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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for U.S. Policy
This report describes the open economy and society of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as well as U.S. concern over proliferation of advanced technology due to said open economy and the UAE's lax export controls. This report describes these issues in relation to a recently-signed U.S.-UAE civilian nuclear agreement. It also provides a general description of the UAE's government and political structure, as well as the effects of the recent global economic downturn on the UAE in general and on the city of Dubai in particular. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84117/
"Hollowing Out" in U.S. Manufacturing: Analysis and Issues for Congress
The health of the U.S. manufacturing sector has been a long-standing concern of Congress. Only a small proportion of U.S. workers are now employed in factories. U.S. factories have stepped up production of goods that require high technological sophistication but relatively little direct labor. In the context of national security, the fact that U.S. manufacturers of vital products are critically dependent upon inputs from abroad is frequently a subject of concern. International comparisons indicate that the United States is in no way unique in its dependence on foreign inputs to manufacturing. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83956/
U.S. Motor Vehicle Industry: Federal Financial Assistance and Restructuring
This report reviews the U.S. automotive industry at present, aspects of the industry's financial situation, and relief options. It includes an analysis of the current situation in the U.S. automotive market, including efforts to address problems of long-term competitiveness and the impact of the industry on the broader U.S. economy. It focuses on financial issues, including credit questions, and legal and financial aspects of government-offered loans or loan guarantees. This further includes consideration of legacy issues, specifically pension and health care responsibilities of the Detroit 3. It also reviews potential solutions to the financial crisis, including options of government receivership and participation management, and various forms of bankruptcy. Finally, the report reviews stipulations that Congress might impose on auto manufacturers as conditions of providing assistance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83869/
Financial Market Turmoil and U.S. Macreconomic Performance
This report looks at causes of the 2008 financial crisis and ways that government policy can help to fix it. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83895/
U.S. Motor Vehicle Industry: Federal Financial Assistance and Restructuring
This report looks at TARP and federal government assistance to General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford Motors. In particular, the history of these transactions and how they were affecte by Congress, Senate, President Bush, and President Obama. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83892/
Chrysler Corporation Loan Guarantee Act of 1979: Background, Provisions, and Cost
A look at how the Chrysler Loan Guarantee Act of 1979 affected TARP funding for the Detroit Big Three. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83894/
Chrysler Corporation Loan Guarantee Act of 1979: Background, Provisions, and Cost
A look at how the Chrysler Loan Guarantee Act of 1979 affected TARP funding for the Detroit Big Three. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83893/
The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases
This report discusses how the total debt of the federal government can increase, an historical overview of debt limits, and how the current economic slowdown has led to higher deficits and thereby a series of debt limit increases, as well as legislation related to these increases. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40187/
The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases
This report discusses how the total debt of the federal government can increase, an historical overview of debt limits, and how the current economic slowdown has led to higher deficits and thereby a series of debt limit increases, as well as legislation related to these increases. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40186/
U.S. International Trade: Trends and Forecasts
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40217/
The Kaesong North-South Korean Industrial Complex
This purpose of this report is to provide an overview of the role, purposes, and results of the Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC) in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea) and examine U.S. interests, policy issues, options, and legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40227/
NATO Common Funds Burdensharing: Background and Current Issues
This report discusses North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) burdensharing--the funding, via individual contributions from NATO member states, of certain commonly conducted activities. The report discusses how each NATO member state's contribution is negotiated, and how member states are reconsidering their defense budgets (and, thereby, their willingness and ability to contribute to NATO operations) in light of the global financial crisis. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33032/
Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms: Economic, Program, and Policy Issues
As global economic competition heightens, many firms and workers face difficult adjustment problems. Congress has responded to these adjustment costs by authorizing four trade adjustment assistance (TAA) programs to assist trade-impacted workers, firms, farmers, and communities. This report discusses the TAA program for firms (TAAF). The TAAF program provides technical assistance to trade-affected firms to help them develop strategies and make other adjustments to remain competitive in the changing international economy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33080/
Codes of Conduct for Multinational Corporations: An Overview
The U.S. economy has grown increasingly interconnected with other economies around the world, a phenomenon often referred to as globalization. Over the past 20 years, multinational corporations and nations have adopted voluntary, legally enforceable, and industry-specific codes of conduct to address concerns over the economic, social, and political impact of this phenomenon. Congress will continue to play a pivotal role in addressing the large number of issues regarding internationally applied corporate codes of conduct that remain to be negotiated. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33087/
