The FY2009 federal deficit swelled to $1.414 trillion, or nearly 10% of gross domestic product (GDP), due to the economic recession. The size of recent deficits has added to longstanding concerns regarding the federal government's long-term fiscal condition. However, deficit finance can serve as an important policy tool. This report discusses how deficit finance can help governments manage their economies and how large and persistent deficits can lead to severe economic problems.
The U.S. economy has grown increasingly interconnected with other economies around the world, a phenomenon often referred to as globalization. Over the past 20 years, multinational corporations and nations have adopted voluntary, legally enforceable, and industry-specific codes of conduct to address concerns over the economic, social, and political impact of this phenomenon. Congress will continue to play a pivotal role in addressing the large number of issues regarding internationally applied corporate codes of conduct that remain to be negotiated.
As global economic competition heightens, many firms and workers face difficult adjustment problems. Congress has responded to these adjustment costs by authorizing four trade adjustment assistance (TAA) programs to assist trade-impacted workers, firms, farmers, and communities. This report discusses the TAA program for firms (TAAF). The TAAF program provides technical assistance to trade-affected firms to help them develop strategies and make other adjustments to remain competitive in the changing international economy.
This report analyzes the trend in long-term unemployment over the postwar period and offers explanations for its unusually high incidence during the most recent recession. It compares the individual, job, and household characteristics of the long-term unemployed during the latest recession (2007-2009) with the long-term unemployed at the end of the two previous recessions (1990-1991 and 2001).
This report describes the legal requirements pertaining to competition that presently apply to federal procurement contracts. Among other things, it discusses what contracts are subject to competition requirements; what constitutes full and open competition for government contracts; and what is meant by "full and open competition after exclusion of sources."
This report provides information on the role the IMF has played in the financial crisis, international agreement to increase the financial resources of the IMF, and the role of Congress in increasing the Fund's resources. As will be discussed in detail at the end of the report, congressional authorization, and perhaps appropriation, would be required to increase U.S. contributions to the IMF.
The U.S. steel industry has faced increasing difficulties since the late 1990s. More than 30 U.S. steel producers have gone into bankruptcy. While different companies and parts of the industry have been affected to different degrees, the two types of domestic producers of raw steel, integrated mills and minimills, have both supported restrictions on imports, which they say have undermined the ability of the U.S. industry to produce steel economically. This report reviews industry developments and the economic situation of the steel industry, including legacy cost aspects of its problems.
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