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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Year: 2012
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.
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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: 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.
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The Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative

The Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative

Date: June 11, 2012
Creator: Weiss, Martin A.
Description: In June 2005, G8 finance ministers proposed the new Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI). The MDRI proposes to cancel debts of some of the world's poorest countries owed to the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and African Development Bank. This report discusses MDRI's implementation and raises some issues regarding debt relief's effectiveness as a form of foreign assistance for possible congressional consideration.
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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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Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Countries: Comparative Trade and Economic Analysis

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Countries: Comparative Trade and Economic Analysis

Date: May 30, 2012
Creator: Williams, Brock R.
Description: 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.
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Syria: Unrest and U.S. Policy

Syria: Unrest and U.S. Policy

Date: May 24, 2012
Creator: Sharp, Jeremy M. & Blanchard, Christopher M.
Description: Syria remains mired in political confrontation and violence, and is perched on the edge of civil war. U.S. officials and many analysts believe that President Bashar al Asad, his family members, and his supporters will ultimately be forced from power. President Obama and his Administration have been calling for Asad's resignation since August 2011, and have been vocal advocates for United Nations Security Council action to condemn the Syrian government and end the bloodshed. The United States has closed its embassy in Damascus, and Ambassador Robert Ford has left Syria. In the face of intense domestic and international pressure calling for political change and for an end to violence against civilians, the Asad government has offered limited reforms while also meeting protests and armed attacks with overwhelming force. After a year of unrest and violence, Syria's political crisis is characterized by dilemmas and contradictions, which are discussed in this report.
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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
U.S.-South Korea Relations

U.S.-South Korea Relations

Date: May 15, 2012
Creator: Manyin, Mark E.; Chanlett-Avery, Emma & Nikitin, Mary Beth
Description: This report discusses relations between the United States and South Korea (known officially as the Republic of Korea, or ROK), which have been arguably at their best state in decades. In the Obama Administration, South Korea had emerged as the United States’ closest ally in East Asia.
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Iran Sanctions

Iran Sanctions

Date: April 26, 2012
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: 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.
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Burma's Political Prisoners and U.S. Sanctions

Burma's Political Prisoners and U.S. Sanctions

Date: April 24, 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: International Dimensions and Foreign Policy Issues for Congress

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

Date: April 20, 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. 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.
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The Lord's Resistance Army: The U.S. Response

The Lord's Resistance Army: The U.S. Response

Date: April 11, 2012
Creator: Arieff, Alexis & Ploch, Lauren
Description: A history of the Lord's Resistance Army, which is led by Joseph Kony, and the U.S.A. policies regarding it.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department