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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Year: 2012
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Why Certain Trade Agreements Are Approved as Congressional-Executive Agreements Rather Than as Treaties
This report briefly discusses the process used to enact U.S. trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), World Trade Organization agreements, and bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs). In each case these agreements have been approved by majority vote of each house rather than by two-thirds vote of the Senate - that is, they have been treated as congressional-executive agreements rather than as treaties. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96665/
U.S. Trade and Investment Relations with sub-Saharan Africa and the African Growth and Opportunity Act
This report looks at the pros and cons of recent legislation brought up in the 112th Congress, including the renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and how it will affect trade between the U.S. and sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96743/
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Meetings in Vladivostok, Russia: A Preview
Russia will host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation's (APEC) week-long series of senior-level meetings in Vladivostok on September 2-9, 2012. The main event for the week will be the 20th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting to be held September 8-9, 2012. This report looks at the main points of this meeting as they relate to the U.S. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122240/
U.S. Trade and Investment Relations with sub-Saharan Africa and the African Growth and Opportunity Act
Report that examines African economic trends and U.S. trade and investment flows with SSA. It discusses the provisions of AGOA and the changes that have occurred since its enactment. It concludes with a brief discussion of issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227977/
The Proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement: Background and Key Issues
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). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86556/
Dispute Settlement in the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA)
A look at the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA), including its background and, most specifically, steps taken when disputes occur. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86580/
Timor-Leste: Political Dynamics, Development, and International Involvement
This report covers the recent background of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, since its independence from Portugal in May 2002. It discusses the many serious challenges the country faces as it seeks to establish and deepen a stable democracy and develop its economy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96727/
Latin America: Terrorism Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87366/
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Countries: Comparative Trade and Economic Analysis
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a proposed regional free trade agreement (FTA) currently under negotiation between Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. The negotiating partners have expressed an interest in allowing this proposed “living agreement” to cover new trade topics and to include new members that are willing to adopt the proposed agreement's high standards. This report provides a comparative economic analysis of the TPP countries and their economic relations with the United States. It suggests that the TPP negotiating partners encompass great diversity in population, economic development, and trade and investment patterns with the United States. This economic diversity and inclusion of fast-growing emerging markets presents both opportunities and challenges for the United States in achieving a comprehensive and high standard regional FTA among TPP countries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87208/
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Countries: Comparative Trade and Economic Analysis
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a proposed regional free trade agreement (FTA) currently under negotiation between Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. Congressional involvement includes consultations with U.S. negotiators on and oversight of the details of the negotiations, and eventual consideration of legislation to implement the final trade agreement. This report provides a comparative economic analysis of the TPP countries and their economic relations with the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87209/
Dispute Settlement in the World Trade Organization (WTO): An Overview
This report describes the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes (DSU), which is the World Trade Organization's (WTO) means of resolving disputes arising under WTO agreements. The report includes criticisms of certain flaws in the DSU, as well as WTO Members' suggestions for improvement. The report also describes the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), which represents the United States in WTO disputes, and discusses pieces of legislation that dictate procedures for specifically the United States in instances of WTO disputes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122332/
Latin America: Terrorism Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84101/
U.S. Textile Manufacturing and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations
This report examines the potential implications of a prospective Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) on the U.S. textile manufacturing industry. The TFP is a proposed regional free trade agreement (FTA) currently under negotiation among 11 Pacific Rim countries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122265/
Organization of American States: Background and Issues for Congress
This report covers the background of the Organization of American States (OAS). It discusses the importance of U.S. participation in this organization in order to exert authority and shape outcomes in the Western Hemisphere. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99073/
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations and Issues for Congress
Report that examines the issues related to the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the state and substance of the negotiations (to the degree that the information is publicly available), the specific areas under negotiation, the policy and economic contexts in which the TPP would fit, and the issues for Congress that the TPP presents. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227793/
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations and Issues for Congress
Report that discusses the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), a free trade agreement that includes nations on both sides of the Pacific. Topics include similar trade partnerships, the importance of Asia to U.S. trade and security interests, and U.S. participation in the TPP. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227792/
Global Access to Clean Drinking Water and Sanitation: U.S. and International Programs
Report that focuses on bilateral water supply, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) schemes authorized by the Water for the Poor Act. This report identifies some issues that donors and U.S. agencies face while carrying out global drinking water and sanitation projects. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227806/
