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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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National Missile Defense: Issues for Congress
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World Heritage Convention and U.S. National Parks
On July 13, 2000, the House passed H.R. 4811, the FY 2001 Foreign Operations bill, containing language prohibiting the use of any funds in the bill for the United Nations World Heritage Fund. This Fund provides technical assistance to countries requesting help in protecting World Heritage sites. On May 20, 1999, the House passed (by voice vote) the American Land Sovereignty Protection Act (H.R. 883), which requires congressional approval to add any additional U.S. national parks and monuments to the World Heritage List, a UNESCO-administered list established by the 1972 World Heritage Convention. This paper describes the operation of the UNESCO Convention and will be updated periodically. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1290/
Biosafety Protocol for Genetically Modified Organisms: Overview
The Biosafety Protocol to the 1992 Convention on biological Diversity, adopted in early 2000, addresses the safe handling, transfer, and trade of biological organisms. The Protocol sets forth procedures and rules concerning trade in biological products, including genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that have engendered controversy, especially when they are used as agricultural crops. These rules are of key importance to U.S. economic interests in agriculture as well as those dealing in other genetically modified organisms. This report provides a brief summary of the key provisions of the Protocol and the major issues associated with them. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1271/
United States' Withdrawal from the World Trade Organization: Legislative Procedure
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China's Accession to the World Trade Organization: Legal Issues
The People's Republic of China (PRC) applied to resume membership in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1986 and continues to negotiate its accession to GATT's successor, the World Trade Organization (WTO). A country may join the WTO on terms agreed by the applicant and WTO Members if two-thirds of Members approve the country's accession agreement. A Member may "opt out" of WTO relations with another country by invoking Article XIII of the WTO Agreement, its "non-application" clause. The United States and the PRC agreed to bilateral terms for the PRC's accession in November 1999. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1333/
Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty Demarcation and Succession Agreements: Background and Issues
This report discusses the content of and issues related to the ABM Treaty Succession and Demarcation Agreements signed in September 1997. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1351/
European Security: The Debate in NATO and the European Union
This report reviews progress within NATO to develop a European Security and Defense Identity (ESDI), and the initiative within the European Union to create a common European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP). The report considers both European and U.S. perspectives on these developments. It will be updated as events warrant. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1132/
The World Trade Organization: The Debate in the United States
The World Trade Organization (WTO) went into effect in 1995, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) which had been in existence since 1948. Under the WTO, the governments of the 136 member countries agree on a set of rules and principles for trade, negotiate periodically to reduce trade barriers, and participate in the dispute settlement procedure. Economists believe that, over the past 50 years, the more predictable environment for trade as well as the reduction in trade barriers has contributed to unprecedented economic prosperity for the majority of countries. On the other hand, trade liberalization under the WTO has resulted in economic costs to those whose jobs have been adversely affected, although they are relatively few compared to total employment in the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1257/
Economic Sanctions and U.S. Agricultural Exports
Various statutes and regulations authorize the President to restrict or prohibit trade with targeted countries for national security or foreign policy reasons. The exercise of these authorities has resulted in restrictions or prohibitions at times being placed on the export of U.S. agricultural commodities and products. The U.S. government currently restricts exports of agricultural products as part of across-the-board economic sanctions imposed on Cuba and Iraq. Exceptions are made for humanitarian reasons, allowing food to be sold or donated to these two countries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1255/
Global Climate Change Treaty: The Kyoto Protocol
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NAFTA: Related Environmental Issues and Initiatives
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Environment and the World Trade Organization (WTO) at Seattle: Issues and Concerns
This meeting of the decision making body of the WTO was expected to make decisions that would lead to another round of negotiations on a wide variety of trade rules and related issues. Although the United States continues to assert the necessity of pursuing the twin goals of free trade and environmental protection and to argue that these need not be in conflict, controversy remains over how the multilateral trading system should address the specifics of environmental issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1004/
Nuclear Sanctions: Section 102(b) of the Arms Export Control Act and Its Application to India and Pakistan
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Weapons of Mass Destruction - the Terrorist Threat
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Afghanistan: Connections to Islamic Movements In Central and South Asia and Southern Russia
After several years of relative peace in Central Asia and southern Russia, Islamic extremist movements have become more active in Russia and in Central and South Asia, threatening stability in the region. Although numerous factors might account for the upsurge in activity, several of these movements appear to have connections to the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban regime in Afghanistan. These linkages raise questions about whether the United States, as part of a broader effort to promote peace and stability in the region, should continue to engage the Taliban regime, or strongly confront it. This report will be updated as events warrant. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7705/