The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for U.S. Policy
This report describes the open economy and society of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as well as U.S. concern over proliferation of advanced technology due to said open economy and the UAE's lax export controls. This report describes these issues in relation to a recently-signed U.S.-UAE civilian nuclear agreement. It also provides a general description of the UAE's government and political structure, as well as the effects of the recent global economic downturn on the UAE in general and on the city of Dubai in particular. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33097/
The Kaesong North-South Korean Industrial Complex
This purpose of this report is to provide an overview of the role, purposes, and results of the Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC) in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea) and examine U.S. interests, policy issues, options, and legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33066/
The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases
This report discusses how the total debt of the federal government can increase, an historical overview of debt limits, and how the current economic slowdown has led to higher deficits and thereby a series of debt limit increases, as well as legislation related to these increases. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33042/
Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies: FY2011 Appropriations
This report provides an overview of actions taken by Congress to provide FY2011 appropriations for Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS). It also provides an overview of FY2010 appropriations for agencies and bureaus funded under the CJS bill. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33015/
Biomass Feedstocks for Biopower: Background and Selected Issues
The production of bioenergy - renewable energy derived from biomass - could potentially increase national energy security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and contribute to rural economic growth. This report provides analyses of commonly discussed biomass feedstocks and their relative potential for power generation. Additional biopower issues - feedstock accessibility, the biomass power plant carbon-neutrality debate, and unintended consequences of legislative activities to promote bioenergy - are also discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31382/
Responsibility Determinations Under the Federal Acquisition Regulation: Legal Standards and Procedures
This report discusses the standards and procedures that federal agencies use in making responsibility determinations under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). It discusses (1) how responsibility determinations relate to other mechanisms that the government relies upon to ensure that contractors are responsible and otherwise eligible for federal contracts; (2) the performance-related and collateral standards used in making responsibility determinations; (3) the procedures for making responsibility determinations; and (4) recently enacted or proposed amendments to the standards or procedures for responsibility determinations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31340/
Managing Electronic Waste: Issues with Exporting E-Waste
Electronic waste (e-waste) is a term that is used loosely to refer to obsolete, broken, or irreparable electronic devices like televisions, computer central processing units (CPUs), and computer monitors. There are various issues of concern with regard to e-waste disposal and recycling. This report looks at issues specifically related to its export for recycling. Particularly, it discusses documented impacts to human health and the environment that have been tied to unsafe recycling practices in developing countries, as well as issues that have motivated certain stakeholders to divert e-waste from landfill disposal and, hence, increase recycling. It also provides an overview of various factors necessary to understand why e-waste disposal has become a concern in the United States, and it also discusses waste management requirements in the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31346/
Long-Term Unemployment and Recessions
This report discusses the recession that began in the United States in December 2007 and officially ended in June 2009 and how this recession affected employment rates. This report analyzes the trend in long-term unemployment over the postwar period and offers explanations for its unusually high incidence during the most recent postwar recession. It compares the individual, job, and household characteristics of the long-term unemployed during the latest recession (2007-2009) with the long-term unemployed at the end of the two previous recessions (1990-1991 and 2001). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31356/
Running Deficits: Positives and Pitfalls
The FY2009 federal deficit swelled to $1.414 trillion, or nearly 10% of gross domestic product (GDP), due to the economic recession. The size of recent deficits has added to longstanding concerns regarding the federal government's long-term fiscal condition. However, deficit finance can serve as an important policy tool. This report discusses how deficit finance can help governments manage their economies and how large and persistent deficits can lead to severe economic problems. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31415/
U.S. International Trade: Trends and Forecasts
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31414/
The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases
This report discusses how the total debt of the federal government can increase, an historical overview of debt limits, and how the current economic slowdown has led to higher deficits and thereby a series of debt limit increases, as well as legislation related to these increases. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31401/
The Mexican Economy After the Global Financial Crisis
This report provides an overview of Mexico's economy post-financial crisis, effects of the global economic downturn, structural and other challenges in the Mexican economy, and implications for the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31368/
China's Steel Industry and Its Impact on the United States: Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of China's steel industry and discusses the issues and implications with regard to the U.S. steel sector. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31374/
Competition in Federal Contracting: An Overview of the Legal Requirements