IMF Reforms: Issues for Congress
Report that provides information about the reforms made by the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in December 2010, Congress's role in the reform process, and how the reforms could affect U.S. interests at the IMF. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227836/
Terrorism Risk Insurance: Issue Analysis and Overview of Current Program
Report that looks at the background and current Congressional status of Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227805/
The Interplay of Borders, Turf, Cyberspace, and Jurisdiction: Issues Confronting U.S. Law Enforcement
Globalization and technological innovation have fostered the expansion of both legitimate and criminal operations across physical borders as well as throughout cyberspace. U.S. law enforcement has increasingly relied on intelligence-led policing, enhanced interagency cooperation, and technological implementation to confront 21st century crime. Issues for Congress are how it can leverage its legislative and oversight roles to bolster U.S. law enforcement's abilities to confront modern-day crime. It may also examine whether federal law enforcement is utilizing existing mechanisms to effectively coordinate investigations and share information. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86586/
U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues
During discussions about the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, Congress reviewed and discussed the plans for maintaining and modernizing U.S. strategic nuclear forces. Although the United States plans to reduce the number of warheads deployed on its long-range missiles and bombers, consistent with the terms of the New START Treaty, it also plans to develop new delivery systems for deployment over the next 20-30 years. As a result, the 112th Congress will continue to review these programs during the annual authorization and appropriations process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86655/
Horn of Africa Region: The Humanitarian Crisis and International Response
This report provides an overview of the current status of the crisis, summary background on the region, a framework for the international and humanitarian response, and an analysis of some of the operational challenges. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83987/
State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: FY2012 Budget and Appropriations
This report analyzes the FY2012 request and congressional action related to FY2012 State- Foreign Operations legislation. This report focuses on only the accounts funded through the State-Foreign Operations appropriations bill, but provides appropriations figures for the entire international affairs (Function 150) budget in Appendix E. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83976/
Rio+20: The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, June 2012
This report discusses the purpose of the June 2012 United Nations (U.N.) Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or “Rio+20”) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It looks at issues that could be addressed during the conference as well as how this conference may differ from the last U.N. Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio in 1992. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93939/
The Interplay of Borders, Turf, Cyberspace, and Jurisdiction: Issues Confronting U.S. Law Enforcement
This report looks at issues for Congress related to expansion of legitimate and criminal operations across physical borders and through cyberspace as a result of globalization and technological innovation. In particular, it considers how Congress can leverage its legislative and oversight roles to bolster U.S. law enforcement's abilities to confront modern-day crime and whether federal law enforcement is utilizing existing mechanisms to effectively coordinate investigations and share information. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98012/
U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues
During discussions about the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, Congress reviewed and discussed the plans for maintaining and modernizing U.S. strategic nuclear forces. Although the United States plans to reduce the number of warheads deployed on its long-range missiles and bombers, consistent with the terms of the New START Treaty, it also plans to develop new delivery systems for deployment over the next 20-30 years. As a result, the 112th Congress will continue to review these programs during the annual authorization and appropriations process. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87317/
Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer
This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94248/
Aviation and the European Union's Emission Trading Scheme
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86601/
Russia's March 2012 Presidential Election: Outcome and Implications
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86607/
Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law
Crime is ordinarily proscribed, tried, and punished according to the laws of the place where it occurs. American criminal law applies beyond the geographical confines of the United States, however, under certain limited circumstances. A surprising number of federal criminal statutes have extraterritorial application, but prosecutions have been few. This may be because when extraterritorial criminal jurisdiction does exist, practical and legal complications, and sometimes diplomatic considerations, may counsel against its exercise. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83803/
Trafficking in Persons: International Dimensions and Foreign Policy Issues for Congress
This report explores current foreign policy issues confronting U.S. efforts to combat human trafficking, the interrelationship among existing polices, and the historical and current role of Congress in such efforts. The 112th Congress has introduced and taken action on several bills related to human trafficking. Given recent challenges in balancing budget priorities, the 112th Congress may choose to consider certain aspects of this issue further, including the effectiveness of international anti-trafficking projects, interagency coordination mechanisms, and the monitoring and enforcement of anti-trafficking regulations, particularly as they relate to the activities of U.S. government contractors and subcontractors operating overseas. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85409/
U.S.-Vietnam Economic and Trade Relations: Issues for the 112th Congress
This report discusses the economic relationship between Vietnam and the U.S. that resumed in the 1990s. Of particular interest to Congress is that both nations may soon be members of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TTP). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93852/
Trafficking in Persons: International Dimensions and Foreign Policy Issues for Congress
This report explores current foreign policy issues confronting U.S. efforts to combat human trafficking, the interrelationship among existing polices, and the historical and current role of Congress in such efforts. Given recent challenges in balancing budget priorities, the 112th Congress may choose to consider certain aspects of this issue further, including the effectiveness of international anti-trafficking projects, interagency coordination mechanisms, and the monitoring and enforcement of anti-trafficking regulations, particularly as they relate to the activities of U.S. government contractors and subcontractors operating overseas. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96720/
