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U.S. Trade and Investment in the Middle East and North Africa: Overview and Issues for Congress
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.
The U.S. Export Control System and the President's Reform Initiative
The 112th Congress may consider reforms of the U.S. export control system. The balance between national security and export competitiveness has made the subject of export controls controversial for decades. Through the Export Administration Act (EAA), the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), and other authorities, the United States restricts the export of defense items or munitions; so-called “dual-use” goods and technology—items with both civilian and military applications; certain nuclear materials and technology; and items that would assist in the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons or the missile technology used to deliver them. U.S. export controls are also used to restrict exports to certain countries on which the United States imposes economic sanctions. At present, the EAA has expired and dual-use controls are maintained under IEEPA authorities.
The U.S. Export Control System and the President's Reform Initiative
This report discusses some of the proposed legislation and other issues related to the U.S. export control system. In considering the future of the U.S. export control system, Congress may weigh the merits of a unified export control system—the end result of the President's proposal—or the continuation of the present bifurcated system by reauthorizing the present Export Administration Act (EAA) or writing new legislation. In doing so, Congress may debate the record of the present dual-use system maintained by emergency authority, the aims and effectiveness of the present non-proliferation control regimes, the maintenance of the defense industrial base, and the delicate balance between the maintenance of economic competitiveness and the preservation of national security.
The U.S. Export Control System and the President's Reform Initiative
This report looks at how the 112th Congress may consider reforms of the U.S. export control system.
Reform of U.S. International Taxation: Alternatives
This report describes and assesses the principal prescriptions that have been offered for broad reform of the current U.S. system for taxing international businesses. The report begins with an overview of current law and of possible revisions. It then sets the framework for considering economic efficiency as well as tax shelter activities. Finally, it reviews alternative approaches to revision in light of those issues.
The Proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement: Background and Key Issues
The proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is a new agreement for combating intellectual property rights (IPR) infringement. The ACTA negotiation concluded in October 2010, nearly three years after it began, and negotiating parties released a final text of the agreement in May 2011. Negotiated by the United States, Australia, Canada, the European Union and its 27 member states, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, and Switzerland, the ACTA is intended to build on the IPR protection and enforcement obligations set forth in the 1995 World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement).
Pending U.S. and EU Free Trade Agreements with South Korea: Possible Implications for Automobile and Other Manufacturing Industries
This report provides U.S. lawmakers with a comparison of the manufacturing components in the South Korea free trade agreement (KORUS) and the European Union and South Korea free trade agreement (KOREU FTA). Also included is a brief overview of the possible implications of the two pending FTAs on other selected industrial sectors affected by the FTAs: home appliances, consumer electronics, textiles and apparel, and pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
China's Economic Rise: History, Trends, Challenges, and Implications for the United States
This report provides background on China's economic rise; describes its current economic structure; identifies the challenges China faces to maintain economic growth; and discusses the challenges, opportunities, and implications of China's economic rise.
Powering Africa: Challenges of and U.S. Aid for Electrification in Africa
This report discusses the Power Africa initiative; policy problems and challenges related to power sector development in Africa; long-term perspectives on energy poverty, need, and future development; and raises some possible oversight questions and issues for Congress.
China's Economic Rise: History, Trends, Challenges, and Implications for the United States
This report provides background on China's economic rise; describes its current economic structure; identifies the challenges China faces to maintain economic growth; and discusses the challenges, opportunities, and implications of China's economic rise for the United States.
U.S. Trade in Services: Trends and Policy Issues
This report provides background information and analysis on U.S. international trade in services, as well as policy issues before the United States. The report also examines emerging issues and current negotiations, including the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP).
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Negotiations and Issues for Congress
This report examines the issues related to the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the state and substance of the negotiations (to the degree that the information is publically available), the specific areas under negotiation, the policy and economic contexts in which the TPP would fit, and the issues for Congress that the TPP presents.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
WTO Doha Round: Implications for U.S. Agriculture
The Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations began in November 2001. From an agricultural viewpoint, the goal of the negotiations was to make progress simultaneously across the three pillars of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) Agricultural Agreement—domestic support, market access, and export competition—by building on the specific terms and conditions established during the previous Uruguay Round of negotiations. This report reviews the current status of agricultural negotiations for domestic support, market access, and export subsidies, and their potential implications for U.S. agriculture.
Protection of Trade Secrets: Overview of Current Law and Legislation
This report provides an overview of existing federal, state, and international laws governing trade secret protection, describes the limitations of these legal regimes, and reviews pending legislation, the Defend Trade Secrets Act (S. 1890), that is intended to address such deficiencies.