This report describes the competition requirements currently governing the procurement activities of federal agencies. It addresses several issues, including what contracts are subject to competition requirements, what constitutes full and open competition for government contracts, and the circumstances permitting agencies to award contracts on the basis of other than full and open competition. It also briefly describes the benefits and drawbacks of competition, situates recent reform efforts within their historical context, and discusses how the policy debates surrounding competition in federal contracting can shape legislative responses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31464/
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA): Congressional Interest and Executive Enforcement
This report briefly discusses the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act of 1977 (FCPA), which was intended to prevent corporate bribery of foreign officials. Criticisms of the act's operation and scope began almost immediately after its passage and have continued. This report discusses these criticisms. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29622/
The TANF Emergency Contingency Fund
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 created an Emergency Contingency Fund (ECF) within the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant. The fund expired on September 30, 2010. It helped states, Indian tribes, and territories pay for additional costs of providing economic aid to families during the current economic downturn for FY2009 and FY2010. This report describes the TANF ECF as well as proposals offered in 2010 to extend and modify TANF emergency funding. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29579/
The Inapplicability of Limitations on Subcontracting to "Preference Contracts" for Small Businesses: Washington-Harris Group
This report discusses Washington-Harris Group, a protest filed with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) alleging, among other things, that an agency improperly awarded a "preference contract" to a service-disabled veteran-owned small business that proposed to subcontract a greater percentage of work on the contract than allowed under the Small Business Administration's limitations on subcontracting. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29578/
DOD Leases of Foreign-Built Ships: Background for Congress
The Department of Defense (DOD) in recent years has leased some foreign-built cargo ships for total periods, including options and renewals, of almost 10 years -- a length of time that some observers argue effectively circumvents a legal requirement that U.S. military ships be built in U.S. shipyards. These observers, particularly the American Shipbuilding Association (ASA), have proposed reducing the current five-year legal limit on ship leases to two years for foreign-built ships. DOD has opposed the idea, arguing that its ship leases are the most cost-effective way to meet its needs for the ships in question. This report briefly discusses this issue, as well as related legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29745/
Contract Types: An Overview of the Legal Requirements and Issues
This report provides an overview of the various contract types (e.g., fixed-price, cost-reimbursement) used in federal procurement and the legal requirements and issues pertaining to each. Current congressional and public interest in contract types is, in part, an outgrowth of the reported increase in the use of cost-reimbursement contracts during the George W. Bush Administration1 and the Obama Administration's proposal to reduce by at least 10% the funds obligated in FY2010 by "high risk-contracting authorities," such as cost-reimbursement, time-and-materials, and labor-hour contracts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29586/
Location-Based Preferences in Federal and Federally Funded Contracting: An Overview of the Law
This report discusses constitutional and other legal issues related to the creation and implementation of location-based preferences in federal contracting, as well as summarizes key authorities requiring or allowing federal agencies to "favor" contractors located in specific places. The report does not address federal preferences for domestic products or provisions of federal law that could, depending upon their implementation, effectively prefer local contractors, such as project labor agreements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29583/
Tariff Modifications: Miscellaneous Tariff Bills
This report discusses the current process by which duty suspension bills and other provisions are introduced, reviewed by several government agencies and committee staff, made available for public comment, and finally included in omnibus miscellaneous trade and technical corrections bills (MTBs) legislation reported out by the committees of jurisdiction. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29692/
U.S. International Trade: Trends and Forecasts
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29678/
The 2007-2009 Recession: Similarities to and Differences from the Past
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the U.S. economy was in a recession for 18 months from December 2007 to June 2009. It was the longest and deepest recession of the post-World War II era. This report provides information on the patterns found across past recessions since World War II to gauge whether and how this recession might be different. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29560/
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program
This report briefly discusses the Small Business Innovation Development Act (P.L. 97-219), which in 1982 established Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs designed to increase participation of small innovative companies in federally funded research and development (R&D). The report also discusses the program's extensions and reauthorization activity over the years. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29500/
Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program: An Overview
This report provides a brief overview of The Hollings Manufacturing Partnership (MEP), which is a program of regional centers set up to assist small and medium-sized manufacturing companies use knowledge and technologies developed under the auspices of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29502/
Job Growth During the Recovery
Congress in recent years passed a number of bills intended in part to jump-start a recovery in the labor market from the recession that began in December 2007. Policymakers are interested in how employment has responded to stimulus measures to determine how effective the legislation has been and to decide whether additional job creation legislation is warranted. This report discusses this topic in brief. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29610/
