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Free Trade Agreements and the WTO Exceptions
World Trade Organization (WTO) Members must grant immediate and unconditional most-favored-nation (MFN) treatment to the products of other Members with respect to tariffs and other trade matters. Free trade agreements (FTA) are facially inconsistent with this obligation because they grant countries who are party to the agreement the ability to receive more favorable trade benefits than those extended to other trading partners. Due to the prevailing view that such arrangements are trade enhancing, Article XXIV of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) contains a specific exception for FTAs. The growing number of regional trade agreements, however, has made it difficult for the WTO to efficiently monitor the consistency of FTAs with the provided exemption. This report examines this issue.
Toward More Effective Immigration Policies: Selected Organizational Issues
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Toward More Effective Immigration Policies: Selected Organizational Issues
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Homeland Security: 9/11 Victim Relief Funds
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Homeland Security: 9/11 Victim Relief Funds
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Border Security: Immigration Issues in the 108th Congress
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.
Border Security: Key Agencies and Their Missions
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.
Border Security: U.S.-Canada Border Issues
The September 11 terrorist attacks and continued threats of future attacks have directed Congress’s attention to U.S.-Canada border security-related issues. Both countries are striving to balance adequate border security with other issues such as the facilitation of legitimate cross-border travel and commerce, and protecting civil liberties. Congress has taken action (the USA PATRIOT Act, P.L. 107-56; and the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002, P.L. 107-173) to increase the number of INS border patrol agents and inspectors at northern ports of entry and to provide these officials with additional technologically upgraded equipment.
Privacy: Key Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission
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Immigration: The Labor Market Effects of a Guest Worker Program for U.S. Farmers
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Border and Transportation Security: Overview of Congressional Issues
This report provides a summary of selected border and transportation security (BTS) concepts and issues that may be of interest to the 109th Congress. It is the product of contributions from CRS staff in the table contained later in this report labeled Key Policy Staff: Border and Transportation Security.
Border Security: Immigration Issues in the 108th Congress
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.
Border and Transportation Security: Appropriations for FY2005
This report is a guide to a subset of one of the 13 regular appropriation bills that Congress passes each year. It is designed to supplement the information provided by the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Homeland Security; and to supplement the information provided in the CRS Department of Homeland Security Appropriations report. This report summarizes the current legislative status of the bill, major issues, funding levels, and legislative activity related to border and transportation security and will be updated as events warrant.
Terrorism Abroad: A Quick Look at Applicable Federal and State Laws
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Terrorism at Home: A Quick Look at Applicable Federal and State Criminal Laws
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Terrorism at Home and Abroad: Applicable Federal and State Criminal Laws
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Nuclear Weapons: Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
A comprehensive test ban treaty, or CTBT, is the oldest item on the nuclear arms control agenda. Three treaties currently limit testing to underground only, with a maximum force equal to 150,000 tons of TNT. This report outlines the CTBT and related legislation.
Nuclear Weapons: Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
A comprehensive test ban treaty, or CTBT, is the oldest item on the nuclear arms control agenda. Three treaties currently limit testing to underground only, with a maximum force equal to 150,000 tons of TNT. This report outlines the CTBT and related legislation.
Nuclear Weapons: Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
A comprehensive test ban treaty, or CTBT, is the oldest item on the nuclear arms control agenda. These treaties currently limit testing to underground only, with a maximum force equal to 150,000 tons of TNT. Since 1997, the United States has held 22 "subcritical experiments" at the Nevada Test Site, asserting that these experiments do not violate the CTBT because they cannot produce a self-sustaining chain reaction. The Senate rejected the CTBT on October 13, 1999, and the current Administration under President George W. Bush has indicated that it will continue to oppose the CTBT, will continue to adhere to the test moratorium, is considering modifying existing warheads for use against hard and deeply-buried targets, has not ruled out resumed testing, and has no plans to test.
Arms Control After START II: Next Steps on the U.S.-Russian Agenda
The United States and Russia signed the second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START II) on January 3, 1993. This report presents the background on the Russian parliament approval of the START II ratification. The report also discusses the linkage between U.S. withdrawal from ABM treaty and Russia’s possible withdrawal from START II. It discusses the alternative approaches for the United States and the future for the U.S.-Russian arms control process.
Article 98 Agreements and Sanctions on U.S. Foreign Aid to Latin America
This report discusses the so-called “Article 98 agreements”. The article contains a provision that the Bush Administration has sought bilateral agreements worldwide to exempt U.S. citizens from ICC prosecution. In 2002, Congress passed the American Servicemembers’ Protection Act or ASPA (P.L. 107-206, title II), which prohibits military assistance to countries that are party to the ICC and that do not have Article 98 agreements. Some Members of Congress and Bush Administration officials have expressed concerns about the unintended effects of these sanctions on U.S. relations with Latin America. Policymakers are considering some options to mitigate these effects without undermining ASPA or diplomatic efforts to secure Article 98 agreements.