U.S. Trade and Investment in the Middle East and North Africa: Overview and Issues for Congress
U.S. interest in deepening economic ties with certain countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has increased in light of the political unrest and transitions that have swept the region since early 2011. This report analyzes policy approaches that the Congress might consider concerning U.S.-MENA trade and investment.
U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones: Background and Issues for Congress
Members of Congress have demonstrated their interest in the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) system through hearings and legislation over the past seven decades. The program may enhance the competitiveness of U.S. businesses, support employment opportunities, and impact U.S. tariff revenues. Balancing these potential gains, others argue that the program may also be trade distorting, and may play a role in misallocating resources in the economy as a whole. This report provides a general perspective on the U.S. FTZ system. It is divided into three parts. As background, the first section discusses free trade zones worldwide. The second section focuses on the U.S. FTZ program—its history, administrative mechanism, structure, growth and industry concentration, and benefits and costs. The third section focuses on current issues for Congress relating to the U.S. FTZ program.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): Key Provisions and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) among the United States and 11 Asia-Pacific countries. It examines the key provisions of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), related policy and economic contexts, and issues of potential interest to Congress.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): Key Provisions and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) among the United States and 11 Asia-Pacific countries. It examines the key provisions of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), related policy and economic contexts, and issues of potential interest to Congress.
The Economic Effects of Trade: Overview and Policy Challenges
This report focuses on some of the major issues associated with trade and trade agreements and the impact of trade on the U.S. economy. Discussions of trade and trade agreements often focus on a number of issues, including the role that trade plays in the U.S. economy, the impact of trade agreements on employment gains and losses, and the size of the U.S. trade deficit.
Evolution of the Meaning of "Waters of the United States" in the Clean Water Act
This report outlines how the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (BCTPAA) regulates the eligibility of covered trade agreements for expedited consideration, describes the operation of the statutory expedited procedures for considering implementing bills, and discusses how Congress may use the procedural mechanisms established by the act, as well as other pertinent rules of each chamber, to retain a substantial measure of control over legislation to implement covered trade agreements.
U.S. Trade in Services: Trends and Policy Issues
This report provides background information and analysis on U.S. international trade in services, as well as policy issues. It examines emerging issues and current negotiations, including the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP).
Peru in Brief: Political and Economic Conditions and Relations with the United States
This report provides an overview of Peru's government and economy and a discussion of issues in relations between the United States and Peru.
Peru in Brief: Political and Economic Conditions and Relations with the United States
This report provides an overview of Peru's government and economy and a discussion of issues in relations between the United States and Peru.
NAFTA and the Mexican Economy
This report provides an overview of Mexico's motivations for entering the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Mexican economy, the economic effects of NAFTA in Mexico, and the views of NAFTA within Mexico. It also provides information on NAFTA's effect on Mexico's agricultural sector because this has been one of the more controversial issues surrounding NAFTA in Mexico.
Trade in Services: The Doha Development Agenda Negotiations and U.S. Goals
The report provides a brief background section on the significance of trade in services to the U.S. economy. It then explains briefly the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and the structure and agenda of the services negotiations in the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) round, including U.S. objectives in the negotiations. The report concludes with a status report on the negotiations and an examination of potential results.
WTO Dispute Settlement: Status of U.S. Compliance in Pending Cases
This report provides a summary of the status of U.S. compliance efforts in pending World Trade Organization (WTO) disputes that have resulted in adverse rulings against the United States. The report contains an overview of WTO dispute settlement procedures, a discussion of U.S. laws relating to WTO dispute proceedings, and a list of pending WTO disputes compliance phase, with a discussion of major issues and the U.S. compliance history in each.
Export-Import Bank: Background and Legislative Issues
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.
Export-Import Bank: Background and Legislative Issues
The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), an independent federal government agency, is the official export credit agency of the United States. It helps finance American 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. Ex-Im Bank also may assist U.S. exporters to meet foreign, officially sponsored, export credit competition. Ex-Im Bank's main programs are direct loans, loan guarantees, working capital guarantees, and export credit insurance. Ex-Im Bank transactions are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. The Bank operates under a renewable charter, the Export-Import Bank Act of 1945, which requires that all of the Bank's financing have a reasonable assurance of repayment and directs the Bank to supplement, and to not compete with, private capital.
Generalized System of Preferences: Background and Renewal Debate
This report presents, first, a brief history, economic rationale, and legal background leading to the establishment of the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, which provides non-reciprocal, duty-free tariff treatment to certain products imported from designated beneficiary developing countries (BDC's). A brief comparison of GSP programs worldwide, especially as they compare to the U.S. system, is also presented. 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 is presented. Fourth, implications of the expiration of the U.S. program and possible options for Congress are discussed.
