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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Bahrain: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current state of Bahrain, which has undergone substantial political reforms since the late 1990s, but which still suffers from tension between the Shiite majority and the Sunni-led government. This report focuses particularly on Bahrain's relationship with Iran and Bahrain's relationship with the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29485/
The Proposed U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreement
This report discusses the free trade agreement (FTA) that the United States and Panama signed on June 28, 2007. While Panama's government ratified the FTA in July 2007, Congress has not yet implemented ratification legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96752/
U.S.-Latin America Trade: Recent Trends and Policy Issues
Trade is one of the more enduring issues in contemporary U.S.-Latin America relations. Latin America is far from the largest U.S. regional trade partner, but it is the fastest growing one, with the current exception of Africa. Over the last 15 years, the United States has implemented multiple free trade agreements with the region, which are more comprehensive than those that include only Latin American countries. This report looks at the status, implications, and alternatives to current free trade agreements in the region. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83864/
China-U.S. Relations: Current Issues and Implications for U.S. Policy
The bilateral relationship between the U.S. and the People's Republic of China (PRC) is vitally important, touching on a wide range of areas including, among others, economic policy, security, foreign relations, and human rights. This report addresses relevant policy questions in current U.S.-China relations, discusses trends and key legislation in the current Congress, and provides a chronology of developments and high-level exchanges. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26140/
Iran Sanctions
Iran is subject to a wide range of U.S. sanctions, restricting trade with, investment, and U.S. foreign aid to Iran, and requiring the United States to vote against international lending to Iran. A formal U.S. effort to curb international energy investment in Iran began in 1996 with the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA). ISA was first passed at a time of tightening U.S. sanctions on Iran. Most notable was a 1995 ban on U.S. trade with and investment in Iran. That ban has since been modified slightly to allow for some bilateral trade in luxury and humanitarian-related goods. In the 110th Congress, two bills passed the House (H.R. 1400 and H.R. 7112) that would add several ISA provisions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26308/
North Korea's Second Nuclear Test: Implications of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1874
The United Nations Security Council unanimously passed Res. 1874 on June 12, 2009, in response to North Korea's second nuclear test. The resolution puts in place a series of sanctions on North Korea's arms sales, luxury goods, and financial transactions related to its weapons programs, and calls upon states to inspect North Korean vessels suspected of carrying such shipments. This report summarizes and analyzes Res. 1874. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26177/
Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit: Role of Foreign Governments
The nation's trade deficit is equal to the imbalance between national investment and national saving. The financial turmoil and economic contraction during 2008 reduced the gap between national saving and investment. The result was a decline in the trade deficit and the net inflow of capital. If total net capital inflows decline, mainstream economics suggests, all else held constant, that the dollar and trade deficit would decline, U.S. interest rates would rise, and U.S. spending on capital goods and consumer durables would fall, all else equal. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26324/
China-U.S. Trade Issues
U.S.-China economic ties have expanded substantially over the past three decades. With a huge population and a rapidly expanding economy, China is a potentially huge market for U.S. exporters. However, bilateral economic relations have become strained over a number of issues, which this report discusses at length. The current global economic crisis could further challenge China-U.S. economic ties. Several Members of Congress have urged the Obama Administration to take a more assertive approach in dealing with Chinese economic practices. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26240/
The Proposed U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA): Provisions and Implications
This report is designed to assist Members of the 111th Congress as they consider the costs and benefits of the U.S.-South Korean Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA). It examines the provisions of the KORUS FTA in the context of the overall U.S.-South Korean economic relationship, U.S. objectives, and South Korean objectives. The report will be updated as events warrant. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26270/
Iran's Economic Conditions: U.S. Policy Issues
This report provides a general overview of Iran's economy, addresses related U.S. policy concerns, and discusses policy options for Congress. The purpose of this report is two-fold. First, it provides insight into important macroeconomic trends, policy reforms and objectives, key economic sectors, international trade patterns, and sources of foreign exchange. Second, in the context of U.S. economic sanctions imposed for national security and foreign policy reasons, the report evaluates Iran's economic structure, strengths, and vulnerabilities and discusses issues and options for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26277/
The Iran Sanctions Act (ISA)