The World Trade Organization (WTO) Seattle Ministerial Conference
On November 30th to December 3rd, 1999, the highest decision-making body of the World Trade Organization (WTO), called the Ministerial Conference, will meet in Seattle to make broad policy decisions. The key issue for the trade ministers attending the meeting will be to decide on the structure and topics for the agenda of a new round of multilateral trade negotiations. Countries have committed to discuss agriculture and services trade in the new round. Other items that have been proposed for inclusion in the new round or for earlier consideration include tariff reductions, concessions for developing countries, labor issues and the environment, and the WTO decision-making process. Major labor, environmental, and consumer interest groups are expected to be present in Seattle to argue for more consideration of workers' rights and the environment within the WTO. This report provides a summary background on preparations for the Ministerial and related issues of congressional interest. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1002/
Economic Sanctions to Achieve U.S. Foreign Policy Goals: Discussion and Guide to Current Law
This report provides background on foreign policy sanctions. It addresses the following questions: Why do we apply sanctions? What objectives does the U.S. government seek to achieve when it imposes sanctions? Who imposes sanctions? What tools are available? How likely is it that sanctions will achieve the stated goal? What secondary consequences might sanctions have? What change is required for the sanctions to be lifted? Would multilateral sanctions be more desirable and achievable? The report also provides an uncomplicated map of where sanctions policies and options currently may be found in U.S. law. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6971/
CBI/NAFTA Parity Proposals: A Comparison
The tariff and quota treatment of U.S. imports from Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement has resulted in a distinct and increasing competitive disadvantage for imports from the beneficiary countries of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA). To eliminate this disadvantage, proposals have been made to extend to imports from Caribbean Basin countries preferential treatment equivalent to that accorded imports of identical goods from Mexico. This report compares the provisions of four such proposals: Title I of H.R. 984, Title I of S. 371, H.R. 1834, and S. 1389. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1033/
Terrorism: Middle Eastern Groups and State Sponsors, 1999
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Global Climate Change: Coal Use in China and Other Asian Developing Countries
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Kosovo and NATO: Selected Issues of International Law
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Kosovo: International Reactions to NATO Air Strikes
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Drug Certification of Mexico in 1999: Arguments For and Against Congressional Resolutions of Disapproval
This report presents arguments for and against congressional resolutions to disapprove President Clinton’s February 26, 1999 certification of Mexico as a fully cooperative country in efforts to control illicit narcotics.1 These resolutions (H.J.Res. 35--Bachus, and H.J.Res. 43--Mica and Gilman) would disapprove the President’s certification, but would permit him to avoid withholding of assistance to Mexico if he determined that vital national interests required such assistance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs952/
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
This report gives an overview of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, which was intended to prohibit bribery of foreign officials by American corporations. It includes information about the original legislation, amendments in 1988, and amendments in 1998 that brought the legislation into conformance with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's agreement on bribery. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1001/
Global Climate Change: Congressional Concern About "Back Door" Implementation of the 1997 U.N. Kyoto Protocol
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Global Climate Change: Carbon Emissions and End-Use Energy Demand
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Immigration: Visa Entry/Exit Control System
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Terrorism: U.S. Response to Bombings in Kenya and Tanzania: A New Policy Direction?
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Global Climate Change: Three Policy Perspectives
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Immigration: Visa Entry/Exit Control System
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Global Climate Change Treaty: The Kyoto Protocol
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Trade Agreements: Renewing the Negotiating and Fast-Track Implementing Authority
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs598/
Bosnian Muslim-Croat Federation: Key to Peace in Bosnia?
The Federation of Bosnia and Hercegovina was established in March 1994, with U.S. mediation. It aims to unite areas held by the largely Bosniak (Muslim) pre-war republic government with areas held by Croats. The Bosnian peace agreement, signed in Dayton in November 1995, recognized the Federation and the Bosnian Serb Republika Srpska as two largely autonomous entities within a weak, but sovereign Bosnia and Hercegovina union. Real political, economic and military integration of Bosniak and Croat-held areas has been slow to materialize. The United States has played a key role in setting up the Federation and in efforts to make it viable. The long term viability of the Federation is open to question, however, due to continued mistrust between the two sides and significant differences in their perceived interests. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs756/
Economic Sanctions to Achieve U.S. Foreign Policy Goals: Discussion and Guide to Current Law
This report provides background on foreign policy sanctions and the events that might necessitate their use, criteria to consider when determining if sanctions are appropriate, approaches that might be effective, and aspects of the use of sanctions that are sometimes overlooked or not considered fully. The report also provides an uncomplicated map of where sanctions policies and options currently may be found in U.S. law. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs730/
U.N Funding, Payment of Arrears and Linkage to Reform: Legislation in the 105th Congress
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs729/
Global Climate Change: Selected Legal Questions About the Kyoto Protocol
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Global Climate Change: Reducing Greenhouse Gases - How Much from What Baseline?
