Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Farm Support Programs and World Trade Commitments
Congress is now debating reauthorization of omnibus farm legislation, as most commodityprice support provisions expire in 2002. This report discusses this debate, specifically aspects relating to commitments that the U.S. has as a World Trade Organization (WTO) member. Because of the interrelationships between trade and domestic support policies, lawmakers are interested in what the Agreement on Agriculture stipulates with regard to domestic supports, and how not only the United States but also other countries are meeting their Agreement commitments.
IMF and World Bank: U.S. Contributions and Agency Budgets
This paper shows how much the United States has contributed to these international agencies in recent years. It also shows how much the international agencies budget (and the source of those funds) for their administrative expenses and their operational budgets. This report will be updated periodically.
Farm Bill Trade and Food Aid Provisions
This report discusses the trade provisions of omnibus farm legislation, passed in May 2002. The measure includes a trade title reauthorizing, through 2007, the major foreign food aid and agricultural export programs. It also contains other provisions affecting agricultural trade, including new country-of-origin labeling requirements for meat, seafood, and produce; and increased domestic farm subsidies with possible implications for U.S. trade relations.
Lumber Imports from Canada: Issues and Events
This report provides a concise historical account of the dispute, summarizes the subsidy and injury evidence, and discusses the current issues and events regarding lumber imports from Canada.
Lumber Imports from Canada: Issues and Events
This report provides a concise historical account of the dispute, summarizes the subsidy and injury evidence, and discusses the current issues and events regarding lumber imports from Canada.
Lumber Imports from Canada: Issues and Events
This report provides a concise historical account of the dispute, summarizes the subsidy and injury evidence, and discusses the current issues and events regarding lumber imports from Canada.
Lumber Imports from Canada: Issues and Events
This report provides a concise historical account of the dispute, summarizes the subsidy and injury evidence, and discusses the current issues and events regarding lumber imports from Canada.
Lumber Imports from Canada: Issues and Events
This report provides a concise historical account of the dispute, summarizes the subsidy and injury evidence, and discusses the current issues and events regarding lumber imports from Canada.
Lumber Imports from Canada: Issues and Events
This report provides a concise historical account of the dispute, summarizes the subsidy and injury evidence, and discusses the current issues and events regarding lumber imports from Canada.
Lumber Imports from Canada: Issues and Events
This report provides a concise historical account of the dispute, summarizes the subsidy and injury evidence, and discusses the current issues and events regarding lumber imports from Canada.
Lumber Imports from Canada: Issues and Events
This report discuses lumber imports from Canada and provides a concise historical account of the dispute, summarizes the subsidy and injury evidence, and discusses the current issues and events.
Lumber Imports from Canada: Issues and Events
This report provides a concise historical account of the dispute, summarizes the subsidy and injury evidence, and discusses the current issues and events regarding lumber imports from Canada.
Lumber Imports from Canada: Issues and Events
This report provides a concise historical account of the dispute, summarizes the subsidy and injury evidence, and discusses the current issues and events regarding lumber imports from Canada.
Lumber Imports from Canada: Issues and Events
This report discuses lumber imports from Canada and provides a concise historical account of the dispute, summarizes the subsidy and injury evidence, and discusses the current issues and events.
Fast-Track Trade Negotiating Authority: A Comparison of 105th Congress Legislative Proposals
This report provides a side-by-side comparison of the reported versions of H.R. 2621 and S. 1269, 105 Congress bills that would provide the President with trade negotiating authority and accord certain resulting agreements and implementing bills expedited -- or “fast-track” -- legislative consideration.
Fast-Track Trade Negotiating Authority: A Comparison of 105th Congress Legislative Proposals
This report provides a side-by-side comparison of H.R. 2621 and S. 2400, as reported, 105th Congress bills that would provide the President with trade negotiating authority and accord certain resulting agreements and implementing bills expedited -- or "fast-track" -- legislative consideration.
Fast Track for Trade Agreements: Procedural Controls for Congress and Proposed Alternatives
This report discusses the fast track trade procedures in the Trade Act of 1974 operate as procedural rules of the House and Senate, and the statute itself declares them to be enacted as an exercise of the constitutional authority of each house to determine its own rules. These procedures prevent Congress from altering an implementing bill or declining to act, but permit it to enact or reject the bill. By these means Congress retains authority to legislate in the areas covered, yet affords the President conditions for effective negotiation.
