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China's Sovereign Wealth Fund: Developments and Policy Implications

Description: China's ruling executive body, the State Council, established the China Investment Corporation (CIC), a sovereign wealth fund, in September 2007 to invest $200 billion of China's then $1.4 trillion in foreign exchange reserves. Congress and financial analysts raised concerns about the CIC after its creation, partly because it was a comparatively large sovereign wealth fund, partly because it was government-owned, and partly because it reported directly to the State Council. These concerns raise question about U.S. policies on inward foreign direct investment (FDI) and the global competitiveness of U.S. financial institutions. Certain commentators suggest that more should be done to protect the United States from China's rising role in international capital markets.
Date: September 23, 2010
Creator: Martin, Michael F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iran Sanctions

Description: There appears to be a growing international consensus to adopt progressively strict economic sanctions against Iran to try to compel it to compromise on its further nuclear development. The U.S. view - increasingly shared by major allies-is that sanctions should target Iran's energy sector, which provides about 80% of government revenues, and try to isolate Iran from the international financial system. U.S. efforts to curb international energy investment in Iran's energy sector began in 1996 with the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA). ISA has been expanded significantly in 2010. This report discusses said expansions, provides background on the ISA, and explores how this Act has affected
Date: October 7, 2010
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
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: November 9, 2010
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bahrain: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy

Description: 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.
Date: April 26, 2010
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Dispute Settlement in the World Trade Organization (WTO): An Overview

Description: This report describes the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes (DSU), which is the World Trade Organization's (WTO) means of resolving disputes arising under WTO agreements. The report includes criticisms of certain flaws in the DSU, as well as WTO Members' suggestions for improvement. The report also describes the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), which represents the United States in WTO disputes. Also discussed are pieces of legislation that dictate procedures for specifically the United States in instances of WTO disputes.
Date: November 2, 2010
Creator: Grimmett, Jeanne J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China's Currency: An Analysis of the Economic Issues

Description: This report provides an overview of the economic issues surrounding the current debate over China's currency policy. It identifies the economic costs and benefits of China's currency policy for both China and the United States, and possible implications if China were to allow its currency to significantly appreciate or to float freely. It also examines proposed legislation in the 111th Congress that seek to address China's currency policy.
Date: October 1, 2010
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M. & Labonte, Marc
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

Description: This report discusses the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), a free trade agreement that includes nations on both sides of the Pacific. Original members of the TPP were Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore. The United States, Australia, Peru, and Vietnam have committed themselves to joining and expanding this group. This report discusses similar trade partnerships, the importance of Asia to U.S. trade and security interests, and U.S. participation in the TPP.
Date: November 1, 2010
Creator: Fergusson, Ian F. & Vaughn, Bruce
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and the Role of Congress in Trade Policy

Description: This report presents background and analysis on the development of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which expired on July 1, 2007. The report also includes a summary of the major provisions under the recently expired authority and a discussion of the issues that have arisen in the debate over TPA renewal. It also explores the policy options available to Congress and will be updated as the congressional debate unfolds.
Date: November 4, 2010
Creator: Hornbeck, J. F. & Cooper, William H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Proposed U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement

Description: The proposed U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, also called the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (CFTA), is a bilateral free trade agreement between the United States and Colombia which, if ratified, would eliminate tariffs and other barriers in goods and services between the two countries. The CFTA negotiations grew out of a regional effort in 2004 to produce a U.S.-Andean free trade agreement (FTA) between the United States and the Andean countries of Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador. In his January 2010 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama called for a new National Export Initiative (NEI) to boost U.S. exports and create jobs. One component of the NEI calls for opening new markets for U.S. exports by resolving outstanding issues with Colombia, Korea, and Panama with the objective of moving forward with the pending FTAs at the appropriate time. There is currently no indication that the 111th Congress will consider implementing legislation for the proposed U.S.-Colombia FTA.
Date: October 1, 2010
Creator: Villarreal, M. Angeles
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Proposed U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Labor Issues

Description: This report examines three labor issues and arguments related to the pending U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement (CFTA; H.R. 5724 and S. 2830): violence against trade unionists; impunity (accountability for or punishment of the perpetrators); and worker rights protections for Colombians.
Date: October 5, 2010
Creator: Bolle, Mary Jane
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Tariff Modifications: Miscellaneous Tariff Bills