This report discusses the increasing international pressure on Iran to curb its nuclear program and how that pressure discourages foreign firms from investing in Iran's energy sector, hindering Iran's efforts to expand oil production. This report discusses the history and progress of the formal U.S. effort to curb energy investment in Iran, which began with the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) in 1996. This report also discusses U.S. concerns that other nations, e.g., U.S. allies, Russia, and China, are not as strict with their economic sanctions against Iran, and how U.S. policymakers are combating this reticence with various pieces of legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26309/
Agriculture in Pending U.S. Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea
The 111th Congress in coming months might take up free trade agreements (FTAs) signed by the Bush Administration with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea under trade promotion authority, or fast-track rules, designed to expedite congressional consideration of these agreements. Accordingly, agriculture as covered in each pending trade agreement is examined in this report in the order that Congress likely will take up these agreements, based upon statements made to date by Obama Administration officials and Members of Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26158/
China and the Global Financial Crisis: Implications for the United States
This report discusses the economy of China and how it is has been affected by the recent economic downturn. China has recently enjoyed one of the world's fastest-growing economies and has been a major contributor to world economic growth, but several Chinese industries have been hard by the crisis, and millions of workers have been laid off. This report explores this issue in brief, including what actions the Chinese government is taking to combat the problem, as well as what actions China may take to assist in stabilizing the U.S. economy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26347/
China-U.S. Trade Issues
This report discusses the U.S.-China economic relationship and China's rapid expansion as a global economic market, both with respect to the current global economic crisis. It also examines major U.S.-China trade issues and related legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26239/
Mexico-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress
This report explores the relationship between the United States and Mexico in terms of trade, drug trafficking, and cooperative disease control and management. Specifically, the report discusses the Mérida Initiative, the trade dispute involving the implementation of NAFTA trucking provisions, Secretary of State Clinton's March 2009 visit to Mexico, and the April 2009 outbreak of the H1N1 "swine flu" virus. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26225/
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/metadc26321/
America COMPETES Act: Programs, Funding, and Selected Issues
This report explores and describes in detail the America COMPETES Act (P.K. 110-69), which became law on August 9, 2007. The act responds to concerns that the United States may not be able to compete economically with other nations in the future due to insufficient investment today in science and technology research and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and workforce development. This report explains the aims and design of the America COMPETES Act, what funding developments the act authorizes, what education activities the act involves, and related legislation and government programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26269/
U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Changing Oil Prices
This report provides an estimate of the initial impact of the changing oil prices on the nation's merchandise trade deficit. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87383/
Export-Import Bank: Background and Legislative Issues
This report discusses the Export-Import Bank (Ex-In Bank), the chief U.S. government agency that helps finance American exports of manufactured goods and services with the objective of contributing to the employment of U.S. workers. This report discusses the Bank's budget and related legislation, including the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, signed by President Barack Obama and authorizing spending limitations for the Bank. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29544/
Bahrain: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current state of Bahrain, which has undergone substantial political reforms since the late 1990s, but which still suffers from tension between the Shiite majority and the Sunni-led government. This report focuses particularly on Bahrain's relationship with Iran and Bahrain's relationship with the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29486/
U.S. - EU Poultry Dispute
This report discusses the European Union (EU) refusal to accept U.S. imports of poultry treated with antimicrobial rinses. Prior to 1997, when the prohibition took effect, U.S. exports of broiler and turkey meat to the 15 countries that then constituted the EU were reported to total nearly 32,000 MT with a value of $44.4 million. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87130/
U.S. Arms Sales: Agreements with and Deliveries to Major Clients, 2000-2007
This report provides background data on United States arms sales agreements with and deliveries to its major purchasers during calendar years 2000-2007. In a series of data tables, it lists the total dollar values of U.S. government-to-government arms sales agreements with its top five purchasers in five specific regions of the world for three specific periods: 200-2003, 2004-2007, and 2007 alone, and the total dollar values of U.S. arms deliveries to its top five purchasers in those same regions and time periods. The report also provides data tables listing the total dollar values of U.S. government-to-government arms agreements with and deliveries to its top 10 purchasers worldwide for those same time periods. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26303/