Fast-Track Authority for Trade Agreements (Trade Promotion Authority): Background and Developments in the 107th Congress
This report discusses one of the major trade issues in the 107th Congress: whether or not Congress approves authority for the President to negotiate trade agreements with expedited, or "fast track" procedures. Under this authority, Congress agrees to consider legislation to implement the nontariff trade agreements under a procedure with mandatory deadlines, no amendment, and limited debate. The President is required to consult with congressional committees during negotiation of nontariff trade agreements and notify Congress before entering into any such agreement. The President was granted fast-track authority almost continuously from 1974 to 1994, but the authority lapsed and has not been renewed.
APEC - Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation: Free Trade and Other Issues
As a result of an initiative by Australia in 1989, the United States joined with eleven other Asia/Pacific nations in creating APEC, the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation organization. This report discusses the annual Ministerial Meeting of APEC in Seattle, held from November 17 - 19, 1993.
APEC and Free Trade in the Asia Pacific
This report discusses the summit held by President Bill Clinton and other leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) on November 19, 1995. The report discusses the primary reason for the summit, an Action Agenda intended to lead to free and open trade and investment among its members. The report also discusses how APEC countries were divided on certain issues going into this summit.
Is the U.S. Trade Deficit Caused by a Global Saving Glut?
This report discusses the concern about the size of the current U.S. account deficit, popularly known as the trade deficit. Also compares and analyzes the conventional view with the global saving glut view.
Imported Automobiles in the United States: Their Rising Market Share and the Macroeconomic Impact of a Proposed Import Restriction
After two generations of almost unchallenged supremacy, the U.S. auto industry has recently faced plummeting sales, rising competition from imports, and mounting requirements for capital investment and structural change. This has resulted in massive spilling of red ink in the industry's profit and loss columns, further financial pressures on the ailing Chrysler Corporation, layoffs of nearly 250,000 workers (as of August 4, 1980 in the automotive industry alone according to the United Auto Workers Union) and soaring claims for unemployment compensation and trade adjustment assistance. This study focuses on import competition in the auto industry and the economic impact of proposals to limit such competition through either import quotas or agreements with foreign governments (Japan) to restrict automotive exports to the United States.
Free Trade Agreements and the WTO Exceptions
World Trade Organization (WTO) Members must grant immediate and unconditional most-favored-nation (MFN) treatment to the products of other Members with respect to tariffs and other trade matters. Free trade agreements (FTA) are facially inconsistent with this obligation because they grant countries who are party to the agreement the ability to receive more favorable trade benefits than those extended to other trading partners. Due to the prevailing view that such arrangements are trade enhancing, Article XXIV of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) contains a specific exception for FTAs. The growing number of regional trade agreements, however, has made it difficult for the WTO to efficiently monitor the consistency of FTAs with the provided exemption. This report examines this issue.
The Jackson-Vanik Amendment: A Survey
This report discusses the Jackson-Vanik amendment, which was enacted as part of the Trade Act of 1974 and was directly a U.S. reaction to the severe restrictions the Soviet Union had placed in late 1972 on the emigration of its citizens, but was expanded in its scope to apply to all so-called “nonmarket economy” (NME) countries. The amendment, in effect, requires compliance with its specific free-emigration criteria as a key condition for the restoration of certain benefits theretofore denied to NME countries in their economic relations with the United States.
Is the U.S. Current Account Deficit Sustainable?
This report reviews studies on the current account (CA) deficit’s sustainability. The studies suggest that a dollar depreciation of 10% to 56% could eventually be required to restore sustainability.
Intellectual Property and the Free Trade Agreements: Innovation Policy Issues
This report discusses Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with Australia, Chile, Singapore, and other trading partners in respect to copyrights, data protection, patents, trademarks, and other forms of intellectual property.
High Performance Computers and Export Control Policy: Issues for Congress
Congress has a strong interest in export control policy with regard to technologies that may have both commercial and military applications outside of the United States. Through its constitutionally delegated authority to regulate foreign commerce, Congress has the authority to control exports for national security or foreign policy purposes. This report examines congressional interest in the exportation of High Performance Computers, which are either single computing machines (usually called supercomputers) or a cluster of easily available, high-end workstations or personal computers.
