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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Year: 2012
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Organization of American States: Background and Issues for Congress

Organization of American States: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: July 31, 2012
Creator: Meyer, Peter J.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Armed Conflict in Syria: U.S. and International Response

Armed Conflict in Syria: U.S. and International Response

Date: July 19, 2012
Creator: Sharp, Jeremy M. & Blanchard, Christopher M.
Description: This report looks at the recent conflict in Syria, particularly casualty estimates and an assessment of possible future scenarios. A large part of the report looks at U.S. policy towards Syria, including how Congress will handle humanitarian dilemmas, security of Syrian Weapons of Mass Destruction, and how the country is open to opportunities for terrorism recruitment. It also looks at key developments that have occurred during the conflict, including supports of the Asad government, political dynamics, and minority communities. The report ends with a look at the Syrian economy and current/possible sanctions.
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The Interplay of Borders, Turf, Cyberspace, and Jurisdiction: Issues Confronting U.S. Law Enforcement

The Interplay of Borders, Turf, Cyberspace, and Jurisdiction: Issues Confronting U.S. Law Enforcement

Date: July 20, 2012
Creator: Finklea, Kristin M.
Description: 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.
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Iran Sanctions

Iran Sanctions

Date: July 16, 2012
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: 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.
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Burma's Political Prisoners and U.S. Sanctions

Burma's Political Prisoners and U.S. Sanctions

Date: July 5, 2012
Creator: Martin, Michael F.
Description: 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.
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Conflict Minerals in Central Africa: U.S. and International Responses

Conflict Minerals in Central Africa: U.S. and International Responses

Date: July 20, 2012
Creator: Cook, Nicolas
Description: This report discusses how Congress has focused on ways to help end or mitigate the effects of conflicts and human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), including several hearingw which have become law. The main issue is related to "conflict minerals," the so-called “3TGs”: ores of tantalum and niobium, tin, tungsten, and gold, and their derivatives.
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Trafficking in Persons: International Dimensions and Foreign Policy Issues for Congress

Trafficking in Persons: International Dimensions and Foreign Policy Issues for Congress

Date: July 6, 2012
Creator: Wyler, Liana Sun
Description: 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.
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Guatemala: Political, Security, and Socio- Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations

Guatemala: Political, Security, and Socio- Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations

Date: June 26, 2012
Creator: Taft-Morales, Maureen
Description: This report provides an overview of Guatemala's current political and economic conditions, relations with the United States, and several issues likely to figure in future decisions by Congress and the Administration regarding Guatemala. With respect to continued cooperation and foreign assistance, these issues include security and governance; protection of human rights and human rights conditions on some U.S. military aid to Guatemala; support for the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala; combating narcotics trafficking and organized crime; trade relations; and intercountry adoption.
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Trafficking in Persons: International Dimensions and Foreign Policy Issues for Congress

Trafficking in Persons: International Dimensions and Foreign Policy Issues for Congress

Date: July 6, 2012
Creator: Wyler, Liana Sun
Description: 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.
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Timor-Leste: Political Dynamics, Development, and International Involvement

Timor-Leste: Political Dynamics, Development, and International Involvement

Date: July 3, 2012
Creator: Dolven, Ben; Margesson, Rhoda & Vaughn, Bruce
Description: 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.
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U.S. Trade and Investment Relations with sub-Saharan Africa and the African Growth and Opportunity Act

U.S. Trade and Investment Relations with sub-Saharan Africa and the African Growth and Opportunity Act

Date: June 26, 2012
Creator: Jones, Vivian C. & Williams, Brock R.
Description: 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).
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Why Certain Trade Agreements Are Approved as Congressional-Executive Agreements Rather Than as Treaties

Why Certain Trade Agreements Are Approved as Congressional-Executive Agreements Rather Than as Treaties

Date: July 13, 2012
Creator: Grimmett, Jeanne J.
Description: 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.
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Iran Sanctions

Iran Sanctions

Date: June 18, 2012
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Mexico's Free Trade Agreements

Mexico's Free Trade Agreements

Date: July 3, 2012
Creator: Villarreal, M. Angeles
Description: 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.
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U.S.-Vietnam Economic and Trade Relations: Issues for the 112th Congress

U.S.-Vietnam Economic and Trade Relations: Issues for the 112th Congress

Date: June 11, 2012
Creator: Martin, Michael F.
Description: 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).
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Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer

Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer

Date: June 19, 2012
Creator: Kerr, Paul K. & Nikitin, Mary Beth
Description: 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.
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Rio+20: The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, June 2012

Rio+20: The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, June 2012

Date: June 18, 2012
Creator: Leggett, Jane A. & Carter, Nicole T.
Description: 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.
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Aviation and the European Union's Emission Trading Scheme

Aviation and the European Union's Emission Trading Scheme

Date: May 15, 2012
Creator: Leggett, Jane A.; Elias, Bart & Shedd, Daniel T.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Aviation and the European Union's Emission Trading Scheme

Aviation and the European Union's Emission Trading Scheme

Date: June 11, 2012
Creator: Leggett, Jane A.; Elias, Bart & Shedd, Daniel T.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Central America Regional Security Initiative: Background and Policy Issues for Congress

Central America Regional Security Initiative: Background and Policy Issues for Congress

Date: January 13, 2012
Creator: Meyer, Peter J. & Ribando Seelke, Clare
Description: This report examines the extent of the security problems in Central America, the current efforts being undertaken by Central American governments to address them, and U.S. support for Central American efforts through the Central America Regional Security Initiative. It also raises potential policy issues for congressional consideration such as funding levels, human rights concerns, and how CARSI relates to other U.S. government policies.
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Iran Sanctions

Iran Sanctions

Date: January 26, 2012
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: This report gives an overview of the U.S. sanctions in place on Iran and legislation that would enhance both the economic sanctions and human rights-related provisions of CISADA and other laws. It also discusses the measures that the United Nations and others have enacted against Iran and the effects of the sanctions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Iran Sanctions

Iran Sanctions

Date: February 10, 2012
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: 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.
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Burma's Political Prisoners and U.S. Sanctions

Burma's Political Prisoners and U.S. Sanctions

Date: February 13, 2012
Creator: Martin, Michael F.
Description: 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.
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Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Policy and Issues for Congress

Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Policy and Issues for Congress

Date: January 12, 2012
Creator: Siskin, Alison & Wyler, Liana Sun
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department