusses issues raised by the timing and implementation schedule of the proposed rule. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1670/
Does the U.S. Serve as the World Economy's Engine of Growth?
This report examines three fundamental points implicit in the "engine of growth" argument. First, it questions whether the current account deficit is caused by strong U.S. growth and weak foreign growth. Second, it examines whether foreign growth is dependent on U.S. imports and the maintenance of a large U.S. current account deficit. Finally, it reviews the proposition that a U.S. recession would cause a world recession by lowering U.S. import demand. The report concludes that to make the final argument persuasive, other factors need to come into play, such as deteriorating expectations, financial crisis, or slow economic adjustment. These other factors seem unlikely to occur in the context of slowing U.S. growth, but they are possible in a recession. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1616/
OSHA Reform: "Partnership" with Employers
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The Pattern of Interest Rates: Does it Signal an Impending Recession?
The cyclical behavior of the economy is of great interest to Congress, yet the onset of an economic downturn is seldom recognized promptly. Policymakers frequently search for reliable recession predictors. The behavior of interest rates may provide advanced warning of an impending downturn. The easing of monetary policy in evidence since September 2007 is consistent with efforts to forestall or minimize an economic downturn. Economic growth has been low since the last quarter of 2007, and some forecasters are now predicting a recession in 2008. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10658/
Outsourcing and Insourcing Jobs in the U.S. Economy: An Overview of Evidence Based on Foreign Investment Data
Foreign direct investment is sparking a national debate. Local communities compete for investment projects, while many of the residents of those communities fear losing their jobs to foreign outsourcing. Some opponents argue that such job losses have disproportionately negative impact on local communities. Economists generally argue that free and unimpeded international capital flows have a positive impact on both domestic and foreign economies. This report provides an overview of CRS Report RL32461, Outsourcing and Insourcing Jobs in the U.S. Economy: Evidence Based on Foreign Investment Data, that analyzes the extent of direct investment into and out of the economy and the relationship between direct investment and the broader economic changes that are occurring in the U.S. economy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10609/
Trade, Trade Barriers, and Trade Deficits: Implications for U.S. Economic Welfare
This report provides an overview of the economics of international trade that may be helpful for consideration of many recurring international economic policy issues. It is intended as a general explanation of mainstream economic principles that may be considered in gauging the economic significance of trade issues as well as the trade-offs inherent in many policy choices. This report provides a brief overview of the economic arguments for free trade, common arguments for trade barriers, and the cause and economic significance of persistent large trade deficits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10433/
Ergonomics in the Workplace: Is It Time for an OSHA Standard?
Improper ergonomic design of jobs is one of the leading causes of work-related illness, accounting for perhaps a third of employers’ costs under state workers’ compensation laws. Due to the wide variety of circumstances, however, any comprehensive standard would probably have to be complex and costly, while scientific understanding of the problem is not complete. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1865/
Safe Drinking Water Act: State Revolving Fund Program
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10020/
Safe Drinking Water Act: State Revolving Fund Program
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10044/
Proposal to Allow Treasury to Buy Mortgage-Related Assets to Address Financial Instability
Financial markets underwent severe stress during the week of September 15 - 22, 2008. After Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy and AIG received a bridge loan from the Federal Reserve, policymakers reassessed their case-by-case approach to resolving financial problems. Secretary of the Treasury Paulson announced a plan to allow Treasury to purchase mortgage-related assets from U.S. financial institutions. The announced intent of the plan is to unclog financial markets, increase the health of the banking sector, and reduce ongoing risks to the economy. This report discusses a draft of the proposal as it stood on September 21, 2008, and analyzes frequently asked questions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10796/
Wetlands Regulation and the Law of Property Rights "Takings"
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1350/
The Financial Outlook for Social Security and Medicare
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"Price Gouging," the Antitrust Laws, and Vertical Integration in the Petroleum Industry: How They Are Related
This report, which may be updated to further reflect congressional action, attempts to provide the antitrust context for prohibited practices, such as "price gouging"; notes prior congressional action concerning vertical divestiture in the petroleum industry; and provides information on the state "divorcement" statutes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10649/
Air Quality and Motor Vehicles: An Analysis of Current and Proposed Emission Standards
The extent to which emissions from motor vehicles and the amount of sulfur in commercial gasoline should be regulated has become a controversial issue. The EPA is proposing national limits on gasoline sulfur levels which would become effective in 2004. This report provides background information on the regulation of vehicle emissions in the United States, analyzes key elements of the National Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) program and the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Tier 2 proposal, summarizes major views on the proposal that have been expressed by the automobile industry, the oil refining industry, and some environmental organizations, and discusses relevant legislative activity in the 106th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs849/
Benefit-Cost Analysis and the Discount Rate for the Corps of Engineers' Water Resource Projects: Theory and Practice
Construction of large water resource projects, such as those of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), can be controversial because they involve trade-offs among various river uses, and between current and future generations. Pursuant to federal water project planning guidelines, the Corps weighs these trade-offs using benefit-cost analysis. If its analysis shows that a project’s national economic development (NED) benefits exceed its NED costs, the Corps seeks project authorization from Congress. Congress authorizes the Corps to construct some of these large water projects through (usually) biennial Water Resource Development Acts. Since the Corps rarely recommends a project that does not have a benefit-cost ratio greater than 1.0, this report describes the decisions that influence this ratio, with a focus on the role of the discount rate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9078/
Trade, Trade Barriers, and Trade Deficits: Implications for U.S. Economic Welfare