Iraq: Oil-for-Food Program
This report discusses the “oil-for-food” program which represents a longstanding U.N. Security Council effort to alleviate human suffering in Iraq while maintaining pressure on the Iraqi government to comply with all relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions.
Libya: Legislative Basis for U.S. Economic Sanctions
This report discusses U.S. laws and executive orders that impose economic sanctions currently in place against Libya, including whether they can be changed by executive action, and exemptions to the sanctions that could make foreign assistance available.
Foreign Investment in U.S. Industry
Although the total amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the U.S. is small relative to U.S. direct investment abroad, it is growing rapidly and may have a large effect on some industries and geographic areas of the U.S. The two main issues raised by FDI in the U.S. are first, shall Congress require more extensive data collection efforts than are already underway, and second, should laws be enacted to limit foreign direct investment in the U.S. These two issues turn in substantial measure on whether the benefits of additional data collection and/or restrictions on FDI in the U.S. exceed the costs. This report discusses the legislative history of the issue, the magnitude and distribution of FDI in the U.S., the existing data collection efforts, the potential implications for the U.S., the motivations for FDI in the U.S., and U.S. policy regarding FDI.
Farm Bill Trade and Food Aid Provisions
This report discusses the trade provisions of omnibus farm legislation, passed and signed into law in May 2002. The measure includes a trade title reauthorizing, through 2007, the major foreign food aid and agricultural export programs. It also contains other provisions affecting agricultural trade, including new country-of-origin labeling requirements for meat, seafood, and produce; and increased domestic farm subsidies with possible implications for U.S. trade relations.
The FTC's Used Car Rule
This report discusses the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) used car rule, which aims to prevent and discourage oral misrepresentations and deceptive omissions of material facts by those selling used cars concerning warranty coverage and mechanical condition.
Generalized System of Preferences
This report discusses the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), which provides preferential tariff treatment to certain products that are imported from designated developing countries. The primary purpose of the program, which the United States and other industrial countries initiated in the 1970s, is to promote economic growth in developing countries and countries in transition by stimulating their exports. The program was last reauthorized through December 31, 2006, by the 107th Congress in section 4101 of the Trade Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-210).
Financing the U.S. Trade Deficit
The U.S. merchandise trade deficit is a part of the overall U.S. balance of payments, a summary statement of all economic transactions between the residents of the United States and the rest of the world, during a given period of time. Some Members of Congress and other observers have grown concerned over the magnitude of the growing U.S. merchandise trade deficit and the associated increase in U.S. dollar-denominated assets owned by foreigners. This report provides an overview of the U.S. balance of payments, an explanation of the broader role of capital flows in the U.S. economy, an explanation of how the country finances its trade deficit or a trade surplus, and the implications for Congress and the country of the large inflows of capital from abroad.
Foreign Investment in U.S. Securities
Foreign capital inflows are playing an important role in the U.S. economy by bridging the gap between domestic supplies of and demand for capital. Foreign investors now hold more than 55% of the publicly-held and -traded U.S. Treasury securities. This report relies on a comprehensive set of data on capital flows, represented by purchases and sales of U.S. government securities and U.S. and foreign corporate stocks, bonds, into and out of the United States, that is reported by the Treasury Department on a monthly basis.
Fruits, Vegetables, and Other Specialty Crops: A Primer on Government Programs
U.S. farmers grow more than 250 types of fruit, vegetable, tree nut, flower, ornamental nursery, and turfgrass crops in addition to the major bulk commodity crops. Although specialty crops are ineligible for the federal commodity price and income support programs, they are eligible for other types of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) support, such as crop insurance, disaster assistance, and, under certain conditions, ad hoc market loss assistance payments. This report describes the federal programs of importance to the specialty crop sector, and provides the most recent funding information available for them.
Green Payments in U.S. and European Union Agricultural Policy
This report compares current United States and European Union (EU) efforts in the area of green payments. Green payments refer to "payments made to agricultural producers as compensation for environmental benefits that accrue at levels beyond what producers might otherwise achieve under existing market and regulatory conditions" (summary). The report gives an overview of policies, programs, financing, and various other aspects of comparison related to the topic.
Horse Slaughter Prevention Bills and Issues
This report discusses the debate in Congress on whether to ban horse slaughter and the acceptability of this practice.
Morocco: Current Issues
This report discusses the current political, social and economical issues in Morocco. In addition the report discuses human rights violations and terrorism.