Aviation and the European Union's Emission Trading Scheme
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87222/
Aviation and the European Union's Emission Trading Scheme
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87221/
Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Policy and Issues for Congress
Trafficking in persons (TIP) for the purposes of exploitation is believed to be one of the most prolific areas of international criminal activity and is of significant concern to the United States and the international community. This report discusses the global and ongoing problem of TIP in detail, as well as anti-TIP programs and U.S. and international efforts to combat TIP. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87335/
Overview of Immigration Issues in the 112th Congress
This report synthesizes immigration issues as a multi-tiered debate. It breaks down the U.S. immigration law and policy into key elements: border control and visa security; legal immigration; documentation and verification; interior immigration enforcement; integration, status, and benefits; and refugees and other humanitarian populations. This report also delineates the debate in the 112th Congress for a range of issues, including border security, criminal aliens, and worksite enforcement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87171/
The Lord's Resistance Army: The U.S. Response
A history of the Lord's Resistance Army, which is led by Joseph Kony, and the U.S.A. policies regarding it. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84005/
Prospects for Democracy in Hong Kong: Results of the 2012 Elections
This report looks at the state of Hong Kong politics after the 2012 elections. It covers three key reasons why Congress may consider appropriating funds to foster the development of civil society and democratic practices in Hong Kong: [1] it is U.S. policy to support democracy in Hong Kong, [2] the conduct of the 2012 elections may be indicators of support for democratic reforms, and [3] there is a possibility that democracy in Hong Kong could lead to democratic reforms in Mainland China. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122257/
Trafficking in Persons: International Dimensions and Foreign Policy Issues for Congress
This report explores current foreign policy issues confronting U.S. efforts to combat human trafficking, the interrelationship among existing polices, and the historical and current role of Congress in such efforts. The 112th Congress has introduced and taken action on several bills related to human trafficking. Given recent challenges in balancing budget priorities, the 112th Congress may choose to consider certain aspects of this issue further, including the effectiveness of international anti-trafficking projects, interagency coordination mechanisms, and the monitoring and enforcement of anti-trafficking regulations, particularly as they relate to the activities of U.S. government contractors and subcontractors operating overseas. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122225/
Japan's Possible Entry Into the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Its Implications
This report discusses the effects of the possible entry of Japan to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. The TPP issue presents both risks and opportunities for the United States and Japan. On the one hand, it could reinvigorate an economic relationship that has remained steady but stagnant, by forcing the two countries to address long-standing, difficult issues, and allowing them to raise their relationship to a higher level. On the other hand, failure to do so could indicate that the underlying problems are too fundamental to overcome and could set back the relationship. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122241/
Trafficking in Persons: International Dimensions and Foreign Policy Issues for Congress
This report explores current foreign policy issues confronting U.S. efforts to combat human trafficking, the interrelationship among existing polices, and the historical and current role of Congress in such efforts. Given recent challenges in balancing budget priorities, the 112th Congress may choose to consider certain aspects of this issue further, including the effectiveness of international anti-trafficking projects, interagency coordination mechanisms, and the monitoring and enforcement of anti-trafficking regulations, particularly as they relate to the activities of U.S. government contractors and subcontractors operating overseas. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98017/
Iran Sanctions
This report looks at the purposes and results of U.S. sanctions on Iran, which were initiated as a result of Iran's nuclear program and human rights issues. It ends by discussing future issues that Congress can consider regarding the sanctions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94177/
Mexico's Free Trade Agreements
In the 112th Congress, issues of concern related to the trade and economic relationship with Mexico have involved mostly economic conditions in Mexico, issues related to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the effect of NAFTA, and Mexican migration to the United States. This report provides an overview of Mexico's free trade agreements, its motivations for trade liberalization and entering into free trade agreements, and some of the issues Mexico faces in addressing its economic challenges. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93821/
Iran Sanctions
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85482/
Iran Sanctions
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85483/
Burma's Political Prisoners and U.S. Sanctions
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85397/
European Union Enlargement
The European Union (EU) has long viewed the enlargement process as an extraordinary opportunity to promote political stability and economic prosperity in Europe. U.S. Administrations and many Members of Congress have long backed EU enlargement, believing that it serves U.S. interests by advancing democracy and economic prosperity throughout the European continent. Some U.S. officials are concerned that "enlargement fatigue" as well as the EU's ongoing financial crisis could hinder EU expansion. The status of EU enlargement and its implications for both the EU itself and U.S.-EU relations may be of interest to the second session of the 112th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84107/
Burma's Political Prisoners and U.S. Sanctions
This report discusses the current issues in Burma (Myanmar) in regards to political prisoners and the resulting U.S. sanctions against the nation. It includes an introduction and definitions; information about current estimates of prisoners and prisoner releases; the relation of political prisoners, parliamentary elections and national reconciliation; and U.S. sanctions and U.S. efforts regarding political prisoners, as well as relevant issues for Congress to consider. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98016/
Iran Sanctions
This report looks at the purposes and results of U.S. sanctions on Iran, which were initiated as a result of Iran's nuclear program and human rights issues. It ends by discussing future issues that Congress can consider regarding the sanctions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98114/
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