Article 98 Agreements and Sanctions on U.S. Foreign Aid to Latin America
This report discusses the so-called “Article 98 agreements”. The article contains a provision that the Bush Administration has sought bilateral agreements worldwide to exempt U.S. citizens from ICC prosecution. In 2002, Congress passed the American Servicemembers’ Protection Act or ASPA (P.L. 107-206, title II), which prohibits military assistance to countries that are party to the ICC and that do not have Article 98 agreements. Some Members of Congress and Bush Administration officials have expressed concerns about the unintended effects of these sanctions on U.S. relations with Latin America. Policymakers are considering some options to mitigate these effects without undermining ASPA or diplomatic efforts to secure Article 98 agreements.
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.
9/11 Terrorism: Global Economic Costs
The 9/11 attacks were part of Al Qaeda’s strategy to disrupt Western economies and impose both direct and secondary costs on the United States and other nations. The immediate costs were the physical damage, loss of lives and earnings, slower world economic growth, and capital losses on stock markets. Indirect costs include higher insurance and shipping fees, diversion of time and resources away from enhancing productivity to protecting and insuring property, public loss of confidence, and reduced demand for travel and tourism. In a broader sense, the 9/11 attacks led to the invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq (and the Global War on Terrorism) and perhaps emboldened terrorists to attack in Bali, Spain, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia. A policy question for Congress is how to evaluate the costs and benefits of further spending to counter terrorism and its economic impact.
China and "Falun Gong"
“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.
Trade Promotion (Fast-Track) Authority: H.R. 3005 Provisions and Related Issues
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Removing Terrorist Sanctuaries: The 9/11 Commission Recommendations and U.S. Policy
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Terrorism in Southeast Asia
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Terrorism in Southeast Asia
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Terrorism in Southeast Asia
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Undisclosed U.S. Detention Sites Overseas: Background and Legal Issues
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U.S.-Thailand Free Trade Agreement Negotiations
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U.S.-Thailand Free Trade Agreement Negotiations
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United Nations System Funding: Congressional Issues
This report tracks the process by which Congress provides the funding for U.S. assessed contributions to the regular budgets of the United Nations, its agencies, and U.N. peacekeeping operation accounts, as well for U.S. voluntary contributions to U.N. system programs and funds. It includes information on the President’s request and the congressional response, as well as congressional initiatives during this legislative process. Basic information is provided to help the reader understand this process.
Weapons of Mass Destruction - the Terrorist Threat
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U.S.-Thailand Free Trade Agreement Negotiations
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U.S.-India Bilateral Agreements and "Global Partnership"
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U.S.-India Bilateral Agreements in 2005
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Palestinian Elections
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Navy Role in Global War on Terrorism (GWOT): Background and Issues for Congress
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Social Unrest in China
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Human Rights in U.S. Foreign Relations: Six Key Questions in the Continuing Policy Debate
This report provides background information and a general overview of the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy. It includes a discussion of some traditional arguments about how international human rights concerns might be integrated with other foreign policy factors. It also includes a discussion of the definition of human rights, of U.S. international obligations to promote human rights, and the apparatus and procedures available to the U.S. Government for implementing human rights policy. Particular attention is paid to congressional actions, not only in debating and holding hearings on human rights issues, but especially in enacting laws to assure that U.S. foreign policy formulation and practice include consideration of the status of human rights in other countries.
Background to the Overthrow of President Aristide
This report provides background information on the violent and authoritarian traditions that have characterized Haiti's political dynamics since Haiti attained independence in 1804. It examines Haiti's difficult path toward democracy after the fall of the Duvalier regime, from numerous short-lived governments until the election of Aristide. Finally, the report also surveys Aristide's rule and his subsequent overthrow by the Haitian military.
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.
START II Debate in the Russian Duma: Issues and Prospects
The Russian Duma, the lower house of the Russian Parliament approved ratification of the START II Treaty on April 14, 2000, after 7 years of debate and dissension. (The United States Senate approved ratification of the treaty in January 1996.) This report describes key concerns raised by Members of the Duma during their discussions of START II. These include concerns with treaty provisions, such as its ban on multiple warhead ICBMs and its warhead "downloading" provisions, and concerns with Russia's ability to maintain and finance its strategic nuclear forces in the future.
Iraq-Kuwait: U.N. Security Council Resolutions -- Texts and Votes
The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on August 1-2, 1990, set into motion a series of actions by the United Nations Security Council. Between August 2 and December 4, 1990, the Council adopted 12 resolutions. The numbers and votes of those resolutions are listed and the full text of each resolution is included in the this report.
Terrorism: U.S. Policy Options
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Antarctica: Environmental Protection, Research, and Conservation of Resources
This report discusses protocols and treaties designed and implemented to protect Antarctica as a haven for environmental research, preservation, and conservation, as well as related legislation and Congressional efforts.
The Persian Gulf and the U.S. Naval Presence: Issues for Congress
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The Reagan Administration Posture Toward the ABM Treaty - Possible Implications
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