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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
International Trade and Finance: Key Policy Issues for the 114th Congress, 2nd Session
This report provides a brief overview of some of the trade and finance issues that may come before the second session of the 114th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824499/
Overview of Labor Enforcement Issues in Free Trade Agreements
This report discusses free trade agreements (FTAs) that have enforceable labor provisions, grouped into four model types. It outlines the provisions for each and identifies two types of labor enforcement issues: (1) those that relate to the FTA provisions themselves, including their definitions and their enforceability, and (2) those that relate to executive branch responsibilities, such as resource availability and determining dispute settlement case priorities. This report does not address other labor issues in the various free trade agreements, including cooperative consultation and capacity-building provisions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824681/
Kuwait: Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report looks at Kuwait's relationships with its neighbors in the Persian Gulf, and its own political system which has been in turmoil since 2006. Kuwait remains pivotal to U.S. efforts to secure the Persian Gulf region because of its willingness to cooperate with U.S. strategy and military operations in the region and its proximity to both Iran and Iraq. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824504/
IAEA Budget and U.S. Contributions: In Brief
This report discusses the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA's) budget and funding. In addition to its other missions, the IAEA is monitoring and verifying Iranian compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and is to report on these activities regularly. The accord is intended to lift nuclear related U.S., European Union, and United Nations sanctions on Iran in exchange for restrictions on the country's nuclear program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824477/
Border Security Metrics Between Ports of Entry
This report provides background and information about performance and operational metrics related to U.S. border security as well as issues for Congressional consideration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824618/
The European Union: Current Challenges and Future Prospects
This report provides a brief history of the European Union (EU) and the major challenges currently confronting the EU as an institution. It also discusses the potential implications both for the EU itself and for U.S.-EU relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824654/
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): In Brief
This report briefly summarizes some of the key controversial issues of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), including select market access issues (such as on dairy and other agricultural products, autos, and textiles and apparel) as well as the level of intellectual property protection, the scope and enforcement of environment and worker rights provisions, investor-state dispute settlement, access to government procurement, and the potential inclusion of provisions on currency valuation and exchange rates. The TPP is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) among 12 Asia-Pacific countries, which the Obama Administration casts as comprehensive, with economic and strategic significance for the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824794/
The U.S.-Japan Alliance
This report focuses on the political and military partnership between the United States and Japan. The U.S.-Japan alliance, forged in the U.S. occupation of Japan after its defeat in World War II, provides a platform for U.S. military readiness in Asia. Under the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, about 53,000 U.S. troops are stationed in Japan, providing the major U.S. forward logistics base in the Asia-Pacific. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824484/
El Salvador: Background and U.S. Relations
This report examines El Salvador's recent history, as well as its current political, economic, and security/human rights challenges. It then analyzes key issues in U.S.-Salvadoran relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824413/
The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Strategic Implications
This report discusses selected strategic arguments related to the proposed 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations. The potential impacts of the agreement may be an active area of debate during the second session of the 114th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824718/
El Salvador: Background and U.S. Relations
This report examines El Salvador's recent history, as well as its current political, economic, and security/human rights challenges. It then analyzes key issues in U.S.-Salvadoran relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824579/
Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) Negotiations: Overview and Issues for Congress
The purpose of the ongoing Trade in Services (TiSA) negotiations is to build on those rules by further increasing liberalization among the 23 negotiating parties, including the United States and European Union (EU), to open markets to foreign service providers and enhance rules governing services trade. This report provides a brief overview of U.S. trade in services, background on services in U.S. trade agreements, and an in-depth discussion of the ongoing TiSA negotiations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824480/
Coast Guard Cutter Procurement: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and potential oversight issues for Congress on the Coast Guard's programs for procuring 8 National Security Cutters (NSCs), 25 Offshore Patrol Cutters (OPCs), and 58 Fast Response Cutters (FRCs). The issue for Congress is whether to approve, reject, or modify the Coast Guard's funding requests and acquisition strategies for the NSC, OPC, and FRC programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824470/
Iran: U.S. Economic Sanctions and the Authority to Lift Restrictions
This report identifies the legislative bases for sanctions imposed on Iran, and the nature of the authority to waive or lift those restrictions. It comprises two tables that present legislation and executive orders that are specific to Iran and its objectionable activities in the areas of terrorism, human rights, and weapons proliferation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824812/
Iran-U.S. Air Service Not Imminent
This report discusses the prospect of air travel between Iran and the U.S., which last operated during 1979, when the U.S. government imposed an embargo on flights following the Iran hostage crisis. Since then, travel and air cargo shipments between the two countries have been routed through third countries, and their extent has been limited by U.S. sanctions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824808/
Iran Nuclear Agreement
This report provides background on the agreement negotiated by Iran and six other countries (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany--collectively known as the P5+1) regarding Iran's nuclear program, and discusses the implications for U.S.-Iran relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824578/