Proposed Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Labor Issues
This report examines three labor issues and arguments related to the pending U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement (CFTA): violence against trade unionists; impunity (accountability for or punishment of the perpetrators); and worker rights protections for Colombians. This report addresses this issue at length, including the arguments for and against the agreement, as well as general U.S.-Colombia economic relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26296/
China's Currency: A Summary of the Economic Issues
Many Members of Congress charge that China's policy of accumulating foreign reserves (especially U.S. dollars) to influence the value of its currency constitutes a form of currency manipulation intended to make its exports cheaper and imports into China more expensive than they would be under free market conditions. Although China made modest reforms to its currency policy in 2005, Members contend the forms have not gone far enough and have warned of potential legislative action. This report summarizes the main findings CRS Report RL32165, China's Currency: Economic Issues and Options for U.S. Trade Policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10597/
China and the Global Financial Crisis: Implications for the United States
Over the past several years, China has enjoyed one of the world's fastest growing economies and has been a major contributor to world economic growth. However, the current global financial crisis threatens to slow China's economy. China is a major economic power and holds huge amounts of foreign exchange reserves, and thus it could play a major role in responding to the current crisis. For example, in an effort to help stabilize the U.S. economy, China might boost its holdings of U.S. Treasury securities, which would help fund the Federal Government's purchases of troubled U.S. assets. However, this could raise a number of issues and concerns for U.S. policymakers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10822/
China and the Global Financial Crisis: Implications for the United States
Over the past several years, China has enjoyed one of the world's fastest growing economies and has been a major contributor to world economic growth. However, the current global financial crisis threatens to slow China's economy. China is a major economic power and holds huge amounts of foreign exchange reserves, and thus it could play a major role in responding to the current crisis. For example, in an effort to help stabilize the U.S. economy, China might boost its holdings of U.S. Treasury securities, which would help fund the Federal Government's purchases of troubled U.S. assets. However, this could raise a number of issues and concerns for U.S. policymakers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10821/
Health and Safety Concerns Over U.S. Imports of Chinese Products: An Overview
China is a major source of U.S. imports of consumer products (such as toys) and an increasingly important supplier of various food products. Reports of unsafe seafood, pet food, toys, tires, and other products imported from China over the past year or so have raised concern in the United States over the health, safety, and quality of imported Chinese products. This report provides an overview of this issue and implications for U.S.-China trade relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10712/
U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Rising Oil Prices
Petroleum prices rose sharply in the first half of 2008, at one time reaching more than $140 per barrel of crude oil. Since July, however, petroleum prices and import volumes have fallen at a historically rapid pace; in November, prices of crude oil fell below $55 per barrel. The fall in the cost of energy imports combined with the drop in import volumes as a result of the slowdown in economic activity has reversed the trend of rising energy imports costs and will sharply reduce the overall costs of U.S. energy imports for the rest of 2008. This report provides an estimate of the initial impact of the rising oil prices on the nation's merchandise trade deficit. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10646/
The Global Financial Crisis: The Role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
This report discusses two potential roles the International Monetary Fund (IMF) may have in helping to resolve the current global financial crisis: (1) immediate crisis control through balance of payments lending to emerging market and less-developed countries and (2) increased surveillance of the global economy through better coordination with the international financial regulatory agencies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10813/
ATPA Renewal: Background and Issues
The Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA) extends special duty treatment to certain U.S. imports from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru that meet domestic content and other requirements. The purpose of ATPA is to promote economic growth in the Andean region and to encourage a shift away from dependence on illegal drugs by supporting legitimate economic activities. This report outlines the various aspects of the ATPA, including significant dates and modifications. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10685/
The Global Financial Crisis: The Role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
This report discusses two potential roles the International Monetary Fund (IMF) may have in helping to resolve the current global financial crisis: (1) immediate crisis control through balance of payments lending to emerging market and less-developed countries and (2) increased surveillance of the global economy through better coordination with the international financial regulatory agencies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10812/
Bahrain: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy
After instability during the late 1990s, Bahrain undertook substantial political reforms, but the Shiite majority continues to simmer over the Sunni-led government's perceived manipulation of laws and regulations to maintain its grip on power. Bahrain's stability has long been a key U.S. interest; it has hosted U.S. naval headquarters for the Gulf for nearly 60 years. In September 2004, the United States and Bahrain signed a free trade agreement (FTA). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26066/
Health and Safety Concerns Over U.S. Imports of Chinese Products: An Overview
China is a major source of U.S. imports of consumer products (such as toys) and an increasingly important supplier of various food products. Reports of unsafe seafood, pet food, toys, tires, and other products imported from China over the past year or so have raised concern in the United States over the health, safety, and quality of imported Chinese products. This report provides an overview of this issue and implications for U.S.-China trade relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10713/
U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Rising Oil Prices
Petroleum prices have continued to rise sharply in 2008, at one time reaching more than $140 per barrel of crude oil. At the same time the average monthly volume of imports of energy-related petroleum products has fallen slightly. The combination of sharply rising prices and a slightly lower level of imports of energy-related petroleum products translates into an escalating cost for those imports. The prices of energy imports have been on a steady rise since summer of 2007, defying the pattern of declining energy import prices in the fall. This report provides an estimate of the initial impact of the rising oil prices on the nation's merchandise trade deficit. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10647/
Health and Safety Concerns Over U.S. Imports of Chinese Products: An Overview
China is a major source of U.S. imports of consumer products (such as toys) and an increasingly important supplier of various food products. Reports of unsafe seafood, pet food, toys, tires, and other products imported from China over the past year or so have raised concern in the United States over the health, safety, and quality of imported Chinese products. This report provides an overview of this issue and implications for U.S.-China trade relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10714/
Legal Services in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and U.S. Effect
This report provides a broad overview of the treatment of legal services under the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements and its potential effect on laws and rules governing the provision of legal services by foreign lawyers in the United States and legal ethics rules. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10791/
U.S.-Russia Meat and Poultry Trade Issues
Russia announced on August 29, 2008, that it was banning poultry imports from 19 U.S. establishments due to safety concerns, and that 29 others could lose approval if they do not improve their standards. Russian officials also signaled that they might reduce U.S. permits to import poultry and pork under that country's quota system. The economic stakes of Russian import actions are high for U.S. poultry producers - 29% of their exports went to that market in 2007 - and red meat producers, who also are experiencing strong growth in the Russian market. In Congress, any potential options likely would be reviewed within the context of the broader geopolitical situation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10790/
Burma: Economic Sanctions
On October 19, 2007, President George W. Bush issued Executive Order 13449. This followed a September 25, 2007 statement by President Bush that sanctions against Burma, which have been in place since 1997, would be tightened to specifically target leading Burmese officials and impose additional financial and travel sanctions. This report provides background information on existing economic sanctions against Burma and possible options to expand sanctions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10716/
International Illegal Trade in Wildlife: Threats and U.S. Policy
This report focuses on the international trade in terrestrial fauna, largely excluding trade in illegal plants, including timber, and fish. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98098/
Foreign Direct Investment in the United States: An Economic Analysis
Foreign direct investment in the United States1 declined sharply after 2000, when a record $300 billion was invested in U.S. businesses and real estate. In 2007, according to Department of Commerce data, foreigners invested $237 billion. Foreign direct investments are highly sought after by many State and local governments that are struggling to create additional jobs in their localities. While some in Congress encourage such investment to offset the perceived negative economic effects of U.S. firms investing abroad, others are concerned about foreign acquisitions of U.S. firms that are considered essential to U.S. national and economic security. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10607/
U.S. Direct Investment Abroad: Trends and Current Issues
The United States is the largest investor abroad and the largest recipient of direct investment in the world. Some observers believe U.S. firms invest abroad to avoid U.S. labor unions or high U.S. wages, however, 70% of U.S. foreign direct investment is concentrated in high income developed countries. Even more striking is the fact that the share of investment going to developing countries has fallen in recent years. Most economists conclude that direct investment abroad does not lead to fewer jobs or lower incomes overall for Americans and that the majority of jobs lost among U.S. manufacturing firms over the past decade reflect a broad restructuring of U.S. manufacturing industries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10574/
U.S. Food and Agricultural Imports: Safeguards and Selected Issues