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9731/
Bank Failures: Recent Trends and Policy Options
During the 1980s the U.S. banking industry has experienced a rapidly growing number of failures. Many factors have contributed to this trend including deregulation, technology, individual bank management, and economic conditions. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) handles insured bank failures. Congress has been monitoring the recent trend and is concerned with the FDIC’s ability to continue to perform its supervisory and insurance operations. The present situation, information on key factors affecting the banking industry, and the FDIC’s role when a bank fails is discussed in this report. The reference section of this issue brief contains a list of CRS products providing background on the FDIC and legislative issues relevant to the agency. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9064/
Steel: Price and Policy Issues
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Environmental Reauthorizations and Regulatory Reform: From the 104th Congress to the 106th
The 104th Congress pursued efforts to reform environmental regulations on several fronts: (1) revising regulatory decision making processes; (2) attaching specific reforms to funding bills; (3) establishing a House corrections day calendar of bills addressing specific regulatory problems; and (4) incorporating regulatory reforms into individual program reauthorization bills. The 105th Congress has pursued regulatory reform in four primary directions: (1) proposals to establish a comprehensive cost-benefit/risk analysis framework for regulatory programs, (2) private property “takings” initiatives, (3) amendments and reforms directed at individual environmental statutes, and (4) oversight of environmental programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs953/
Payday Loans: Federal Regulatory Initiatives
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9204/
Air Quality and Vehicle Emission Standards: An Overview of the National Low Emission Vehicle Program and Related Issues
This report provides background information on federal emission standards for motor vehicles under the Clean Air Act and stricter standards originally developed to address the severity of air quality problems in California, explains the low emission standards and flexible compliance mechanisms to which states and manufacturers have voluntarily agreed under the National Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) Program, discusses the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) estimates of the program's air quality benefits and costs, and examines regulatory issues related to its implementation including sulfur levels in gasoline and the relative stringency of emission standards for light trucks. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs845/
Safe Drinking Water Act: State Revolving Fund Program
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5636/
The Financial Outlook for Social Security and Medicare
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5304/
Safe Drinking Water Act: State Revolving Fund Program
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs500/
Medical Records Privacy: Questions and Answers on the HIPAA Final Rule
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5751/
Prescription Drug Importation and Internet Sales: A Legal Overview
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5775/
Development of National Urban Growth and Rural Development Policy: Legislative and Executive Actions in 1970 and 1971
The 1970 Acts require the executive branch to submit the reports on the further development of urban growth policy, the location of Federal facilities, acceleration of the availability of government services and financial assistance (among other subjects) in support of rural community development. This report should assist in the evaluation of these submissions received from the President and executive departments and agencies. The report's basic purpose is to place individual legislative actions in the larger context of interrelated national urban and rural development objectives set forth by the Congress. The basic content of this report consists of three major components. The first summarizes 1970 legislative developments at both the State and Federal levels of government concerning contributions being made toward the development of a balanced national growth policy for the United States. The second component describes the actions taken by Congressional committees and the Congress in the first session of the 92nd Congress (1971). The final component is a detailed annotated summary of the published literature of urban and rural development made available in 1971. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8138/
FDA Regulation of Tobacco Products: A Policy and Legal Analysis
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8198/
Ergonomics in the Workplace: Is It Time for an OSHA Standard?
Improper ergonomic design of jobs is one of the leading causes of work-related illness, accounting for perhaps a third of employers’ costs under state workers’ compensation laws. Due to the wide variety of circumstances, however, any comprehensive standard would probably have to be complex and costly, while scientific understanding of the problem is not complete. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5142/
Safe Drinking Water Act: State Revolving Fund Program
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5637/
The Labor Market of the 1980s: Unemployment Omens in a Growing Economy
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9616/
Trade, Trade Barriers, and Trade Deficits: Implications for U.S. Economic Welfare
This report provides an overview of the economics of international trade that may be helpful for consideration of many recurring international economic policy issues. It is intended as a general explanation of mainstream economic principles that may be considered in gauging the economic significance of trade issues as well as the trade-offs inherent in many policy choices. This report provides a brief interview of the economic arguments for free trade, common arguments for trade barriers, and the cause and economic significance of persistent large trade deficits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10211/
The Financial Outlook for Social Security and Medicare
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6035/
California's San Joaquin Valley: A Region in Transition
This report analyzes the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) counties and statistically documents the basis of current socioeconomic conditions. The report further explores the extent to which the SJV shares similarities with and differs from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) area and a 68- county Central Appalachian subregion which contains some of the most economically distressed counties in Appalachia. The report also examines the role of federal expenditures in the cities and counties of the SJV. In addition to examining socioeconomic conditions in the SJV, the report provides analysis of water supply and quality issues especially those concerning agriculture, air quality concerns, and rail and shipping issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8225/
Legal Analysis and Background on the EPA's Proposed Rules for Regulating Mercury Emissions from Electric Utilities
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8202/
The Supreme Court Addresses Corps of Engineers Jurisdiction Over "Isolated Waters": The SWANCC Decision
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2045/