Congressional Research Service Reports - 200 Matching Results

Search Results

Agriculture and Fast Track or Trade Promotion Authority

Description: New “fast track” (or, trade promotion) authority (TPA) is at issue in the 107th Congress. Such authority could enable the Administration to submit negotiated foreign trade agreements to Congress for consideration under expedited procedures. Efforts to renew this authority, which expired in 1994, have not succeeded since then. Many agricultural and food industry interests are among the export-oriented enterprises that support TPA, arguing that foreign trading partners will not seriously negotiate with an Administration that lacks it. However, some farm groups argue that fast track ultimately will lead to new agreements that could have adverse effects on U.S. producers, at least in some commodity sectors.
Date: May 10, 2002
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S. & Hanrahan, Charles E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Agriculture in the WTO: Limits on Domestic Support

Description: Most provisions of the current “farm bill,” the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act (FSRIA) of 2002 (P.L. 107-171), do not expire until 2007. However, hearings on a 2007 farm bill could begin in late 2005. At that time, Congress will begin to examine farm income and commodity price support proposals that might succeed the programs due to expire in 2007. A key question likely to be asked of virtually every new proposal is how it will affect U.S. commitments under the WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture (AA), which commits the United States to spend no more than $19.1 billion annually on domestic farm support programs most likely to distort trade. The AA spells out the rules for countries to determine whether their policies are potentially trade distorting, and to calculate the costs. This report describes the steps for making these determinations.
Date: May 10, 2005
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response

Description: This report discusses the recent conflict in Syria including an overview of the situation, information about anti- and pro-Asad forces, background on chemical weapons and disarmament, plans for U.S. policy and assistance, and a general sense of the future outlook.
Date: May 5, 2014
Creator: Blanchard, Christopher M.; Humud, Carla E. & Nikitin, Mary Beth D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ballistic Missile Defense and Offensive Arms Reductions: A Review of the Historical Record

Description: This report seeks to shed some light on the past relationship between ballistic missile defenses and negotiations on offensive arms control treaties. It provides an historical review of the way in which the United States and Soviet Union addressed ballistic missile defense issues during their negotiations on the first Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) in the 1980s and early 1990s. It also provides a review of U.S. missile defense policy and summarizes data on missile defense spending during the 1980s, 1990s, and the past decade. The report then reviews the recent record on the way the New START negotiations addressed ballistic missile defense issues and offers some observations about whether this historical record may provide insights into how the United States might proceed with its ballistic missile defense programs in the future.
Date: May 25, 2010
Creator: Hildreth, Steven A. & Woolf, Amy F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Biological Diversity Treaty: Fact Sheet

Description: As human activity continues to change and modify natural areas, widespread extinctions of plants, animals, and other types of species result. In 1992, negotiations conducted under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) were completed on a comprehensive global treaty to protect biological diversity (biodiversity). In June 1993, President Clinton signed the treaty and sent it to the Senate for advice and consent. It is not pending in the Senate. The treaty entered into force on December 29, 1993. As of May 15, 1995, 118 nations had ratified the treaty.
Date: May 16, 1995
Creator: Fletcher, Susan R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Border Security and Military Support: Legal Authorizations and Restrictions

Description: The military generally provides support to law enforcement and immigration authorities along the southern border. Reported escalations in violence and illegal immigration, however, have prompted some lawmakers to reevaluate the extent and type of military support that occurs in the border region. President Bush has reportedly announced an interest in sending National Guard troops to support the Border Patrol. Addressing domestic laws and activities with the military, however, might run afoul of the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits use of the armed forces to perform the tasks of civilian law enforcement unless explicitly authorized. There are alternative legal authorities for deploying the National Guard, and the precise scope of permitted activities and funds may vary with the authority exercised. This report will be updated as warranted.
Date: May 15, 2006
Creator: Vina, Stephen R
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Border Security and Military Support: Legal Authorizations and Restrictions

Description: The military generally provides support to law enforcement and immigration authorities along the southern border. Reported escalations in violence and illegal immigration, however, have prompted some lawmakers to reevaluate the extent and type of military support that occurs in the border region. President Bush has reportedly announced an interest in sending National Guard troops to support the Border Patrol. Addressing domestic laws and activities with the military, however, might run afoul of the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits use of the armed forces to perform the tasks of civilian law enforcement unless explicitly authorized. There are alternative legal authorities for deploying the National Guard, and the precise scope of permitted activities and funds may vary with the authority exercised.
Date: May 23, 2006
Creator: Vina, Stephen R
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Border Security: Immigration Issues in the 108th Congress

Description: This report provides background information on the main immigration-related border security issues that have been raised as a result of the terrorist attacks and resulting concern for homeland security. It describes enacted legislation in the 107th Congress as well as in previous Congresses that focus on immigration-related border security issues. The report also poses possible immigration-related border security issues the 108th Congress may consider.
Date: May 18, 2004
Creator: Seghetti, Lisa M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Border Security: Key Agencies and Their Missions

Description: After the massive reorganization of federal agencies precipitated by the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), there are now four main federal agencies charged with securing the United States’ borders: the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which patrols the border and conducts immigrations, customs, and agricultural inspections at ports of entry; the Bureau of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which investigates immigrations and customs violations in the interior of the country; the United States Coast Guard, which provides maritime and port security; and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which is responsible for securing the nation’s land, rail, and air transportation networks. This report is meant to serve as a primer on the key federal agencies charged with border security; as such it will briefly describe each agency’s role in securing our nation’s borders.
Date: May 9, 2005
Creator: Nuñez-Neto, Blas
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Border Security: The Role of the U.S. Border Patrol

