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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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Deferred Examination of Patent Applications: Implications for Innovation Policy

Deferred Examination of Patent Applications: Implications for Innovation Policy

Date: May 27, 2010
Creator: Thomas, John R.
Description: This report provides an overview of deferred patent examination. It begins by offering a brief review of patent acquisition proceedings as well as challenges faced by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The report then introduces the concept of deferred examination. The potential positive and negative consequences of deferred examination upon the environment for innovation within the United States are then explored. The report closes by identifying salient design parameters for deferred examination systems and reviewing congressional options.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Implementation: The Future of Commercial Trucking Across the Mexican Border

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Implementation: The Future of Commercial Trucking Across the Mexican Border

Date: June 1, 2010
Creator: Frittelli, John
Description: This report discusses the implementation of trucking provisions set forth by NAFTA that would have opened the border states to cross-border trucking competition in 1995 and all of North America in 2000. The full implementation of the provisions has been stalled because of concern with the safety of Mexican trucks.
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NAFTA and the Mexican Economy

NAFTA and the Mexican Economy

Date: June 3, 2010
Creator: Villarreal, M. Angeles
Description: This report provides an overview of Mexico's motivations for entering the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Mexican economy, the economic effects of NAFTA in Mexico, and the views of NAFTA within Mexico. It also provides information on NAFTA's effect on Mexico's agricultural sector because this has been one of the more controversial issues surrounding NAFTA in Mexico.
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Trade Remedies and the WTO Rules Negotiations

Trade Remedies and the WTO Rules Negotiations

Date: June 7, 2010
Creator: Jones, Vivian C.
Description: At the November 2001 Ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Doha, Qatar, member countries launched a new round of trade talks known as the Doha Development Agenda (DDA). This report examines trade remedy issues in DDA in three parts. The first part provides background information and contextual analysis. The second section focuses on how these issues fit into the DDA. A third section provides a more specific overview of major reform proposals that are being considered.
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Taiwan: Major U.S. Arms Sales Since 1990

Taiwan: Major U.S. Arms Sales Since 1990

Date: June 15, 2010
Creator: Kan, Shirley A.
Description: This report discusses U.S. security assistance to Taiwan (calling itself Republic of China (ROC)), including policy issues for Congress and legislation.
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Organized Retail Crime

Organized Retail Crime

Date: June 16, 2010
Creator: Finklea, Kristin M.
Description: This report provides an overview of organized retail crime rings, their operations, and goods targeted. It then examines the domestic impact of organized retail crime (ORC) in the arenas of the economy, public health and safety, and domestic security. The report also outlines current efforts by retailers, resale markets, and the federal government to combat ORC. It then analyzes various policy issues that the 111th Congress may wish to consider, including whether current federal resources provided for the investigation of ORC are adequate, whether to amend the U.S. Code to criminalize ORC, and whether to regulate resale marketplaces that may be utilized as fences for criminals to sell stolen goods.
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World Trade Organization (WTO): Issues in the Debate on Continued U.S. Participation

World Trade Organization (WTO): Issues in the Debate on Continued U.S. Participation

Date: June 16, 2010
Creator: Ahearn, Raymond J. & Fergusson, Ian F.
Description: Following World War II, the United States led efforts to establish an open and nondiscriminatory trading system with the expressed goal of raising the economic well-being of all countries and bolstering world peace. These efforts culminated in the creation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1948, a provisional agreement on tariffs and trade rules that governed world trade for 47 years. The World Trade Organization (WTO) succeeded the GATT in 1995 and today serves as a permanent body that administers the rules and agreements negotiated and signed by 153 participating parties, as well as a forum for dispute settlement and negotiations. The purpose of this report is to analyze some of the main issues in any debate on U.S. participation in the WTO and to address some of the criticisms leveled at the organization. Academic studies indicate that the United States benefits from broad reductions in trade barriers worldwide, but some workers and industries might not share in those gains. Decisions in the WTO are made by member governments, which determine their negotiating positions, file dispute challenges, and implement their decisions. However, some argue that smaller countries are left out of decision-making and that governments tend ...
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China-U.S. Trade Issues

China-U.S. Trade Issues

Date: June 21, 2010
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M.
Description: This report provides an overview of U.S.-China economic relations, surveys major trade disputes, and lists bills introduced in the 111th Congress that could affect bilateral commercial ties.
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Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit

Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit

Date: June 22, 2010
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: 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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The "Volcker": Proposals to Limit "Speculative" Proprietary Trading by Banks

The "Volcker": Proposals to Limit "Speculative" Proprietary Trading by Banks

Date: June 22, 2010
Creator: Carpenter, David H.
Description: This report briefly discusses the permissible proprietary trading activities of commercial banks and their subsidiaries under current law. It then analyzes the Volcker Rule proposals under both the House- and Senate-passed financial reform bills.
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Iran Sanctions

Iran Sanctions

Date: June 23, 2010
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: This report looks at the purposes and results of U.S. sanctions in 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.
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The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

Date: June 25, 2010
Creator: Fergusson, Ian F. & Vaughn, Bruce
Description: This report discusses the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), a free trade agreement that includes nations on both sides of the Pacific. Original members of the TPP were Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore. The United States, Australia, Peru, and Vietnam have committed themselves to joining and expanding this group. This report discusses similar trade partnerships, the importance of Asia to U.S. trade and security interests, and U.S. participation in the TPP.
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U.S.-Latin America Trade: Recent Trends and Policy Issues

