Enacted in 1925, the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) seeks to ensure the validity and enforcement of arbitration agreements in any “maritime transaction or a contract evidencing a transaction involving commerce.” This report provides a brief legislative history of the FAA, as well as a review of selected cases that have interpreted the FAA. The report also discusses bills introduced during the 107th Congress that would amend the FAA for various purposes. Of the nine measures that have been introduced, five bills would amend the FAA to address arbitration and employment disputes. The remaining bills address arbitration in motor vehicle franchise contracts and arbitration and consumer credit contracts.
This Report briefly summarizes (1) the primary United States antitrust statutes, and (2) some of the activities which are generally considered to be violations of those laws. There is also some reference to the prohibition against unfair competition and the “unfairness” jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The laws discussed do not constitute all of the statutes which may be applicable to, or implicated in antitrust issues, but rather, are those which are most often utilized.
This report illustrates the difference between the concepts of “monopoly” and “monopolization” by touching on the monopoly/monopolization thinking in the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), as illustrated in (1) statements on merger enforcement made by recent antitrust enforcement officials (generally indicative of the agencies’ concerns about competitive conditions and the effect of various market transactions), (2) the 1992 Horizontal Merger Guidelines 2 and (3) some observations on the Government actions against the Microsoft and Intel Corporations.
This report discusses debate over reform of the Nation's financial structure in the 100th Congress includes re-examination of "the separation of banking and commerce." This separation was mandated by the Glass-Steagall Act (part of the Banking Act of 1933); and was carried forward into the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended in 1970 and thereafter. The resulting isolation of banking from securities was designed to (1) maintain the integrity of the banking system; (2) prevent self-dealing and other financial abuses; and (3) limit stock market speculation. By half a century later, the "wall" it created seemed to be crumbling, as bankers created new financial products resembling securities, and securities firms innovated new financial products resembling loans and deposits. The ongoing process of "financial deregulation" has evoked calls for Congress to give depository institutions new powers, especially in the securities field. Financial deregulation in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Japan has put additional pressure on Congress to re-examine this Act. Concerns over a seemingly fragile system of depository institutions persist, however, tending to place counter-pressure on Congress to maintain the Act.
This report looks at recent growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector, which has occurred not only as a result of the country's recovery from recession but also because a change in the nature of manufacturing work.
This report discusses regulations from Congress on bundling, which refers to the consolidation of two or more requirements for goods or services previously provided or performed under separate smaller contracts into a solicitation for a single contract that is likely to be unsuitable for award to a small business because of its size or scope. It particularly looks at the Small Business Act and new legislation by the 112th Congress to expand the definition of bundling, strengthen the authority of the Administrator of Small Business, and requirements for reporting bundled procurements.
This report discusses factors suggesting an increased risk of a double-dip recession. A double-dip or W-shaped recession occurs when the economy emerges from a recession, has a short period of growth, but then, still well short of a full recovery, falls back into recession. It also discusses other factors that suggest economic recovery will continue. It presents the U.S. historical experience with double-dip recessions. It examines the role of deleveraging by households and businesses in the aftermath of the recent financial crisis in shaping the likely pace of economic recovery. The report concludes with a look at current economic projections.
This report provides an overview of the time frames and procedures in a Government Accountability Office (GAO) bid protest, including (1) what issues can be protested with GAO; (2) who can file or be a party to a GAO protest; (3) the procedures for bringing and resolving GAO protests; (4) the time frames involved in GAO protests; (5) the automatic stay of contract award or performance triggered by a GAO protest, as well as the basis for agency overrides of automatic stays and judicial review of agency override determinations; (6) the basis and effects of GAO decisions; and (7) reconsideration and “appeal” of GAO decisions.
This report describes the competition requirements currently governing the procurement activities of federal agencies. It addresses several issues, including what contracts are subject to competition requirements, what constitutes full and open competition for government contracts, and the circumstances permitting agencies to award contracts on the basis of other than full and open competition. It also briefly describes the benefits and drawbacks of competition, situates recent reform efforts within their historical context, and discusses how the policy debates surrounding competition in federal contracting can shape legislative responses.
