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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Kosovo's Independence and U.S. Policy

Kosovo's Independence and U.S. Policy

Date: June 17, 2008
Creator: Woehrel, Steven
Description: On February 17, 2008, Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia. On February 18, the United States recognized Kosovo as an independent state. Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and most other European Union countries have also recognized Kosovo. Serbia and Russia have heatedly objected to the recognition of Kosovo's independence. Independent Kosovo faces many challenges, including its relations with Serbia and Serbs in Kosovo, as well as weak institutions and an underdeveloped economy.
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China's Currency: A Summary of the Economic Issues

China's Currency: A Summary of the Economic Issues

Date: November 20, 2008
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M. & Labonte, Marc
Description: Many Members of Congress charge that China's policy of accumulating foreign reserves (especially U.S. dollars) to influence the value of its currency constitutes a form of currency manipulation intended to make its exports cheaper and imports into China more expensive than they would be under free market conditions. Although China made modest reforms to its currency policy in 2005, Members contend the forms have not gone far enough and have warned of potential legislative action. This report summarizes the main findings CRS Report RL32165, China's Currency: Economic Issues and Options for U.S. Trade Policy.
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China's Currency: A Summary of the Economic Issues

China's Currency: A Summary of the Economic Issues

Date: May 8, 2008
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M. & Labonte, Marc
Description: Many Members of Congress charge that China's policy of accumulating foreign reserves (especially U.S. dollars) to influence the value of its currency constitutes a form of currency manipulation intended to make its exports cheaper and imports into China more expensive than they would be under free market conditions. Although China made modest reforms to its currency policy in 2005, Members contend the forms have not gone far enough and have warned of potential legislative action. This report summarizes the main findings CRS Report RL32165, China's Currency: Economic Issues and Options for U.S. Trade Policy.
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Oman: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy

Oman: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy

Date: May 29, 2008
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: The Sultanate of Oman is a long-time U.S. ally in the Persian Gulf; it has allowed U.S. access to its military facilities for virtually every U.S. military operation in and around the Gulf since 1980. Partly in appreciation, the United States signed a free trade agreement (FTA) with Oman on January 19, 2006; implementing legislation was signed on September 26, 2006 (P.L. 109-283). Sultan Qaboos has been opening the political process slowly while managing an economy that lacks vast oil reserves. This report, prepared with the assistance of Kim Klarman, will be updated.
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Algeria: Current Issues

Algeria: Current Issues

Date: July 3, 2008
Creator: Migdalovitz, Carol
Description: This report examines the current state of Algeria, including the country's associations with terrorism, despite steady decreases of domestic terrorism; the lessening in power of the Algerian military; and growing oil revenues.
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Kuwait: Security, Reform, and U.S. Policy

Kuwait: Security, Reform, and U.S. Policy

Date: July 8, 2008
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: Kuwait, which has been pivotal to nearly two decades of U.S. involvement in Iraq, has advanced its democratic development since the fall of Saddam Hussein. However, it remains mired in internal wrangling over economic issues and the political dominance of the ruling family, and it is showing signs of Sunni-Shiite tensions previously absent. This report, prepared with the assistance of Kim Klarman, will be updated.
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United States-Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Free Trade Agreement Negotiations: Background and Potential Issues

United States-Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Free Trade Agreement Negotiations: Background and Potential Issues

Date: May 27, 2008
Creator: Langton, Danielle
Description: Negotiations to launch a free trade agreement (FTA) between the United States and the five members of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland) began on June 3, 2003. A potential FTA would eliminate tariffs over time, reduce or eliminate non-tariff barriers, liberalize service trade, protect intellectual property rights, and provide technical assistance to help SACU nations achieve the goals of the agreement. This potential agreement would be subject to congressional approval.
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United States-Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Free Trade Agreement Negotiations: Background and Potential Issues

United States-Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Free Trade Agreement Negotiations: Background and Potential Issues

Date: July 24, 2008
Creator: Langton, Danielle
Description: Negotiations to launch a free trade agreement (FTA) between the United States and the five members of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland) began on June 3, 2003. A potential FTA would eliminate tariffs over time, reduce or eliminate non-tariff barriers, liberalize service trade, protect intellectual property rights, and provide technical assistance to help SACU nations achieve the goals of the agreement. This potential agreement would be subject to congressional approval.
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The European Union: Questions and Answers