U.S.-Mexican Security Cooperation: The Mérida Initiative and Beyond
This report begins with a brief discussion of security challenges in Mexico and Mexico's security strategy. It then provides information on congressional funding and oversight of the Mérida Initiative, with details about each of the program's four pillars. The report concludes by raising policy issues that Congress may wish to consider. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824641/
Iran, Gulf Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses issues regarding Iran's political history and structure. It also takes a look at economic and defense policy responses for Congress, specifically focusing on Iran's nuclear capabilities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824628/
Cuba: Issues for the 114th Congress
This report is divided into three major sections analyzing Cuba's political and economic environment, U.S. policy, and selected issues in U.S.-Cuban relations. While legislative initiatives are noted throughout the report, a final section of the report provides a listing of bills and resolutions introduced in the 114th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824816/
American Agriculture and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement
This report identifies four considerations about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement that are particularly relevant for U.S. food and agriculture. It includes a partial snapshot of some of the higher-profile improvements in market access for agricultural products in the agreement, a summary of selected provisions beyond market access that are of interest to food and agriculture, a brief overview of industry reactions to the agreement, and a review of what would need to occur for the agreement to enter into force for the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824454/
Perspectives on Enhanced Interrogation Techniques
This report briefly summarizes what constituted Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (EITs), provides background on their adoption and use, and discusses differing views on three questions that underpin discussion and debate of this topic. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824659/
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): In Brief
This report briefly summarizes some of the key provisions listed in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that are seen as controversial. The TPP is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) among 12 Asia-Pacific countries, which the Obama Administration casts as comprehensive, with economic and strategic significance for the United States. These controversial issues include select market access (such as on dairy and other agricultural products, autos, and textiles and apparel) as well as the level of intellectual property protection, the scope and enforcement of environment and worker rights provisions, the treatment of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), investor-state dispute settlement, access to government procurement, and the potential inclusion of provisions on currency valuation and exchange rates. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824575/
President Obama's $1 Billion Foreign Aid Request for Central America
This report discusses the Obama Administration's recent request for over $1 billion in foreign assistance during FY2016 to support a whole-of-government "U.S. Strategy for Engagement in Central America." digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824527/
U.S.-Mexican Security Cooperation: The Mérida Initiative and Beyond
This report begins with a brief discussion of security challenges in Mexico and Mexico's security strategy. It then provides information on congressional funding and oversight of the Mérida Initiative, with details about each of the program's four pillars. The report concludes by raising policy issues that Congress may wish to consider. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824428/
The WTO Nairobi Ministerial
This report briefly discusses a limited set of deliverables agreed upon by trade ministers and their senior representatives in Nairobi at the 10th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795927/
A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense--Issues for Congress
This report briefly describes the shift in the international security environment that some observers believe has occurred, and identifies some defense related issues for Congress that could arise from it. Congress's decisions on these issues could have significant implications for U.S. defense capabilities and funding requirements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795926/
International Climate Change Negotiations: What to Expect in Paris, December 2015
This report identifies critical issues regarding the expected Paris Agreement and a Decision that would give effect to the Agreement. The Congressional Research Service (CRS) draws on the draft negotiating texts, publicly available reports, and commentaries to suggest likely outcomes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795889/
Cuba: Issues for the 114th Congress
This report is divided into three major sections analyzing Cuba's political and economic environment, U.S. policy, and selected issues in U.S.-Cuban relations. A final section of the report provides a listing of bills and resolutions introduced in the 114th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795886/
Iran's Foreign Policy
This report provides an overview of Iran's foreign policy, which has been a subject of numerous congressional hearings and of sanctions and other legislation for many years. The report analyzes Iranian foreign policy as a whole and by region. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795916/
President Obama's $1 Billion Foreign Aid Request for Central America
This report discusses the Obama Administration's recent request for over $1 billion in foreign assistance in FY2016 to support a whole-of-government "U.S. Strategy for Engagement in Central America." digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795910/
The November 2015 Terrorist Siege in Mali
On November 20, 2015, gunmen laid siege to the Radisson Blu, a hotel popular with foreigners in Mali's capital, Bamako. This report discusses issues for Congress in the wake of the attack. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795923/
Iran Nuclear Agreement
This report provides background on the agreement negotiated by Iran and six other countries (the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany--collectively known as the P5+1) regarding Iran's nuclear program, and discusses the implications for U.S.-Iran relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795870/
A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense--Issues for Congress
This report briefly describes the shift in the international security environment that some observers believe has occurred, and identifies some defense related issues for Congress that could arise from it. Congress's decisions on these issues could have significant implications for U.S. defense capabilities and funding requirements. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795904/
State Sponsors of Acts of International Terrorism - Legislative Parameters: In Brief