The purpose of this report is to provide Congress with an overview of the federal rulemaking process and a brief discussion of the major laws and executive orders that prescribe the procedures agencies are to apply when promulgating regulations.
Report that addresses the issue of jobs outsourcing by analyzing the extent of direct investment into and out of the economy, the role such investment plays in U.S. trade, jobs, and production, and the relationship between direct investment and the broader economic changes that are occurring in the U.S. economy.
Report that discusses: President Obama's trade reorganization proposal; the context of the trade reorganization debate; key issues that Congress may face related to the debate; potential policy options for Congress; and the outlook for trade reorganization.
Report that provides a general overview of the tax treatment of the major business types, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, C corporations, subchapter S corporations, and limited liability companies.
Report that provides a brief overview of The Hollings Manufacturing Partnership (MEP), a program of regional centers set up to assist small and medium-sized manufacturing companies using knowledge and technologies developed under the auspices of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
This report discusses the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA; P.L. 105-277), which enacted in 1998, implemented a three-year moratorium preventing state and local governments from taxing Internet access, or imposing multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce.
This report describes and assesses the principal prescriptions that have been offered for broad reform of the international system. It begins with an overview of current law and 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.
This report opens with an examination of the current economic circumstances of veteran-owned businesses drawn from the Bureau of the Census 2007 Survey of Business Owners, which was administered in 2008 and 2009, and released on May 17, 2011. It also provides a brief overview of veteran employment experiences, describes the employment assistance programs offered by several federal agencies to assist veterans in their transition from the military to the civilian labor force, and examines related Small Business Administration (SBA) initiatives such as business development programs, efforts to assist veterans' access to capital, and veteran contracting programs.
This report briefly examines issues regarding the Berry Amendment, which is a 1941 federal law (10 U.S.C. §2533a) requiring the Department of Defense (DOD) to purchase only wholly American-made clothing, textiles, and other essential items for the military.
This report summarizes the U.S. economic growth record and reviews a number of explanations forwarded by economists for why this expansion has featured slow growth. Some explanations focus on short-term factors that would not be expected to persist, while others focus on long-term changes to the economy. The report does not discuss labor market conditions, except in the context of how they contribute to the pace of GDP growth.
This report examines the current status of the manufacturing sector in the U.S., which is a subject of ongoing interest in Congress. After rebounding from the 2007-09 recession, U.S. manufacturing output has grown little since the second half of 2014. Over the same period, employment in the U.S. manufacturing sector has been flat. These trends defy expectations that forces such as higher labor costs in the emerging economies of Asia, heightened concern about the risk of disruptions to long, complex supply chains, and the development of inexpensive domestic supplies of natural gas would increase the relative attractiveness of the United States as a location for factory production.
This report discusses the opening of the Chinese market to U.S. beef imports under certain restrictions. The negotiation process and conditions of the agreement and China's current largest beef import partners are also discussed.
This report discusses the United States direct investment in other countries through many multinational corporations. Tables showing the rates of investment in various countries by U.S. companies and discussion of the economic effects of the practice on the U.S. job market are included.
This report discusses the Small Business Administration (SBA) and their various programs along with various programmatic changes resulting from the enactment of P.L. 111-5, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, P.L. 111-240, the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, P.L. 112-239, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, P.L. 114-38, the Veterans Entrepreneurship Act of 2015, P.L. 114-88, the Recovery Improvements for Small Entities After Disaster Act of 2015 (RISE After Disaster Act of 2015), P.L. 114-92, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016, and P.L. 114-328, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017. In addition, it provides an overview of the SBA's budget and references other CRS reports that examine these programs in greater detail.
This report discusses the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) which is a presidential advisory body consisting of nine cabinet members, two ex officio members, and other members appointed by the President to oversee direct investments by foreign countries in the United States. It discusses the basics of the committee's operations and laws governing their conduct and power, presidential blocks of investment, previous reforms to the original law governing the committee and its actions and current propositions in Congress to further amend the laws regarding the committe.
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