Free Trade Agreements: Impact on U.S. Trade and Implications for U.S. Trade Policy
In the last few years, the United States has considered bilateral and regional free trade areas (FTAs) with a number of trading partners. Such arrangements are not new in U.S. trade policy. The United States has had a free trade arrangement with Israel since 1985 and with Canada since1989. The latter was suspended when the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that included the United States, Canada, and Mexico, went into effect in January 1994. This report monitors pending and possible proposals for U.S. FTAs, relevant legislation and other congressional interest in U.S. FTAs.
International Small Arms and Light Weapons Transfers: U.S. Policy
This report provides general background on U.S. policy regarding the international trade in small arms and light weapons (SA/LW). It outlines major questions associated with the international trade in these items, and reviews United States efforts to assist in controlling the illicit transfers of these items. This report will be revised as developments warrant.
Free Trade Agreements: Impact on U.S. Trade and Implications for U.S. Trade Policy
In the last few years, the United States has considered bilateral and regional free trade areas (FTAs) with a number of trading partners. Such arrangements are not new in U.S. trade policy. The United States has had a free trade arrangement with Israel since 1985 and with Canada since1989. The latter was suspended when the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that included the United States, Canada, and Mexico, went into effect in January 1994. This report monitors pending and possible proposals for U.S. FTAs, relevant legislation and other congressional interest in U.S. FTAs.
The International Wine Market: Description and Selected Issues
This report discusses the global trade in wine, which has increased rapidly during the past 25 years, steadily rising from under $1 billion in 1977 to over $7 billion in 2001. Reports of health benefits and rising global incomes have spurred increasing demand for wine, particularly in mid- to upper-income countries. In 2001, the United States was the world’s leading importer, just ahead of the European Union (EU). Together, they accounted for over 60% of global imports.
The International Wine Market: Description and Selected Issues
This report discusses global trade in wine, which has Several important issues have emerged in recent years with respect to international wine trade, particularly between the EU and non-EU countries, including oenological (wine-making) practices and the use of “semi-generic” names for wines. The latter issue is encompassed under the debate on “geographical indications” at the World Trade Organization. Ongoing bilateral negotiations between the United States and the EU seek to resolve both of these issues. .
Export-Import Bank: Background and Legislative Issues
This report discusses the Export-Import Bank (Ex-In Bank), the chief U.S. government agency that helps finance American exports of manufactured goods and services with the objective of contributing to the employment of U.S. workers. This report discusses the Bank's budget and related legislation, including the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, signed by President Barack Obama and authorizing spending limitations for the Bank.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
This report discusses the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), a free trade agreement that includes nations on both sides of the Pacific. Original members of the TPP were Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore. The United States, Australia, Peru, and Vietnam have committed themselves to joining and expanding this group. This report discusses similar trade partnerships, the importance of Asia to U.S. trade and security interests, and U.S. participation in the TPP.
Tariff Modifications: Miscellaneous Tariff Bills
This report discusses the current process by which duty suspension bills and other provisions are introduced, reviewed by several government agencies and committee staff, made available for public comment, and finally included in omnibus miscellaneous trade and technical corrections bills (MTBs) legislation reported out by the committees of jurisdiction.
U.S. Government Agencies Involved in Export Promotion: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of the federal agencies that participate in U.S. export promotion efforts and the issues that they raise for Congress. It proceeds first by discussing the coordination, budgets, and functions of federal government agencies involved in promoting exports. Next, the report provides an overview of the missions and activities of key federal government agencies that support exports. The last section of the report discusses agency-related issues for Congress.
U.S. International Trade: Trends and Forecasts
This report discusses the U.S. trade deficit in light of the 2008 global financial crisis, with emphasis on international trade and U.S. trade policy, most recent developments in trade of goods and service, trade forecasts for the future, and how issues such as the U.S. trade deficit and international trade, particularly with China, are commonly perceived.
Why Certain Trade Agreements Are Approved as Congressional-Executive Agreements Rather Than as Treaties
U.S. trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), World Trade Organization agreements, and bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) have been approved by majority vote of each house rather than by two-thirds vote of the Senate - that is, they have been treated as congressional-executive agreements rather than as treaties. The congressional-executive agreement has been the vehicle for implementing Congress's long-standing policy of seeking trade benefits for the United States through reciprocal trade negotiations. This report discusses this topic in brief.