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U.S.-Mexican Security Cooperation: the Mérida Initiative and Beyond
This report looks at the funding and Congressional oversight for the U.S.-Mexican governments joint effort to curb drug trafficking and violence via the Initiative.
U.S.-Mexican Security Cooperation: the Mérida Initiative and Beyond
This report looks at the funding and Congressional oversight for this the joint U.S.-Mexico effort to curb drug trafficking and violence via the Initiative.
Pending U.S. and EU Free Trade Agreements with South Korea: Possible Implications for Automobile and Other Manufacturing Industries
This report provides U.S. lawmakers with a comparison of the manufacturing components in the South Korea free trade agreement (KORUS) and the European Union and South Korea free trade agreement (KOREU FTA). Also included is a brief overview of the possible implications of the two pending FTAs on other selected industrial sectors affected by the FTAs: home appliances, consumer electronics, textiles and apparel, and pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
Trade Promotion Authority and the U.S.-South Korea Free Trade Agreement
This report looks at the effects of the Korean Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) on side agreements via the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of Egyptian politics and current issues in U.S.-Egyptian relations. It briefly provides a political history of modern Egypt, an overview of its political institutions, and a discussion of the prospects for democratization in Egypt. U.S.-Egyptian relations are complex and multi-faceted, and this report addresses the following current topics: the Arab-Israeli peace process, Iraq, terrorism, democratization and reform, human rights, trade, and military cooperation.
Monitoring and Verification in Arms Control
This report reviews some of the monitoring and verification provisions in the new START Treaty between the U.S. and Russia and compares these with some of the provisions in the original START Treaty. It focuses, specifically, on differences between the treaties in the provisions governing the exchange of data, known as telemetry, generated during missile flight tests; provisions governing the monitoring of mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs); and differences in the numbers and types of on-site inspections.
U.S.-Russian Civilian Nuclear Cooperation Agreement: Issues for Congress
This report discusses key policy issues related to a nuclear cooperation agreement between the United States and Russia signed on May 6, 2008, including future nuclear energy cooperation with Russia, U.S.-Russian bilateral relations, nonproliferation cooperation, and Russia's policies toward Iran.
Dispute Settlement in the World Trade Organization (WTO): An Overview
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, and discusses pieces of legislation that dictate procedures for specifically the United States in instances of WTO disputes.
Iran Sanctions
This report analyzes U.S. and international sanctions against Iran and provides examples of companies and countries that conduct business with Iran, based on a wide range of open-source reporting.
Cote d'Ivoire's Post-Election Crisis
This report discusses the recent political instability in Côte d'Ivoire, which has surfaced most recently in February 2011, and stems from a contested November 28, 2010 presidential election. This report discusses background information on Côte d'Ivoire's long struggle toward peace, political stability, and democratic governance. It also addresses U.S. interests regarding Côte d'Ivoire's stability and democratic progress.
Nuclear Cooperation with Other Countries: A Primer
This report discusses section 123 of the Atomic Energy Act (AEA), the specific requirements of which must be met in order for the United States to engage in civilian nuclear cooperation with other states. The AEA also provides for exemptions to these requirements, export control licensing procedures, and criteria for terminating cooperation.
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Meetings in Vladivostok, Russia: A Preview
Russia will host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation's (APEC) week-long series of senior-level meetings in Vladivostok on September 2-9, 2012. The main event for the week will be the 20th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting to be held September 8-9, 2012. This report looks at the main points of this meeting as they relate to the U.S.
Japan's Possible Entry Into the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Its Implications
This report discusses the effects of the possible entry of Japan to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. The TPP issue presents both risks and opportunities for the United States and Japan. On the one hand, it could reinvigorate an economic relationship that has remained steady but stagnant, by forcing the two countries to address long-standing, difficult issues, and allowing them to raise their relationship to a higher level. On the other hand, failure to do so could indicate that the underlying problems are too fundamental to overcome and could set back the relationship.
Prospects for Democracy in Hong Kong: Results of the 2012 Elections
This report looks at the state of Hong Kong politics after the 2012 elections. It covers three key reasons why Congress may consider appropriating funds to foster the development of civil society and democratic practices in Hong Kong: [1] it is U.S. policy to support democracy in Hong Kong, [2] the conduct of the 2012 elections may be indicators of support for democratic reforms, and [3] there is a possibility that democracy in Hong Kong could lead to democratic reforms in Mainland China.
U.S. Textile Manufacturing and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations
This report examines the potential implications of a prospective Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) on the U.S. textile manufacturing industry. The TFP is a proposed regional free trade agreement (FTA) currently under negotiation among 11 Pacific Rim countries.
Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress
This report presents policy and oversight issues for Congress arising from (1) maritime territorial disputes involving China in the South China Sea (SCS) and East China Sea (ECS) and (2) an additional dispute over whether China has a right under international law to regulate U.S. and other foreign military activities in its 200-nautical-mile maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
International Drug Control Policy: Background and U.S. Responses
This report discusses challenges created by the global illegal drug trade, including: undermining political and regional stability, bolstering the role and capabilities of transnational criminal organizations in the drug trade, and the burden caused by drug use an addition on local communities and economic development. In addition, this report discusses U.S. policy efforts to thwart illegal drug trade.
Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of Egyptian politics and current issues in U.S.-Egyptian relations. It briefly provides a political history of modern Egypt, an overview of its political institutions, and a discussion of the prospects for democratization in Egypt. U.S.-Egyptian relations are complex and multi-faceted, and this report addresses the following current topics: the Arab-Israeli peace process, Iraq, terrorism, democratization and reform, human rights, trade, and military cooperation.
Libya: Transition and U.S. Policy
This report discusses the revolution and post-conflict transition in Libya. The crisis was triggered in mid-February 2011 by a chain of events in Benghazi and other eastern cities that quickly spiraled out of Qadhafi's control and resulted in his death. A July election marked a shift from the appointed interim government and may provide more democratic legitimacy and better decision making. The report also looks at the military and economic state of the country, including human rights, Islam and politics, and Libya's oil asses.
Armed Conflict in Syria: U.S. and International Response
This report looks at the recent conflict in Syria, particularly casualty estimates and an assessment of possible future scenarios. A large part of the report looks at U.S. policy towards Syria, including how Congress will handle humanitarian dilemmas, security of Syrian Weapons of Mass Destruction, and how the country is open to opportunities for terrorism recruitment. It also looks at key developments that have occurred during the conflict, including support of the Asad government, political dynamics, and minority communities. The report ends with a look at the Syrian economy and current/possible sanctions.
The U.S.-Japan Alliance
This report looks at the pros and cons of the alliance with Japan, in which the United States maintains exclusive use of 89 military bases in Japan and, in exchange, guarantees Japan's security. The alliance has endured over 50 years, through periods of intense partnership and stretches of political drift; this report reevaluates the relationship based on international developments.
The Palestinians: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of current issues in U.S.-Palestinian relations. It also contains an overview of Palestinian society and politics and descriptions of key Palestinian individuals and groups—chiefly the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the Palestinian Authority (PA), Fatah, Hamas, and the Palestinian refugee population.
Director of National Intelligence Statutory Authorities: Status and Proposals
This report discusses the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) position created by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-458). It includes an overview of the authorities granted to the DNI by legislation in 2004 and later as well as the varying opinions of Congress regarding new DNI authorities, as well as related legislation from FY2010 through FY2012.
Trafficking in Persons: International Dimensions and Foreign Policy Issues for Congress
This report explores current foreign policy issues confronting U.S. efforts to combat human trafficking, the interrelationship among existing polices, and the historical and current role of Congress in such efforts. The 112th Congress has introduced and taken action on several bills related to human trafficking. Given recent challenges in balancing budget priorities, the 112th Congress may choose to consider certain aspects of this issue further, including the effectiveness of international anti-trafficking projects, interagency coordination mechanisms, and the monitoring and enforcement of anti-trafficking regulations, particularly as they relate to the activities of U.S. government contractors and subcontractors operating overseas.
Iran Sanctions
This report analyzes U.S. and international sanctions against Iran and provides examples of companies and countries that conduct business with Iran, based on a wide range of open-source reporting.
China/Taiwan: Evolution of the "One China" Policy--Key Statements from Washington, Beijing, and Taipei
This report provides background information regarding U.S. policy on "One China". The second part of this report discusses the highlights of key statements by Washington, Beijing, and Taipei.
South Africa: Current Issues and U.S. Relations
Report that looks at how the relationship between the United States and South Africa has progressed since the two countries commence a new Strategic Dialogue in 2010. Topics include: foreign policy issues; health (in particular HIV/AIDS) reform; corruption in South African politics; and a recent successful hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
U.S. Trade and Investment Relations with sub-Saharan Africa and the African Growth and Opportunity Act
Report that examines African economic trends and U.S. trade and investment flows with SSA. It discusses the provisions of AGOA and the changes that have occurred since its enactment. It concludes with a brief discussion of issues for Congress.
Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses
Report that analyzes U.S. and international sanctions against Iran and provides examples of companies and countries that conduct business with Iran, based on a wide range of open-source reporting.
Armed Conflict in Syria: U.S. and International Response
Report that looks at the recent conflict in Syria, particularly casualty estimates and an assessment of possible future scenarios. A large part of the report looks at U.S. policy towards Syria, including how Congress will handle humanitarian dilemmas, security of Syrian Weapons of Mass Destruction, and how the country is open to opportunities for terrorism recruitment.