The Federal Government's Role in Electric Transmission Facility Siting
This report looks at the history of transmission siting and the reason behind the movement toward an increased federal role in siting decisions, explains the new federal role in transmission siting pursuant to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and discusses legal issues related to this and any potential future expansions of the federal role. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29571/
Small Business Administration HUBZone Program
The Small Business Administration (SBA) administers several programs to support small businesses, including the Historically Underutilized Business Zone Empowerment Contracting (HUBZone) program. The HUBZone program is a small business federal contracting assistance program "whose primary objective is job creation and increasing capital investment in distressed communities." This report examines the arguments presented both for and against targeting assistance to geographic areas with specified characteristics, such as low income, high poverty, or high unemployment, as opposed to providing assistance to people or businesses with specified characteristics. It then assesses the arguments presented both for and against the creation and continuation of the HUBZone program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29592/
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: Executive Compensation
This report discusses the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 4173), which was implemented as part of financial regulatory reform initiatives undertaken by Congress in light of the recent global economic crisis. The legislation focuses on executive compensation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29597/
Legal Protections for Subcontractors on Federal Prime Contracts
This report provides an overview of the payment and other protections for subcontractors on certain federal prime contracts under the Miller Act, the 1988 amendments to the Prompt Payment Act, and the Small Business Act. Congress enacted these statutes to give subcontractors rights and remedies they would not otherwise have because of legal doctrines relating to sovereign immunity, privity of contract, and freedom to contract. The report also discusses legislation introduced in the 111th Congress that would provide additional protections for subcontractors. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29591/
General Motors' Initial Public Offering: Review of Issues and Implications for TARP
This report analyzes the progress General Motors Company has made since it was created from the sale of the bankrupt Old GM in July 2009 and the major issues related to its anticipated 2010 initial public offering (IPO). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29605/
The Debt Limit: History and Recent Increases
This report discusses how the total debt of the federal government can increase, an historical overview of debt limits, and how the current economic slowdown has led to higher deficits and thereby a series of debt limit increases, as well as legislation related to these increases. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29646/
U.S. Government Agencies Involved in Export Promotion: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of the federal agencies that participate in U.S. export promotion efforts and the issues that they raise for Congress. It proceeds first by discussing the coordination, budgets, and functions of federal government agencies involved in promoting exports. Next, the report provides an overview of the missions and activities of key federal government agencies that support exports. The last section of the report discusses agency-related issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29636/
Financial Regulatory Reform: Analysis of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) as Proposed by the Obama Administration and H.R. 3126
This report provides a brief summary of the President's Consumer Financial Protection Agency Act of 2009 (the CPFA Act or the Act) and delineates some of the substantive differences between it and H.R. 3126, as introduced. It then analyzes some of the policy implications of the proposal, focusing on the separation of safety and soundness regulation from consumer protection, financial innovation, and the scope of regulation. The report then raises some questions regarding state law preemption, sources of funding, and rule-making procedures that the Act does not fully answer. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26183/
Countercyclical Job Creation Programs
To counter the effect of recessions on workers, Congress has passed legislation to spur job creation through increased spending on public works (infrastructure) and public service programs, revenue sharing with state governments, and employment tax credits. Although the economic stimulus measure enacted during the 110th Congress did not include these direct job creation approaches, additional spending on infrastructure in particular was considered before Congress recessed. (See CRS Report RL34349, Economic Slowdown: Issues and Policies, coordinated by Jane G. Gravelle et al.) Infrastructure spending continues to be mentioned in the context of a second stimulus package, as do state and local government revenue sharing and a jobs tax credit. The focus of this report is on the four countercyclical job creation approaches and related legislation enacted since the Great Depression's end. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26027/
Plant Closings, Mass Layoffs, and Worker Dislocations: Data Issues
For at least 15 years Members of Congress have continued to ask: How many U.S. manufacturing plants have closed? For at least 15 years they have continued to ask: How many U.S. manufacturing plants have relocated abroad, and where have they gone? For at least 15 years the answer has been: For the most part, those questions can't be answered, based on Government data. How many plants are moving to Mexico? What industries and what States are the plants from? How many U.S. workers are losing their jobs as a result? It appears that still, after two legislative attempts to mandate collection of these data, the Government publishes no counts of U.S. plant closings, and almost no information on plant relocations. Options for strengthening the data systems include addressing three main weaknesses: inadequate data program design, a plant closing definition that misses its mark, and publication of partial instead of complete survey results. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26029/