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NAFTA at Ten: Lessons from Recent Studies

Description: This report provides an analytical summary of the economic lessons reached in support of Congress's role in the trade policy process. On January 1, 2004, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) completed its tenth year and most of its provisions are now implemented. NAFTA is a free trade agreement (FTA) that effectively added Mexico to the U.S.-Canada FTA completed in 1989. Its anniversary has sparked numerous evaluations, which are particularly relevant as the United States pursues free trade agreements with multiple Latin American countries. Most studies found that NAFTA's effects on the U.S. and Mexican economies to be modest at most.
Date: February 13, 2004
Creator: Hornbeck, J. F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Alternative Fuels and Advanced Technology Vehicles: Issues in Congress

Description: This issue brief discusses the increasing attention being paid to alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles, the proponents of which point to their potential to improve urban air quality, decrease dependence on foreign oil, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The brief also discusses the major barriers currently preventing widespread use of such technologies, and discusses these technologies in the particular contexts of the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes and the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
Date: February 17, 2004
Creator: Yacobucci, Brent D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bundling Residential Telephone, Internet, and Video Services: Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses bundling and public policy issues for Congress. The federal Universal Service Fund - the federal subsidy program that assures affordable telephone rates for high-cost (rural) and low-income telephone customers as well as for schools, libraries, and rural health facilities - is supported by an assessment on interstate telecommunications revenues only. But it is difficult to identify the portion of revenues generated by a bundled service offering attributable to the interstate telecommunications portion of that bundle.
Date: February 17, 2004
Creator: Goldfarb, Charles B
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Conservation Security Program in the 2002 Farm Bill

Description: The Conservation Security Program (CSP), a new program enacted in section 2001 of the 2002 farm bill (P.L. 107-171) and administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, creates a three-tiered system rewarding increased levels of conservation on agricultural operations with increased payments. Payments include a base payment for acreage enrolled, a payment for new or existing conservation practices, and an “enhancement” payment for conservation exceeding minimum program standards.
Date: February 17, 2004
Creator: Johnson, Barbara
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Current Economic Conditions and Selected Forecasts

Description: This report begins with a comprehensive presentation of current economic conditions focusing on income growth, unemployment, and inflation. The posture of monetary and fiscal policy is surveyed as are the forecasts of economic activity. It concludes with data on the factors important for economic growth.
Date: February 17, 2004
Creator: Makinen, Gail
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Budget Reconciliation Process: The Senate's "Byrd" Rule

Description: Reconciliation is a procedure under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 by which Congress implements budget resolution policies affecting mainly permanent spending and revenue programs. The principal focus in the reconciliation process has been deficit reduction, but in recent years reconciliation has encompassed revenue reduction generally and spending increases in selected program areas. The Byrd rule provides six definitions of what constitutes extraneous matter for purposes of the rule (and several exceptions thereto), but the term is generally described as covering provisions unrelated to achieving the goals of the reconciliation instructions.
Date: February 19, 2004
Creator: Keith, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department