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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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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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The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)

Date: January 2, 2014
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: This report gives a brief overview of P.L. 110-49, the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007. Although both the President and Congress are directly involved in formulating the scope and direction of U.S. foreign investment policy, this law broadens Congress' oversight role; it also explicitly includes the areas of homeland security and critical infrastructure as separately-identifiable components of national security that the President must consider when evaluating the national security implications of a foreign investment transaction.
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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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Trade Preferences: Economic Issues and Policy Options

Trade Preferences: Economic Issues and Policy Options

Date: September 24, 2010
Creator: Jones, Vivian C.; Hornbeck, J. F. & Villarreal, M. Angeles
Description: Since 1974, Congress has created multiple trade preference programs designed to foster economic growth and development in less developed countries. Congress conducts regular oversight of these programs, often revising and extending them. This report discusses the major U.S. trade preference programs, their possible economic effects, stakeholder interests, and legislative options.
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Seafood Safety: Background and Issues

Seafood Safety: Background and Issues

Date: December 2, 2010
Creator: Upton, Harold F.
Description: Although seafood consumption can contribute to a healthy diet, some fish and shellfish can cause foodborne illnesses or contain environmental contaminants. This report discusses whether current food safety programs are sufficiently protecting consumers, and if not, what changes should be considered.
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The G-20 and International Economic Cooperation: Background and Implications for Congress

The G-20 and International Economic Cooperation: Background and Implications for Congress

Date: November 7, 2013
Creator: Nelson, Rebecca M.
Description: This report discusses the G-20, an international forum for discussing and coordinating economic policies among major advanced and emerging economies. Previous summits have, for example, focused on financial regulatory reform, global imbalances, funding for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), voting power of emerging economies in international financial institutions, and fossil fuel subsidies.
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The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)

Date: June 12, 2013
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: This report gives a brief overview of P.L. 110-49, the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007. Although both the President and Congress are directly involved in formulating the scope and direction of U.S. foreign investment policy, this law broadens Congress' oversight role; it also explicitly includes the areas of homeland security and critical infrastructure as separately-identifiable components of national security that the President must consider when evaluating the national security implications of a foreign investment transaction.
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Taiwan: Major U.S. Arms Sales Since 1990

Taiwan: Major U.S. Arms Sales Since 1990

Date: November 27, 2013
Creator: Kan, Shirley A.
Description: This report discusses U.S. security assistance to Taiwan, or Republic of China (ROC), including policy issues for Congress and legislation.
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Iran Sanctions

Iran Sanctions

Date: January 15, 2014
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: This report analyzes U.S. and international sanctions against Iran and provides examples, based on a wide range of open source reporting, of companies and countries that conduct business with Iran.
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The Exon-Florio National Security Test for Foreign Investment

The Exon-Florio National Security Test for Foreign Investment

Date: March 30, 2011
Creator: Jackson, James K.
Description: This report covers the recent background of the Exon-Florio provision with special regards to issues faced in the 112th Congress. The Exon-Florio provision grants the President the authority to block proposed or pending foreign acquisitions of “persons engaged in interstate commerce in the United States” that threaten to impair the national security.
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