The European Union: Questions and Answers

Date: July 3, 2008
Creator: Archick, Kristin
Description: This report describes the European Union (EU), its evolution, governing institutions, trade policy, and efforts to forge common foreign and defense policies. The report also addresses the EU-U.S. and EU-NATO relationships, which may be of interest to the second session of the 110th Congress. It will be updated as events warrant. For more information, see CRS Report RS21344, European Union Enlargement, by Kristin Archick, and CRS Report RL34381, European Union-U.S. Trade and Investment Relations: Key Issues, coordinated by Raymond Ahearn.
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Uzbekistan: Recent Developments and U.S. Interests

Uzbekistan: Recent Developments and U.S. Interests

Date: August 27, 2008
Creator: Nichol, Jim
Description: Uzbekistan is a potential Central Asian regional power by virtue of its relatively large population, energy and other resources, and location in the heart of the region. It has failed to make progress in economic and political reforms, and many observers criticize its human rights record. This report discusses U.S. policy and assistance. Basic facts and biographical information are provided.
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U.S. Direct Investment Abroad: Trends and Current Issues

U.S. Direct Investment Abroad: Trends and Current Issues

Date: August 15, 2008
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: The United States is the largest investor abroad and the largest recipient of direct investment in the world. Some observers believe U.S. firms invest abroad to avoid U.S. labor unions or high U.S. wages, however, 70% of U.S. foreign direct investment is concentrated in high income developed countries. Even more striking is the fact that the share of investment going to developing countries has fallen in recent years. Most economists conclude that direct investment abroad does not lead to fewer jobs or lower incomes overall for Americans and that the majority of jobs lost among U.S. manufacturing firms over the past decade reflect a broad restructuring of U.S. manufacturing industries.
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The Iran Sanctions Act (ISA)

The Iran Sanctions Act (ISA)

Date: July 23, 2008
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: No firms have been sanctioned under the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA), and a GAO study in December 2007 said that the effects of ISA and other U.S. sanctions on Iran's economy are "difficult to determine." However, with Iran under increasing U.N. and other diplomatic pressure, many foreign firms now seem hesitant to finalize investment deals with Iran. In the 110th Congress, several bills, including the House-passed H.R. 1400 would add ISA provisions.
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Tajikstan: Recent Developments and U.S. Interests

Tajikstan: Recent Developments and U.S. Interests

Date: July 10, 2008
Creator: Nichol, Jim
Description: This report outlines challenges faced by Tajikistan since its five-year civil war ended in 1997. It discusses U.S. policy and assistance. Basic facts and biographical information are provided. This report may be updated. Related products include CRS Report RL33458, Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests, updated regularly.
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Kazakhstan: Recent Developments and U.S. Interests

Kazakhstan: Recent Developments and U.S. Interests

Date: June 20, 2008
Creator: Nichol, Jim
Description: Kazakhstan is an important power in Central Asia by virtue of its geographic location, large territory, ample natural resources, and economic growth, but it faces ethnic, political, and other challenges to stability. This report discusses U.S. policy and assistance. Basic facts and biographical data are provided. Related products include CRS Report RL33458, Central Asia: Regional Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests.
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Iran's Influence in Iraq

Iran's Influence in Iraq

Date: June 13, 2006
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: Iran's influence over the post-Saddam government in Iraq is substantial because the predominant parties in that government have long enjoyed Tehran's sponsorship. An emerging concern is that Iran's influence has extended to support for militant groups in Iraq. U.S. officials say that sophisticated explosive devices are entering Iraq from Iran, suggesting that Iran, or factions within Iran, are backing Iraqi factions that use violence to oppose the U.S. presence in Iraq.
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Iran's Influence in Iraq

Iran's Influence in Iraq

Date: September 29, 2006
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: Iran's influence over the post-Saddam government in Iraq is substantial because the predominant parties in that government have long enjoyed Tehran's sponsorship. An emerging concern is that Iran's influence has extended to support for militant groups in Iraq. U.S. officials say that sophisticated explosive devices are entering Iraq from Iran, suggesting that Iran, or factions within Iran, are backing Iraqi factions that use violence to oppose the U.S. presence in Iraq.
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Balkan Cooperation on War Crimes Issues