United Nations System Funding: Congressional Issues
Report that tracks the process by which Congress provides the funding for U.S. assessed contributions to the regular budgets of the United Nations, its agencies, and U.N. peacekeeping operation accounts, as well as for U.S. voluntary contributions to U.N. system programs and funds.
U.S. Strategic Nuclear Forces: Background, Developments, and Issues
Report that reviews the ongoing programs that will affect the expected size and shape of the U.S. strategic nuclear force structure.
Trafficking in Persons in Latin America and the Caribbean
Report that looks at instances of trafficking in persons (TIP) in Latin America. It looks at current legislation in the U.S. to combat this problem.
Trafficking in Persons in Latin America and the Caribbean
Report that describes the nature and scope of the problem of trafficking in persons in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Trafficking in Persons: International Dimensions and Foreign Policy Issues for Congress
Report that explores current foreign policy issues regarding U.S. efforts to combat human trafficking, the interrelationship among existing polices, and the historical and current role of Congress in such efforts.
Trade Promotion Authority and Fast-Track Negotiating Authority for Trade Agreements: Major Votes
Report that profiles significant legislation, including floor votes, that authorized the use of presidential Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) --previously known as fast-track trade negotiating authority --since its inception in 1974. The report also includes a list of floor votes since 1979 on implementing legislation for trade agreements that were passed under TPA fast-track procedures.
Latin America: Terrorism Issues
Report regarding U.S. attention to terrorism in Latin America, which has intensified in the aftermath of the September 2001 terrorist attacks. The report talks about the 112th Congress's initiatives that have been introduced related to terrorism issues in the Western Hemisphere regarding Mexico, Venezuela, and the activities of Iran and Hezbollah.
The European Parliament
Report that discusses the construction and history of the European Parliament (EP), its role in functions of the EU as well as internationally, various international supports and criticisms of the EP, and the EP's ties with the U.S. Congress.
The European Parliament
Report that provides background on the Congress-EP relationship and the role of the TLD. It also explores potential future options should an effort to strengthen ties between the two bodies gain momentum.
Guam: U.S. Defense Deployments
This report discusses the strategic significance of Guam for defense buildup and the force relocation and deployments from the U.S. mainland. It also discusses the concerns and issues for Congress, such as allies and partner, China, and legislation.
International Crises and Disasters: U.S. Humanitarian Assistance Response Mechanisms
Report that examines U.S. humanitarian assistance in international crises and disaster situations. It considers the sources and types of U.S. government aid, the response mechanisms of key U.S. agencies and departments, and possible issues for Congress--including competing aid and budget priorities, burden sharing and donor-fatigue, the transparency and efficacy of U.S. humanitarian assistance, consequences of such assistance, and potential links to broader U.S. foreign policy goals.
Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA): What Is It, and How Has It Been Utilized?
Report concerning multilateral and bilateral Status of Force Agreements (SOFAs). Topics include the common traits of SOFAs, historical examples, and current examples.
International Drug Control Policy: Background and U.S. Responses
The report provides background information on drug cultivation, drug trafficking and the consequences of drug trade. This report discusses challenges created by the global illegal drug trade, including: undermining political and regional stability, bolstering the role and capabilities of transnational criminal organizations in the drug trade, and the burden caused by drug use an addition on local communities and economic development. In addition, this report discusses U.S. policy efforts to thwart illegal drug trade.
Iran Sanctions
Report that focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administration's economic sanctions against Iran.
Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress
Report that presents policy and oversight issues for Congress arising from maritime territorial disputes involving China in the South China Sea (SCS), East China Sea (ECS), and an additional dispute over whether China has a right under international law to regulate U.S. and other foreign military activities in its maritime Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
IMF Reforms: Issues for Congress
Report that provides information about the reforms made by the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in December 2010, Congress's role in the reform process, and how the reforms could affect U.S. interests at the IMF.
Syria's Chemical Weapons: Issues for Congress
This report provides a brief history of the chemical weapons program in Syria. It discusses policy issues, latest development regarding the current chemical weapons program.
Missile Defense and NATO's Lisbon Summit
Report regarding the November 2010 Lisbon Summit, wherein alliance heads of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization approved a plan to integrate existing NATO members ballistic missile defense capabilities into their overall defense posture. This report looks at advantages, challenges, and current Congressional legislation regarding the Obama Administration's Phased Adaptive Approach, which would be regional ballistic missile defense capability in Europe.
U.S.-Taiwan Relationship: Overview of Policy Issues
This report is a succinct overview of the U.S.-Taiwan relationship including an analysis of issues. For decades, Taiwan has been of significant security, economic, and political interest to the United States. While the United States does not diplomatically recognize Taiwan, it is a significant autonomous actor in the world.
U.S. Initiatives to Promote Global Internet Freedom: Issues, Policy, and Technology
Report regarding the role of the United States and other foreign companies in facilitating Internet censorship by repressive regimes overseas.