Description: This report includes some issues for Congress to consider which could include the slow rate of integration between the USBP’s biometric database of illegal aliens and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) biometric database of criminals and terrorists; the number of unauthorized aliens who die attempting to enter the country each year; the organized human smuggling rings that have proliferated as entering the country has become more difficult; and the threat posed by terrorists along the sparsely defended Northern border as well as the more porous Southwest border.
Date: May 10, 2005
Creator: Nuñez-Neto, Blas
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bosnia: Current Issues and U.S. Policy

Description: This report presents an overview of the economic and political situation in Bosnia. It starts out by describing the current situation, the negotiations on forming a new central government, the international role in Bosnia, and the last part discusses the implications of U.S. policy.
Date: May 2, 2011
Creator: Woehrel, Steven
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Burma's Political Prisoners and U.S. Sanctions

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.
Date: May 14, 2013
Creator: Martin, Michael F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Caribbean Basin Interim Trade Program: CBI/NAFTA Parity

Description: The entry into force, on January 1, 1994, of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has eliminated the advantage that the beneficiaries of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA) and related provisions of the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) had enjoyed in trade with the United States relative to Mexico, and gave Mexico an increasingly significant competitive edge over the CBERA countries. The scheduled further implementation of the NAFTA would have resulted in a substantial advantage to Mexico over the CBERA countries and vitiate in part the purpose of the CBERA.
Date: May 6, 2003
Creator: Pregelj, Vladimir N.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Caribbean Basin Interim Trade Program: CBI/NAFTA Parity

Description: The entry into force, on January 1, 1994, of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has eliminated the advantage that the beneficiaries of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA) and related provisions of the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) had enjoyed in trade with the United States relative to Mexico, and gave Mexico an increasingly significant competitive edge over the CBERA countries. The scheduled further implementation of the NAFTA would have resulted in a substantial advantage to Mexico over the CBERA countries and vitiate in part the purpose of the CBERA.
Date: May 23, 2002
Creator: Pregelj, Vladimir N.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Central America Regional Security Initiative: Background and Policy Issues for Congress

Description: This report examines the extent of the security problems in Central America, the current efforts being undertaken by Central American governments to address them, and U.S. support for Central American efforts through the Central America Regional Security Initiative. It also raises potential policy issues for congressional consideration such as funding levels, human rights concerns, and how CARSI relates to other U.S. government policies.
Date: May 6, 2014
Creator: Meyer, Peter J. & Ribando Seelke, Clare
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Central America Regional Security Initiative: Background and Policy Issues for Congress

Description: This report examines the extent of the security problems in Central America, the current efforts being undertaken by Central American governments to address them, and U.S. support for Central American efforts through the Central America Regional Security Initiative. It also raises potential policy issues for congressional consideration such as funding levels, human rights concerns, and how CARSI relates to other U.S. government policies.
Date: May 7, 2013
Creator: Meyer, Peter J. & Ribando Seelke, Clare
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China and Falun Gong

Description: “Falun Gong,” also known as “Falun Dafa,”1 combines an exercise regimen with meditation and moral tenets. The “Falun Gong” movement has led to the largest and most protracted public demonstrations in China since the democracy movement of 1989. On April 25, 1999, an estimated 10,000 to 30,000 adherents assembled in front of Zhongnanhai, the Chinese Communist Party leadership compound, and participated in a silent protest against state repression of their activities. On July 21, 1999, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) government, fearful of the spread of social unrest, outlawed the movement and began to arrest Falun Gong protesters.
Date: May 25, 2006
Creator: Lum, Thomas
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China and "Falun Gong"

Description: “Falun Gong,” also known as “Falun Dafa,”1 combines an exercise regimen with meditation and moral tenets. The “Falun Gong” movement has led to the largest and most protracted public demonstrations in China since the democracy movement of 1989. On April 25, 1999, an estimated 10,000 to 30,000 adherents assembled in front of Zhongnanhai, the Chinese Communist Party leadership compound, and participated in a silent protest against state repression of their activities. On July 21, 1999, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) government, fearful of the spread of social unrest, outlawed the movement and began to arrest Falun Gong protesters.
Date: May 1, 2002
Creator: Lum, Thomas
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China: Economic Sanctions

Description: This report discusses a list of economic sanctions that the United States currently maintains against China. The influence of Congress on U.S. policy toward China, once significant because so much hung on the annual possibility that favorable trade terms could be suspended, has more recently been diffused. Sanctions that remain in place today can all be modified, eased, or lifted altogether by the President, without congressional input.
Date: May 18, 2005
Creator: Rennack, Dianne E
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China's Space Program: Options for U.S.-China Cooperation

Description: China has a determined, yet still modest, program of civilian space activities planned for the next decade. The potential for U.S.-China cooperation in space -- an issue of interest to Congress -- has become more controversial since the January 2007 Chinese anti-satellite test. Some argue that Chinese capabilities now threaten U.S. space assets in low earth orbit. Others stress the need to expand dialogue with China. This report outlines recent activities and future plans in China's civilian space sector. It also discusses benefits and trade-offs of possible U.S.-China collaboration in space, as well as several options to improve space relations, including information exchange, policy dialogue, and joint activities.
Date: May 21, 2008
Creator: Logan, Jeffrey
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Convention on Nuclear Safety - A Fact Sheet

Description: Until the catastrophic accident with the former Soviet Union's Chernobyl nuclear power plant showed that radioactivity from a major nuclear accident could reach neighboring nations, nuclear safety was held to be an exclusively sovereign responsibility of each nation. Now it is recognized that a nuclear accident in one state can release radioactivity dangerous to another. As a result, many now view international cooperation as one way to help to assure safe operation of each nation's civil nuclear power stations.
Date: May 16, 1996
Creator: Behrens, Carl E. & Donnelly, Warren H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department