Description: This report discusses the current process by which duty suspension bills and other provisions are introduced, reviewed by several government agencies and committee staff, made available for public comment, and finally included in omnibus miscellaneous trade and technical corrections bills (MTBs) legislation reported out by the committees of jurisdiction.
Date: October 20, 2010
Creator: Jones, Vivian C.
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 agencies that participate in U.S. export promotion efforts and the issues that they raise for Congress. It proceeds first by discussing the coordination, budgets, and functions of federal government agencies involved in promoting exports. Next, the report provides an overview of the missions and activities of key federal government agencies that support exports. The last section of the report discusses agency-related issues for Congress.
Date: November 19, 2010
Creator: Ilias, Shayerah; Hanrahan, Charles E. & Villarreal, M. Angeles
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. International Trade: Trends and Forecasts

Description: This report discusses the U.S. trade deficit in light of the 2008 global financial crisis, with emphasis on international trade and U.S. trade policy, most recent developments in trade of goods and service, trade forecasts for the future, and how issues such as the U.S. trade deficit and international trade, particularly with China, are commonly perceived.
Date: October 15, 2010
Creator: Nanto, Dick K. & Donnelly, J. Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S.-South Korea Beef Dispute: Issues and Status

Description: This report describes the beef provisions in the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) and the separate bilateral protocols that the United States has negotiated in order to secure the lifting of South Korea's ban on U.S. beef imports, imposed after the discovery of mad cow disease in late 2003. It also summarizes U.S. beef export developments to this key market before and after the ban and since these protocols took effect; and lays out the outstanding issues on U.S. beef access that will likely need to be resolved to facilitate congressional consideration of the KORUS FTA.
Date: September 23, 2010
Creator: Jurenas, Remy & Manyin, Mark E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Why Certain Trade Agreements Are Approved as Congressional-Executive Agreements Rather Than as Treaties

Description: U.S. trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), World Trade Organization agreements, and bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) have been approved by majority vote of each house rather than by two-thirds vote of the Senate - that is, they have been treated as congressional-executive agreements rather than as treaties. The congressional-executive agreement has been the vehicle for implementing Congress's long-standing policy of seeking trade benefits for the United States through reciprocal trade negotiations. This report discusses this topic in brief.
Date: September 8, 2010
Creator: Grimmett, Jeanne J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Proposed U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA): Provisions and Implications

Description: This report is designed to assist Members of 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.
Date: November 12, 2010
Creator: Cooper, William H.; Manyin, Mark E.; Jurenas, Remy & Platzer, Michaela D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EU-U.S. Economic Ties: Framework, Scope, and Magnitude

Description: This report provides background information and analysis of the U.S.-EU economic relationship for members of the 112th Congress as they contemplate the costs and benefits of closer U.S. economic ties with the EU. It examines the economic and political framework of the relationship and the scope and magnitude of the ties based on data from various sources. In addition, the report analyzes the implications these factors have for U.S. economic policy toward the EU.
Date: January 27, 2011
Creator: Cooper, William H.
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: December 13, 2010
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Jackson-Vanik Amendment and Candidate Countries for WTO Accession: Issues for Congress

Description: Russia, Kazakhstan, and a number of other former communist states are still subject to the provisions of Title IV of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended, including section 402 (the Jackson-Vanik amendment). The Jackson-Vanik Amendment denies country eligibility for normal trade relations (NTR) status as long as the country denies its citizens the right of freedom of emigration. The 112th Congress could face the question of whether to enact legislation to repeal the application of Title IV to all of these countries, thereby authorizing permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) status to fulfill the unconditional most-favored-nation (MFN) obligation under the World Trade Organization (WTO), or to exercise other options.
Date: January 5, 2011
Creator: Cooper, William H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Generalized System of Preferences: Agricultural Imports

Description: The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) provides duty-free tariff treatment for certain products from designated developing countries. Some in Congress have continued to call for changes to the program that could limit GSP benefits to certain countries, among other changes. Opinion within the U.S. agriculture industry is mixed, reflecting both support for and opposition to the current program. In the past few years, Congress has extended GSP through a series of short-term extensions. However, the 111th Congress did not extend the GSP in 2010, and it was set to expire December 31, 2010. The expiration of the GSP will likely become a legislative issues in the 112th Congress.
Date: January 3, 2011
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

Description: This report discusses the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), a free trade agreement that includes nations on both sides of the Pacific. Original members of the TPP were Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore. The United States, Australia, Peru, and Vietnam have committed themselves to joining and expanding this group. This report discusses similar trade partnerships, the importance of Asia to U.S. trade and security interests, and U.S. participation in the TPP.
Date: January 10, 2011
Creator: Fergusson, Ian F. & Vaughn, Bruce
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department