This brief report provides information on legislation that authorizes the designation of any foreign government as a state sponsor of acts of international terrorism. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795666/
Coalition Contributions to Countering the Islamic State
This report discusses the formation of the Islamic State. Some 60 nations and partner organizations agreed to participate, contributing either military forces or resources (or both) to the campaign. In Brussels in December 2014, these 60 partners agreed to organize themselves along five "lines of effort," with at least two countries in the lead for each. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795517/
The Iran Hostages: Efforts to Obtain Compensation
This report outlines the history of various efforts relating to benefits for victims of the 1979-1981 Iran Hostage Crisis, and describes several bills currently before Congress: the Justice for Former American Hostages in Iran Act of 2015, S. 868, a companion bill, H.R. 3338, and Section 122 of the Department of State Operations Authorization and Embassy Security Act, Fiscal Year 2016, S. 1635. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795779/
Aiding Israel after the Iran Nuclear Deal: Issues for Congress
This report discusses recent indications from the Obama administration that the United States may provide Israel with additional military aid during the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795722/
The European Union (EU): Current Challenges and Future Prospects in Brief
This report provides a brief history of the EU and the major simultaneous challenges currently facing the EU as an institution. It also discusses the potential implications both for the EU itself and for U.S.-EU relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795855/
Iran Nuclear Agreement
This report discusses the recently finalized Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that attempts to ensure that Iran's nuclear program can be used for purely peaceful purposes, in exchange for a broad suspension of U.S., European Union (EU), and United Nations sanctions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795449/
U.S. Foreign Assistance to the Middle East: Historical Background, Recent Trends, and the FY2016 Request
This report is an overview of U.S. foreign assistance to the Middle East, including a brief historical review of foreign aid levels, a description of specific country programs, and an analysis of current foreign aid issues. The Middle East is perennially a major focus of interest as Congress exercises these powers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795572/
International Crises and Disasters: U.S. Humanitarian Assistance Response Mechanisms
This report examines U.S. humanitarian assistance in international crises and disaster situations. It considers the sources and types of U.S. government aid, the response mechanisms of key U.S. agencies and departments, and possible issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795597/
Russian Compliance with the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty: Background and Issues for Congress
This report describes the current status of the INF Treaty and highlights issues that Congress may address as the United States pursues its compliance concerns with Russia. It includes a historical overview and summary of the provisions of the INF Treaty and Russia's concerns with U.S. compliance with the treaty and concludes with a discussion of options that the United States might pursue to address its concerns with Russia's activities and options that it might pursue if Russia deploys new INF-range missiles. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795644/
Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response
This report discusses the ongoing conflict in Syria and provides an overview of U.S. Policy responses. The rise of the insurgent terrorist group known as the Islamic State (IS, aka the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or ISIL/ISIS) and Russia's military intervention on behalf of the Syrian government have reshaped debates over U.S. policy toward the ongoing civil conflict in Syria, now in its fifth year. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795392/
2015 Leaders' Summit on U.N. Peacekeeping
This report discusses the outcome of the 2015 Leaders' Summit on U.N. Peacekeeping, which might elevate ongoing congressional interest in several policy issues related to U.N. peacekeeping. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795657/
Yemen: Civil War and Regional Intervention
This report provides material on the latest crisis in Yemen and the U.S. policy response. To date, more than 100 Saudi soldiers and 50 UAE troops have been killed in the war--the highest death toll for the UAE in any military operation abroad since the country was founded in 1971. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795402/
Kuwait: Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report looks at Kuwait's relationships with its neighbors in the Persian Gulf, and its own political system which has been in turmoil since 2006. Kuwait remains pivotal to U.S. efforts to secure the Persian Gulf region because of its willingness to cooperate with U.S. strategy and military operations in the region and its proximity to both Iran and Iraq. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795347/
Emerging Markets: Is Slower Growth Temporary?
This report discusses the growing vulnerabilities Emerging market (EM) countries are facing due to declining global trade, depreciating currencies, sharply lower commodity prices, volatile equity markets, and deeper economic reforms. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795766/
Iran Nuclear Agreement
This report discusses the recently finalized Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that attempts to ensure that Iran's nuclear program can be used for purely peaceful purposes, in exchange for a broad suspension of U.S. sanctions and a lifting of those sanctions imposed by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795827/
The Lord's Resistance Army: The U.S. Response
This report discusses the background and history of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and the U.S.'s response. The LRA is a small armed group that originated in northern Uganda in 1987 and is currently operating in remote border areas between the Central African Republic (CAR), Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), South Sudan, and Sudan. The LRA's actions--which include massacres, abductions (notoriously of children), sexual assault, and looting--have caused humanitarian suffering and instability. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795621/
Iran's Foreign Policy
This report provides an overview of Iran's foreign policy, which has been a subject of numerous congressional hearings and of sanctions and other legislation for many years. The report contains some specific information on Iran's relations with these countries, but refers to other CRS reports for more detail, particularly on the views of individual countries towards Iran. The report also makes reference to Iran's efforts to utilize its ties to various countries to try to mitigate the effects of U.S. sanctions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795759/
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