Balkan Cooperation on War Crimes Issues

Date: June 16, 2006
Creator: Kim, Julie
Description: In early May 2006, assessments of insufficient Serbian cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) led the European Union (EU) to suspend association talks with Serbia. Later that month, the U.S. Secretary of State withheld certification of full Serbian cooperation with ICTY, leading to a partial suspension of U.S. bilateral assistance to Serbia. From late 2004 through early 2005, a combination of intensified international pressure and deadlines associated with Euro-Atlantic integration processes prompted a spate of transfers of indicted persons to the tribunal. Full cooperation with ICTY is a key prerequisite to further progress toward a shared long-term goal for the western Balkan countries: closer association with and eventual membership in the European Union and NATO.
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U.S. Embassy in Iraq

U.S. Embassy in Iraq

Date: June 29, 2006
Creator: Epstein, Susan B.
Description: The Bush Administration is in the process of building new embassy facilities in Baghdad. An emergency supplemental appropriation, which included $592 million for embassy construction, was signed into law on May 11, 2005. According to the Department of State, this funding is all that is needed for construction of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Completion of the embassy is expected by the summer of 2007. This report discusses reestablishing normal diplomatic ties with Iraq and setting up the new embassy facilities and regional teams.
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Kosovo's Future Status and U.S. Policy

Kosovo's Future Status and U.S. Policy

Date: July 17, 2006
Creator: Woehrel, Steven
Description: The future status of Kosovo is the most sensitive and potentially destabilizing political question in the Balkans. The Administration views "getting Kosovo right" as key to integrating the Balkans into Euro-Atlantic institutions. This report discusses the issue of Kosovo's future status; that is, whether it should become an independent country or continue to be part of Serbia, but with a large degree of autonomy.
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India: Chronology of Recent Events

India: Chronology of Recent Events

Date: May 24, 2006
Creator: Kronstadt, K. Alan
Description: This report provides a reverse chronology of recent events involving India and India-U.S. relations. Sources include, but are not limited to, major newswires, the U.S. Department of State, and Indian news outlets. For a substantive review, see CRS Issue Brief IB93097, India-U.S. Relations.
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Pakistan: Chronology of Recent Events

Pakistan: Chronology of Recent Events

Date: June 16, 2006
Creator: Kronstadt, K. Alan
Description: This report provides a chronology of recent events involving Pakistan and Pakistan-U.S. relations. Sources include, but are not limited to, major newswires, the U.S. Department of State, and Pakistani news outlets. For a substantive review, see CRS Issue Brief IB94041, Pakistan-U.S. Relations.
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Serbia and Montenegro Union: Background and Pending Dissolution

Serbia and Montenegro Union: Background and Pending Dissolution

Date: May 24, 2006
Creator: Kim, Julie
Description: On May 21, 2006, Montenegro held a long-awaited referendum on independence. Serbia and Montenegro were the last remnants of the former Yugoslavia to exist in a common state. They formed a new, highly decentralized state union under an agreement brokered by the EU in 2002-2003, which allowed for either republic to hold a referendum after three years. Serbia's political leaders supported continuation of the union but recognized the referendum outcome. The impending dissolution of the Serbia and Montenegro union comes at the same time as the international community is conducting talks on the future status of Kosovo, a disputed province in Serbia.
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The Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA)

The Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA)

Date: September 28, 2006
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: The Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) was introduced in response to Iran's stepped-up nuclear program and its support to terrorist organizations. No firms have been sanctioned under ILSA, and it has terminated with respect to Libya. Renewed in August 2001 for another five years, ILSA was scheduled to expire in August 2006. This report describes ILSA in detail, as well as related legislation.
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Nigeria in Political Transition

Nigeria in Political Transition

Date: July 28, 2006
Creator: Dagne, Ted
Description: Relations between the United States and Nigeria improved with the transfer of power to a civilian government in 1999. Nigeria continues to make progress in strengthening its fragile democracy but faces serious economic challenges. Nigeria remains relatively stable, although ethnic and religious clashes in some parts of the country have led to massive displacement of civilian populations. This report outlines the current political and economic states of Nigeria, as well as its relationship with the United States.
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