U.S.-Latin America Trade: Recent Trends and Policy Issues

Date: June 25, 2010
Creator: Hornbeck, J. F.
Description: Trade is one of the more enduring issues in contemporary U.S.-Latin America relations. Latin America is far from the largest U.S. regional trade partner, but historically is the fastest growing one. The United States has implemented comprehensive reciprocal trade agreements with most of its important trade partners in Latin America. Agreements with Panama and Colombia have been signed but not implemented, pending congressional action. Countries south of the Caribbean Basin have been reluctant to enter into such a deal because it does not meet their primary negotiation objectives. This report looks at the status, implications, and alternatives to current free trade agreements in the region.
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Trade Law: An Introduction to Selected International Agreements and U.S. Laws

Trade Law: An Introduction to Selected International Agreements and U.S. Laws

Date: June 29, 2010
Creator: Barbour, Emily C.
Description: This report is an introductory overview of the legal framework governing trade-related measures. The agreements and laws selected for discussion are those most commonly implicated by U.S. trade interests, but there are U.S. trade obligations beyond those reviewed in this report.
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EU-U.S. Economic Ties: Framework, Scope, and Magnitude

EU-U.S. Economic Ties: Framework, Scope, and Magnitude

Date: June 30, 2010
Creator: Cooper, William H.
Description: This report provides background information and analysis of the U.S.-EU economic relationship for Members of the 111th Congress as they contemplate the costs and benefits of closer U.S. economic ties with the EU. It examines the economic and political framework of the relationship and the scope and magnitude of the ties based on data from various sources. In addition, the report analyzes the implications these factors have for U.S. economic policy toward the EU.
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The "Volcker": Proposals to Limit "Speculative" Proprietary Trading by Banks

The "Volcker": Proposals to Limit "Speculative" Proprietary Trading by Banks

Date: June 30, 2010
Creator: Carpenter, David H.
Description: This report briefly discusses the permissible proprietary trading activities of commercial banks and their subsidiaries under current law. It then analyzes the Volcker Rule proposals under the House- and Senate-passed financial reform bills and under the Conference Report, which would limit the ability of commercial banking institutions and their affiliated companies and subsidiaries to engage in trading unrelated to customer needs and investing in and sponsoring hedge funds or private equity funds.
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The Proposed U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA): Provisions and Implications

The Proposed U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA): Provisions and Implications

Date: July 2, 2010
Creator: Cooper, William H.; Manyin, Mark E.; Jurenas, Remy & Platzer, Michaela D.
Description: This report is designed to assist Members of Congress as they consider the costs and benefits of the U.S.-South Korean Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA.) It examines the provisions of the KORUS FTA in the context of the overall U.S.-South Korean economic relationship, U.S. objectives, and South Korean objectives.
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Taiwan: Major U.S. Arms Sales Since 1990

Taiwan: Major U.S. Arms Sales Since 1990

Date: July 2, 2010
Creator: Kan, Shirley A.
Description: This report discusses U.S. security assistance to Taiwan (calling itself Republic of China (ROC)), including policy issues for Congress and legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Iran Sanctions

Iran Sanctions

Date: July 12, 2010
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: This report focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administrations' economic sanctions against Iran. However, with subsequent negotiations yielding no firm Iranian agreement to compromise regarding their nuclear program, 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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Mexico's Free Trade Agreements

Mexico's Free Trade Agreements

Date: July 12, 2010
Creator: Villarreal, M. Angeles
Description: In the 111th Congress, issues of concern related to the trade and economic relationship with Mexico involve mostly economic conditions in Mexico, issues related to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the effect of NAFTA, economic conditions in Mexico and Mexican migrant workers in 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.
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The U.S. Trade Deficit: Causes, Consequences, and Policy Options

The U.S. Trade Deficit: Causes, Consequences, and Policy Options

Date: July 12, 2010
Creator: Elwell, Craig K.
Description: The first part of this report explains the fundamental macroeconomic forces that cause a trade imbalance (deficit or surplus). In light of those fundamental forces, the report then evaluates the most common economic concerns about trade deficits. Finally, the report examines the efficacy of alternative policy responses to trade imbalances and the economic forces that generate them.
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China's Currency: An Analysis of the Economic Issues

China's Currency: An Analysis of the Economic Issues

Date: July 13, 2010
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M. & Labonte, Marc
Description: This report provides an overview of the economic issues surrounding the current debate over China's currency policy. It identifies the economic costs and benefits of China's currency policy for both China and the United States, and possible implications if China were to allow its currency to significantly appreciate or to float freely. It also examines proposed legislation in the 111th Congress that seek to address China's currency policy.
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U.S. International Trade: Trends and Forecasts

U.S. International Trade: Trends and Forecasts

Date: July 13, 2010
Creator: Nanto, Dick K. & Donnelly, J. Michael
Description: This report discusses the U.S. trade deficit in light of the 2008 global financial crisis, with emphasis on international trade and U.S. trade policy, most recent developments in trade of goods and service, trade forecasts for the future, and how issues such as the U.S. trade deficit and international trade, particularly with China, are commonly perceived.
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U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Changing Oil Prices

U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Changing Oil Prices

Date: July 13, 2010
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: This report provides an estimate of the initial impact of the changing oil prices on the nation's merchandise trade balance.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department