This report discusses the food and agricultural imports, federal oversight responsibilities, international trade considerations, and legislative proposals. The report includes list of tables with leading suppliers of U.S. agriculture and seafood imports, and imported meat and poultry products presented for inspection. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94115/
U.S. Trade Deficit and the Impact of Rising Oil Prices
Petroleum prices have continued to rise sharply in 2008, at one time reaching more than $140 per barrel of crude oil. At the same time the average monthly volume of imports of energy-related petroleum products has fallen slightly. The combination of sharply rising prices and a slightly lower level of imports of energy-related petroleum products translates into an escalating cost for those imports. The prices of energy imports have been on a steady rise since summer of 2007, defying the pattern of declining energy import prices in the fall. This report provides an estimate of the initial impact of the rising oil prices on the nation's merchandise trade deficit. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10645/
Health and Safety Concerns Over U.S. Imports of Chinese Products: An Overview
China is a major source of U.S. imports of consumer products (such as toys) and an increasingly important supplier of various food products. Reports of unsafe seafood, pet food, toys, tires, and other products imported from China over the past year or so have raised concern in the United States over the health, safety, and quality of imported Chinese products. This report provides an overview of this issue and implications for U.S.-China trade relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10710/
WTO Decisions and Their Effect in U.S. Law
Congress has comprehensively dealt with the legal effect of World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements and dispute settlement results in the United States in the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA), P.L. 103-465, which provides that domestic law prevails over conflicting provisions of WTO agreements and prohibits private remedies based on alleged violations of these agreements. This report analyzes the URAA in detail and outlines various WTO decisions and their effect on U.S. trade law and policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10641/
The Future Role of U.S. Trade Policy: An Overview
The United States has become increasingly integrated with the rest of the world economy. This integration has offered benefits and presented challenges to U.S. business, agriculture, labor, and consumers. Those who can compete in the more integrated economy have enjoyed opportunities to broaden their success, while those who are challenged by increased foreign competition have been forced to adjust and some have exited the market or relocated overseas. Some observers contend that, in order to remain globally competitive, the United States must continue to support trade liberalization policies, while assisting those hurt by trade. Others have raised doubts over whether free trade policies benefit the U.S. economy. This report provides an overview and background on the debate over the future course of U.S. trade policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10769/
United States-Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Free Trade Agreement Negotiations: Background and Potential Issues
Negotiations to launch a free trade agreement (FTA) between the United States and the five members of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland) began on June 3, 2003. A potential FTA would eliminate tariffs over time, reduce or eliminate non-tariff barriers, liberalize service trade, protect intellectual property rights, and provide technical assistance to help SACU nations achieve the goals of the agreement. This potential agreement would be subject to congressional approval. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10582/
The Iran Sanctions Act (ISA)
No firms have been sanctioned under the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA), and a GAO study in December 2007 said that the effects of ISA and other U.S. sanctions on Iran's economy are "difficult to determine." However, with Iran under increasing U.N. and other diplomatic pressure, many foreign firms now seem hesitant to finalize investment deals with Iran. In the 110th Congress, several bills, including the House-passed H.R. 1400 would add ISA provisions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10565/
U.S.-Latin America Trade: Recent Trends
After Congress passed Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation in August 2002 (P.L. 107-210), the United States implemented free trade agreements (FTAs) with Chile, the Dominican Republic, the Central American countries, and Peru. The United States has also concluded FTAs with Colombia and Panama, which await congressional action.1 Talks on the region-wide Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), by contrast, have stalled. The 110th Congress may consider implementing legislation for one or both of the pending bilateral agreements. This report provides an analytical overview of U.S.-Latin American trade data and trends in support of congressional interest in U.S.- Latin American trade relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10544/
A Free Trade Area of the Americas: Major Policy Issue and Status of Negotiations
In 1994, 34 Western Hemisphere nations met at the first Summit of the Americas, envisioning a plan to complete a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) by January 1, 2005. Faced with deadlocked negotiations, the United States and Brazil, the FTAA co-chairs, brokered a compromise at the November 2003 Miami trade ministerial. It moved the FTAA away from the comprehensive, single undertaking principle, toward a two-tier framework comprising a set of "common rights and obligations" for all countries. This report follows the FTAA process and will be updated periodically. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10564/
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