Dispute Settlement in the Proposed U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA)
The proposed U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA)1 follows current U.S. free trade agreement (FTA) practice in containing two types of dispute settlement: (1) State-State, applicable to disputes between the Parties to the KORUS FTA, and (2) investor-State, applicable to claims by an investor of one Party against the other Party for breach of a KORUS FTA investment obligation.
Peru in Brief: Political and Economic Conditions and Relations with the United States
This report provides an overview of Peru's government and economy and a discussion of issues in relations between the United States and Peru.
U.S. Government Agencies Involved in Export Promotion: Overview and Issues for Congress
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.
U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones: Background and Issues for Congress
Report that provides a general perspective on the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) system. The first section discusses free trade zones worldwide. The second section focuses on the U.S. FTZ program --its history, administrative mechanism, structure, growth and industry concentration, and benefits and costs. The third section focuses on current issues for Congress relating to the U.S. FTZ program.
The World Trade Organization: The Non- Agricultural Market Access (NAMA) Negotiations
This report looks at the evolution of the Doha Round World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations, possible effects of the Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA) agreement, and major negotiating issues from a U.S. standpoint. NAMA refers to the cutting of tariff and non-tariff barriers (NTB) on industrial and primary products, basically all trade in goods which are not foodstuffs.
WTO Dispute Settlement: Status of U.S. Compliance in Pending Cases
This report discusses the details of fourteen World Trade Organization (WTO) disputes in which rulings have not yet been implemented or in which the United States has acted and the dispute has not been fully resolved. The cases include disputes regarding trade remedies, antidumping, aircraft subsidies, cotton subsidies, online gambling restrictions, music copyright law, and trademark infringement.
WTO Dispute Settlement: Status of U.S. Compliance in Pending Cases
Although the United States has complied with adverse rulings in many past World Trade Organization (WTO) disputes, there are currently 14 cases in which rulings have not yet been implemented or the United States has acted and the dispute has not been fully resolved. Nine unresolved cases involve trade remedies. The report discusses all fourteen cases in detail, which include antidumping, aircraft subsidies, cotton subsidies, online gambling restrictions, music copyright law, and trademark infringement.
Cargo Preferences for U.S.-Flag Shipping
This report explains the motivation behind cargo preference law, discusses issues concerning the cost-effectiveness of the program, and reviews attempts to apply cargo preference to the nation's oil trade. The report also identifies several disparate bills reflecting wide disagreement on the future direction of cargo preference policy.
Proposed Import Restrictions on Milk Protein Concentrates (MPCs)
Low farm milk prices and declining dairy sector income in 2009 have renewed congressional interest in imposing new import barriers on milk protein concentrates (MPCs), which generally include casein, the main protein found in milk, and caseinates, a soluble form of casein. This report examines proposed import restrictions and potential trade policy implications.
The Proposed U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA): Automobile Rules of Origin
This report begins with a discussion of the complex supply chains that now underlie automotive production. It then explains the procedures established in the KORUS FTA for determining whether an automotive product qualifies as being of South Korean or United States origin and compares those procedures to the rules established in the free trade agreement between South Korea and the European Union. Finally, it discusses whether the domestic content rules in the KORUS FTA could enable circumvention of the rules of origin by allowing automotive components produced in North Korea’s Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC) to enter the United States duty-free in assembled motor vehicles, and thereby receive the benefits provided by the agreement.
U.S. Crude Oil Exports to International Destinations
This report discusses the export of crude oil produced in the United States and policy considerations in the wake of a provision contained in P.L. 114-113 which repealed a 40-year prohibition on the export.
Treasury Issues White Paper on Fintech and Marketplace Lending
This report briefly discusses the context and contents of a white paper issued on May 10, 2016 by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The paper analyzes regulatory issues for the marketplace lending industry and offers several recommendations for industry and government responses.
Dispute Settlement Under the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement: An Overview
This report discusses the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA) and the two types of formal dispute settlement it contains: 1) State-State and 2) investor-State. The report also discusses how the PTPA differs from earlier U.S. Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).
Dispute Settlement Under the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement: An Overview
This report discusses the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA) and the two types of formal dispute settlement it contains: 1) State-State and 2) investor-State. The report also discusses how the PTPA differs from earlier U.S. Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).
Arab League Boycott of Israel
This report briefly discusses the Arab League's boycott of Israeli companies and Israeli-made goods since Israel's founding in 1948, as well as U.S. efforts to end the boycott and prevent U.S. firms in participating in the boycott.
Generalized System of Preferences: Agricultural Imports
This report discusses the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), which provides duty-free tariff treatment for certain products from designated developing countries. Opinion within the U.S. agriculture industry is mixed, reflecting both support for and opposition to the current program. The 111th Congress did not extend the GSP in 2010, and it was set to expire December 31, 2010, which will likely become a legislative issue in the 112th Congress.