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China-U.S. Trade Issues

Description: U.S.-China economic ties have expanded substantially over the past several years. China is now the third largest U.S. trading partner, its second largest source of imports, and its fourth largest export market. However, U.S.-China commercial ties have been strained by a number of issues, including a surging U.S. trade deficit with China, China's refusal to float its currency, and failure to fully comply with its World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments, especially its failure to provide protection for U.S. intellectual property rights (IPR). This report explores these issues in detail, especially concerning the lack of protection for U.S. IPR.
Date: August 2, 2004
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M.
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

Exempting Food and Agriculture Products from U.S. Economic Sanctions: Status and Implementation

Description: Falling agricultural exports and declining commodity prices led farm groups and agribusiness firms to urge the 106th Congress to pass legislation exempting foods and agricultural commodities from U.S. economic sanctions against certain countries. In completing action on the FY2001 agriculture appropriations bill, Congress codified the lifting of unilateral sanctions on commercial sales of food, agricultural commodities, medicine, and medical products to Iran, Libya, North Korea, and Sudan, and extended this policy to apply to Cuba (Title IX of H.R. 5426, as enacted by P.L. 106-387; Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000). Related provisions place financing and licensing conditions on sales to these countries. Those that apply to Cuba, though, are permanent and more restrictive than for the other countries. Other provisions give Congress the authority in the future to veto a President's proposal to impose a sanction on the sale of agricultural or medical products.
Date: August 2, 2005
Creator: Jurenas, Remy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A Free Trade Area of the Americas: Major Policy Issues and Status of Negotiations

Description: In 1994, 34 Western Hemisphere nations met at the first Summit of the Americas, envisioning a plan for completing a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) by January 1, 2005. Nine years later, the third draft text of the agreement was presented at the November 2003 Miami trade ministerial. The Ministerial Declaration, negotiated largely by the two co-chairs, Brazil and the United States, took the FTAA in a new direction, away from the comprehensive, single undertaking principle, toward a two-tier framework comprising a set of “common rights and obligations” for all countries, augmented by voluntary plurilateral arrangements with country benefits related to commitments. A follow-up meeting in early 2004 in Puebla, Mexico was unable to clarify this concept, highlighting the deep differences that remained between the United States and Brazil. FTAA talks subsequently stalled and the original January 1, 2005 deadline was missed. In the meantime, both Brazil and the United States are pursuing subregional trade pacts that may further complicate the negotiation process. Talks between Brazil and the United States may resume in early 2005, but it is still unclear if significant progress can be made on the FTAA this year.
Date: April 13, 2005
Creator: Hornbeck, J. F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A Free Trade Area of the Americas: Status of Negotiations and Major Policy Issues

Description: In 1994, 34 Western Hemisphere nations met at the first Summit of the Americas, envisioning a plan for a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) by January 2005. Nine years later, the third draft text of the agreement was presented at the Miami trade ministerial held November 20-21, 2003. Deep differences remain unresolved, however, and, as reflected in the Ministerial Declaration, have taken the FTAA in a new direction. It calls for a two-tier framework comprising a set of “common rights and obligations” for all countries, augmented by voluntary plurilateral arrangements with country benefits related to commitments. A follow-up meeting in Puebla, Mexico was unable to clarify the details of this arrangement and negotiations will continue in late April 2004, when it is hoped that specific commitments will be defined. This report provides background and analysis for Congress on the proposed FTAA and will be updated.
Date: March 12, 2004
Creator: Hornbeck, J. F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China's Exchange Rate Peg: Economic Issues and Options for U.S. Trade Policy

Description: The continued rise in the U.S.-China trade imbalance and complaints from U.S. manufacturing firms and workers over the competitive challenges posed by cheap Chinese imports have led several Members to call for a more aggressive U.S. stance against certain Chinese trade policies they deem to be unfair, such as China’s policy of pegging its currency (the yuan) to the U.S. dollar. Some Members assert this policy constitutes a form of “currency manipulation” intended to give China an unfair trade advantage and is contributing to the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs.
Date: May 10, 2005
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M. & Labonte, Marc
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department