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International Trade: Rules of Origin

Description: This report deals with Rules of origin (ROO) in three parts. First, we describe in more detail the reasons that country of origin rules are important and briefly describe U.S. laws and methods that provide direction in making these determinations. Second, we discuss briefly some of the more controversial issues involving rules of origin, including the apparently subjective nature of some CBP origin determinations, and the effects of the global manufacturing process on ROO. Third, we conclude with some alternatives and options that Congress could consider that might assist in simplifying the process.
Date: January 5, 2012
Creator: Jones, Vivian C. & Martin, Michael F.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iran Sanctions

Description: The objective of sanctions-to compel Iran to verifiably demonstrate that its nuclear program is for purely peaceful uses-has not been achieved to date. The international coalition that is imposing progressively strict economic sanctions on Iran is broadening and deepening, with increasingly significant effect on Iran's economy. U.S. officials believe that these sanctions might yet cause Iran to return to the nuclear bargaining table with greater seriousness and intent toward peaceful resolution. The report discusses the effect of these sanctions as well as the pros and cons of increasing sanction.
Date: March 28, 2012
Creator: Kenneth Katzman
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iran Sanctions

Description: This report focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administration's economic sanctions against Iran. The Obama Administration's policy approach toward Iran has contrasted with the Bush Administration's by attempting to couple the imposition of sanctions to an active and direct U.S. effort to negotiate with Iran on the nuclear issue. That approach was not initially altered because of the Iranian dispute over its June 12, 2009, elections.
Date: January 6, 2012
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The G-20 and International Economic Cooperation: Background and Implications for Congress

Description: The G-20 is an international forum for discussing and coordinating economic policies among major advanced and emerging economies. Congress may want to exercise oversight over the Administration's participation in the G-20 process, including the policy commitments that Administration is making in the G-20 and the policies it is encouraging other G-20 countries to pursue.
Date: April 12, 2012
Creator: Nelson, Rebecca M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Dominican Republic-Central America- United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTADR): Developments in Trade and Investment

Description: On August 5, 2004, the United States entered into the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). This permanent, comprehensive, and reciprocal trade agreement eliminates tariff and non-tariff barriers to two-way trade, building on unilateral trade preferences begun under the 1983 Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI). CAFTA-DR reinforces the idea that growth in trade correlates closely with policies that promote economic stability, private investment in production, public investment in education, infrastructure, logistics, and good governance in general.
Date: April 9, 2012
Creator: Hornbeck, J. F.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Trade and Investment in the Middle East and North Africa: Overview and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides background and analysis for policymakers considering re-evaluating U.S. trade and investment in the MENA region in light of recent political developments. In particular, the report examines the economic challenges facing many countries in the region and the area's limited integration in the world economy, including relatively weak economic ties with the United States. It also analyzes various policy options for increasing trade and investment with MENA countries. The report concludes by discussing: 1) the premise of the policy agenda, specifically whether increased trade and investment can support or lead to successful democratic transitions and political stability; and 2) if such a policy agenda is pursued, possible implementation questions that policymakers in Congress and the Administration may face.
Date: January 20, 2012
Creator: Nelson, Rebecca M.; Bolle, Mary Jane & Ilias, Shayerah
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Trade Remedy Laws and Nonmarket Economies: A Legal Overview

Description: Two major U.S. trade remedies are antidumping (AD) law, which combats the sale of imported products at less than their fair market value, and countervailing duty (CVD) law, which aims to offset foreign government subsidization of imported goods. This report discusses these two law's impact on U.S. foreign relations.
Date: March 9, 2012
Creator: Grimmett, Jeanne J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China's Rare Earth Industry and Export Regime: Economic and Trade Implications for the United States

Description: Over the past few years, the Chinese government has implemented a number of policies to tighten its control over the production and export of "rare earths"-a unique group of 17 metal elements on the periodic table that exhibit a range of special properties, such as magnetism, luminescence, and strength. Rare earths are important to a number of high technology industries, including renewable energy and various defense systems. This report examines the economic and trade implications of China's rare earth policies for the United States.
Date: April 30, 2012
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M. & Tang, Rachel
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Export-Import Bank: Background and Legislative Issues

Description: The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank, EXIM Bank, or the Bank), an independent federal government agency, is the official export credit agency (ECA) of the United States. It helps finance U.S. exports of manufactured goods and services, with the objective of contributing to the employment of U.S. workers, primarily in circumstances when alternative financing is not available. Members of the 112th Congress may examine issues related to the Ex-Im Bank that center on the economic rationale for the Bank; the impact of the Bank on the federal budget and U.S. taxpayers; the Bank's support for specific types of business or industries; the current balance between the Bank's advancement of U.S. commercial interests and other U.S. policy goals; the competitive position of the Bank compared to foreign ECAs; and the Bank's organizational structure.
Date: April 3, 2012
Creator: Ilias, Shayerah
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iran Sanctions

Description: This report focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administration's economic sanctions against Iran. The Obama Administration's policy approach toward Iran has contrasted with the Bush Administration's by attempting to couple the imposition of sanctions to an active and direct U.S. effort to negotiate with Iran on the nuclear issue. That approach was not initially altered because of the Iranian dispute over its June 12, 2009, elections. However, with subsequent negotiations yielding no firm Iranian agreement to compromise, since early 2010 the Administration has focused on achieving the imposition of additional U.N., U.S., and allied country sanctions whose cumulative effect would be to compel it to accept a nuclear bargain.
Date: March 6, 2012
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iran Sanctions

