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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Export-Import Bank: Background and Legislative Issues

Export-Import Bank: Background and Legislative Issues

Date: February 9, 2011
Creator: Ilias, Shayerah
Description: The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), an independent federal government agency, is the official export credit agency of the United States. It helps finance American 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. Ex-Im Bank also may assist U.S. exporters to meet foreign, officially sponsored, export credit competition. Ex-Im Bank's main programs are direct loans, loan guarantees, working capital guarantees, and export credit insurance. Ex-Im Bank transactions are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. The Bank operates under a renewable charter, the Export-Import Bank Act of 1945, which requires that all of the Bank's financing have a reasonable assurance of repayment and directs the Bank to supplement, and to not compete with, private capital.
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Changing the Federal Reserve's Mandate: An Economic Analysis

Changing the Federal Reserve's Mandate: An Economic Analysis

Date: February 25, 2011
Creator: Labonte, Marc
Description: This report discusses a number of implementation issues surrounding an economic inflation target. These include what rate of inflation to target, what inflation measure to use, whether to set a point target or range, and what penalties to impose if a target is missed.
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Derivatives Regulation in the 111th Congress

Derivatives Regulation in the 111th Congress

Date: March 3, 2011
Creator: Jickling, Mark & Miller, Rena S.
Description: This report summarizes derivatives legislation that was considered but not enacted by the 111th Congress, and it provides background on the derivatives market.
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Multilateral Development Banks: General Capital Increases

Multilateral Development Banks: General Capital Increases

Date: March 4, 2011
Creator: Weiss, Martin A.
Description: This report shows in tabular form how much the Administration has requested and how much Congress has appropriated for U.S. payments to the multilateral development banks (MDBs) since 2000. It also provides a brief description of the MDBs and the ways they fund their operations.
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Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP): Implementation and Status

Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP): Implementation and Status

Date: March 4, 2011
Creator: Webel, Baird
Description: The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) was created by the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act1 (EESA) enacted on October 3, 2008, to address the ongoing financial crisis. This report provides a brief outline of the programs created under TARP, recent changes made by Congress, and a summary of the current status and estimated costs of the program. It also provides an Appendix that contains detailed discussions of the individual TARP programs. This report will be updated as warranted by market and legislative events.
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Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit

Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit

Date: March 7, 2011
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: The U.S. merchandise trade deficit is a part of the overall U.S. balance of payments, a summary statement of all economic transactions between the residents of the United States and the rest of the world, during a given period of time. Some Members of Congress and other observers have grown concerned over the magnitude of the U.S. merchandise trade deficit and the associated increase in U.S. dollar-denominated assets owned by foreigners. This report provides an overview of the U.S. balance of payments, an explanation of the broader role of capital flows in the U.S. economy, an explanation of how the country finances its trade deficit or a trade surplus, and the implications for Congress and the country of the large inflows of capital from abroad.
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Multilateral Development Banks: Overview and Issues for Congress

Multilateral Development Banks: Overview and Issues for Congress

Date: March 7, 2011
Creator: Nelson, Rebecca M.
Description: Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) are international institutions that provide financial assistance, typically in the form of loans and grants, to developing countries in order to promote economic and social development. This report provides an overview of the MDBs and highlights major current issues for Congress. The first section discusses the history of the MDBs, their operations, major donor contributions, and their organization. The second section discusses issues of particular interest to Congress, including the effectiveness of the MDBs; congressional legislation authorizing and appropriating U.S. contributions to the MDBs; congressional oversight of the MDBs; and U.S. commercial interests in the MDBs.
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Foreign Investment and National Security: Economic Considerations

Foreign Investment and National Security: Economic Considerations

Date: March 10, 2011
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: This report assesses recent international developments as the leaders from a number of nations work to reach a consensus on an informal set of best practices regarding national restrictions on foreign investment for national security purposes. This report also provides one possible approach for assessing the costs and benefits involved in using national policies to direct or to restrict foreign direct investment for national security reasons.
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NATO Common Funds Burdensharing: Background and Current Issues

NATO Common Funds Burdensharing: Background and Current Issues

Date: March 10, 2011
Creator: Carl, Ek
Description: This report discusses North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) burdensharing--the funding, via individual contributions from NATO member states, of certain commonly conducted activities. The report discusses how each NATO member state's contribution is negotiated, and how member states are reconsidering their defense budgets (and, thereby, their willingness and ability to contribute to NATO operations) in light of the global financial crisis.
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Trade in Services: The Doha Development Agenda Negotiations and U.S. Goals

Trade in Services: The Doha Development Agenda Negotiations and U.S. Goals

Date: March 10, 2011
Creator: Cooper, William H.
Description: The United States and the other 153 members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) have been engaged in a set or "round" of negotiations called the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) since December 2001. The DDA's main objective is to refine and expand the rules by which WTO members conduct foreign trade with one another. This report is designed to assist the 112th Congress to understand and monitor progress of the negotiations and the major issues that the negotiators are addressing. The report provides a brief background section on the significance of services to the U.S. economy. It then explains briefly the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and the structure and agenda of the services negotiations in the DDA round, including U.S. objectives in the negotiations. The report concludes with a status report on the negotiations and an examination of potential results.
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