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Africa: Trade and Development Initiatives by the Clinton Administration and Congress
In February 1997, the Clinton Administration submitted the second of five annual reports on the Administration's Comprehensive Trade and Development Policy for Africa as required by section 134 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (House Document 103-3415, Vol. 1.). On April 24, 1997, members of the African Trade and Investment Caucus introduced a bill, H.R. 1432, on U.S.-Africa trade and investment issues. In his State of the Union address in January 1998, President Clinton called on Congress to pass the trade legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs813/
Bosnia: Civil Implementation of the Peace Agreement
Since Dayton Peace Accords, the civilian side of peace implementation has been challenged by the scope of the tasks, and by the lack of commitment demonstrated by the Bosnian parties to various aspects of the peace agreement. In addition, issues such as International Framework for peace implementation, formation of governmental institution, election, civil police task force and displaced persons are discussed in this report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs607/
Agriculture and Fast Track Trade Legislation
Senate and House committees in October reported legislation for new fast track authority enabling the Administration to negotiate trade agreements with foreign countries and to submit them to Congress for consideration under expedited procedures. Many agricultural and food industry interests are among the export-dependent enterprises that support new fast track authority, arguing that foreign trading partners will not seriously negotiate with an Administration that lacks it. However, some agricultural groups argue that fast track provides them with inadequate opportunities for dealing with their issues, and that it ultimately will lead to new agreements that benefit foreign more than U.S. producers, at least in some commodity sectors. Neither bill was taken to the floor in 1997 because of insufficient votes for passage in the House. However, the President is expected to seek approval in 1998. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs407/
Global Climate Change: The Role of U.S. Foreign Assistance
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Global Climate Change Treaty: Negotiations and Related Issues
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Industrial Energy Intensiveness and Energy Costs in the Context of Climate Change Policy
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Radio Free Asia
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Terrorism, the Media, and the Government: Perspectives, Trends, and Options for Policymakers
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Economic Sanctions to Achieve U.S. Foreign Policy Goals: Discussion and Guide to Current Law
This report provides background on the range of actions that might be termed foreign policy sanctions and the events that might necessitate their use. Criteria are offered that legislators might consider to judge when sanctions might be appropriate, approaches that might be effective, aspects of the use of sanctions that are sometimes overlooked or not considered fully. The report provides an uncomplicated "map" of where sanctions policies and options currently lay in U. S. law. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs465/
China: U.S. Economic Sanctions
This report presents a history of U.S. economic sanctions imposed against the People's Republic of China for foreign policy reasons since 1949. It highlights sanctions that are currently active and details occasions on which those restrictions have been modified, waived or permanently lifted. The report provides citations for Presidential authority in current law and the Administration's issuance of regulations and administrative orders. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs450/
World Heritage Convention and U.S. National Parks
During the 105th Congress, the House considered H.R. 901, legislation which would give Congress a role in designating any new U.S. national parks and monuments of world significance added to the World Heritage List, a UNESCO administered list established by the 1972 World Heritage Convention. Sponsors of the bill are concerned that designation of a U.S. site to the U.N. list, which is currently done under Executive Branch authority, does not protect the rights of private property owners or the States. The Administration and opponents of the bill argue that the designation has no affect on property rights and does not provide the United Nations with any legal authority over U.S. territory. H.R. 901 passed the House on October 8, 1997. This paper describes the operation of the UNESCO Convention and H.R. 901. It will be updated as the legislation progresses through the House and Senate. Similar language concerning the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Program has become law. For information on that legislation, see CRS Report 96-517 ENR, Biosphere Reserves: Fact Sheet. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs477/
Countries of the World and International Organizations: Sources of Information
This report provides a selection of materials for locating information on foreign countries and international organizations. In the general information section, it presents sources giving an overview of politics, economics, and recent history. A specialized information section cites sources on human rights, immigration, international organizations, military strengths, terrorism, and other topics. Included are titles of some of the most frequently consulted bibliographic sources that are available for use in many libraries. Electronic information on foreign countries is also provided, via the Internet, by agencies of the federal government, international organizations, and related sources. Included is a list of foreign chanceries located in Washington, D.C. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs478/
Strategic Arms Reduction Treaties (START I and II): Verification and Compliance Issues
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