Description: The objective of sanctions may be on its way to achievement but has not been accomplished to date. U.S. officials believe that these sanctions caused Iran to return to the nuclear bargaining table in April 2012 with greater seriousness and intent toward peaceful resolution. Despite the imposition of what many now consider to be "crippling" sanctions, some in Congress believe that economic and diplomatic pressure on Iran needs to increase further and faster. In the 112th Congress, legislation would enhance both the economic sanctions and human rights-related provisions of a previous Iran sanctions laws However, movement on new sanctions might be on hold pending the outcome of a second round of nuclear talks slated for May 23 in Baghdad.
Date: April 26, 2012
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Generalized System of Preferences: Background and Renewal Debate

Description: This report presents, first, a brief history, economic rationale, and legal background leading to the establishment of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). Second, the report presents a discussion of U.S. implementation of the GSP, along with the present debate surrounding its renewal and legislative developments to date. Third, an analysis of the U.S. program's effectiveness and the positions of various stakeholders are presented. Fourth, implications of the expiration of the U.S. program and possible options for Congress are discussed.
Date: April 19, 2012
Creator: Jones, Vivian C.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Lacey Act: Protecting the Environment by Restricting Trade

Description: This report looks at the history and applications of the Lacey Act. As it stands now the Act, via a 2008 amendment, allows the U.S. to enforce the laws of other countries as well. One currently proposed legislation would limit application of the law to specific wood products, while another would eliminate any reference to violations of foreign laws and end criminal prosecutions for violating the act.
Date: April 12, 2012
Creator: Alexander, Kristina
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Domestic Content Legislation: The Buy American Act and Complementary Little Buy American Provisions

Description: Congress has broad authority to place conditions on the purchases made by the federal government or with federal dollars. One of many conditions that it has placed on direct government purchases is a requirement that they be produced in the United States. The most well-known of these requirements is the Buy American Act, which is the major domestic preference statute governing procurement by the federal government. This report summarizes (1) the Buy American Act, what it does and does not cover; (2) the Little Buy American Acts found in permanent law, emphasizing what they govern, major exceptions and why Congress felt them necessary in light of the requirements of the Buy American Act; and (3) the temporary Little Buy American provision found in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Date: April 25, 2012
Creator: Luckey, John R.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Dominican Republic-Central America- United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA DR): Developments in Trade and Investment

Description: On August 5, 2004, the United States entered into the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). This permanent, comprehensive, and reciprocal trade agreement eliminates tariff and non-tariff barriers to two-way trade, building on unilateral trade preferences begun under the 1983 Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI). CAFTA-DR reinforces the idea that growth in trade correlates closely with policies that promote economic stability, private investment in production, public investment in education, infrastructure, logistics, and good governance in general.
Date: April 23, 2012
Creator: Hornbeck, J. F.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Burma's Political Prisoners and U.S. Sanctions

Description: The installation of the Union Government in 2011 and the undertaking of initial reforms have raised the prospects for the resumption of a democratically elected civilian government in Burma after five decades of military rule. The release of Burma's political prisoners has a central role in U.S. policy and Burma's political future. Many of the U.S. sanctions on Burma were implemented after Burma's ruling military junta suppressed protests and detained many political prisoners. In addition, the removal of many of the existing U.S. sanctions requires the release of all political prisoners in Burma.
Date: April 24, 2012
Creator: Martin, Michael F.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Trade Primer: Qs and As on Trade Concepts, Performance, and Policy

Description: The 112th Congress has a full legislative and oversight agenda on international trade. The agenda so far has included approval of legislation to implement free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea, and may take up enhanced enforcement of U.S. trade agreements, as well as Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status, oversight of the World Trade Organization's Doha Round, and trade relations with China. This report provides information and context for many of these topics. It is divided into four sections in a question-and-answer format: trade concepts; U.S. trade performance; formulation of U.S. trade policy; and trade and investment issues. Additional suggested readings are provided in an appendix.
Date: April 16, 2012
Creator: Hornbeck, J. F.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Background and Issues

Description: The U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, or U.S. Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, is a comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA) between the United States and Colombia, which will eventually eliminate tariffs and other barriers in bilateral trade in goods and services. The agreement will enter into force on May 15, 2012. The United States is Colombia's leading trade partner. Colombia accounts for a very small percentage of U.S. trade (1.0% in 2011), ranking 22nd among U.S. export markets and 23rd as a supplier of U.S. imports. Economic studies on the impact of a U.S.-Colombia FTA have found that, upon full implementation of an agreement, the impact on the United States would be positive but very small due to the small size of the Colombian economy when compared to that of the United States (about 2.2%). This report also discusses concerns that Congress has with Colombian human rights violations.
Date: April 27, 2012
Creator: Villarreal, M. Angeles
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Trade Law: An Introduction to Selected International Agreements and U.S. Laws

Description: This report is an introductory overview of the legal framework governing trade-related measures. The agreements and laws selected for discussion are those most commonly implicated by U.S. trade interests, but there are U.S. trade laws and obligations beyond those reviewed in this report.
Date: April 3, 2012
Creator: Barbour, Emily C.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Government Agencies Involved in Export Promotion: Overview and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides an overview of the federal government agencies that participate in U.S. export promotion efforts and the issues that they raise for Congress. The recent global economic downturn has renewed congressional debate over the role of the federal government in promoting exports. This debate has been heightened with the Obama Administration's introduction of the National Export Initiative (NEI) in the 2010 State of the Union Address.
Date: May 1, 2012
Creator: Ilias, Shayerah; Hanrahan, Charles E. & Villarreal, M. A.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Trade Remedy Laws and Nonmarket Economies: A Legal Overview

Description: Two major U.S. trade remedies are antidumping (AD) law, which combats the sale of imported products at less than their fair market value, and countervailing duty (CVD) law, which aims to offset foreign government subsidization of imported goods. This report discusses these two law's impact on U.S. foreign relations.
Date: April 23, 2012
Creator: Grimmett, Jeanne J.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department