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U.S.-EU Trade and Economic Relations: Key Policy Issues for the 112th Congress

Description: U.S. and European private stakeholders, concerned about slow growth, job creation, and increased competition from emerging economies, have urged Brussels and Washington to strengthen transatlantic trade and economic ties by reducing or eliminating remaining trade barriers and by cooperating more closely in addressing global economic challenges. A select group of these issues are examined in this report.
Date: December 22, 2011
Creator: Ahearn, Raymond J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia: Political Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests

Description: This report offers background information and recent more development in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia political and economic situation. It also discusses U.S. policy, U.S. aid, U.S. trade and investments to these countries, congressional response and other legislation.
Date: May 1, 2012
Creator: Nichol, Jim
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Belarus: Background and U.S. Policy Concerns

Description: An overview of the history of U.S.A - Belarus relations. Current issues include U.S.A. and international attempts to influence Aleksandr Lukashenko, the Belarusian President, towards making the Belarusian government more democratic and open.
Date: May 1, 2012
Creator: Woehrel, Steven
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Arms Control and Nonproliferation: A Catalog of Treaties and Agreements

Description: This report provides an overview of many of the key arms control and nonproliferation agreements and endeavors of the past 40 years. It is divided into three sections. The first describes arms control efforts between the United States and the states of the former Soviet Union, covering both formal, bilateral treaties, and the cooperative threat reduction process. The second section describes multilateral nuclear nonproliferation efforts, covering both formal treaties and less formal accommodations that have been initiated in recent years. The final section reviews treaties and agreements that address chemical, biological, and conventional weapons.
Date: March 7, 2012
Creator: Woolf, Amy F.; Nikitin, Mary Beth & Kerr, Paul K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Army Drawdown and Restructuring: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: On January 26, 2012, senior DOD leadership unveiled a new defense strategy based on a review of potential future security challenges, current defense strategy, and budgetary constraints. This new strategy envisions a smaller, leaner Army that is agile, flexible, rapidly deployable, and technologically advanced. This strategy will rebalance the Army's global posture and presence, emphasizing where potential problems are likely to arise, such as the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East. Potential issues for Congress include the strategic risk posed by a smaller and restructured Army; the "health" of the Army given the impending downsizing; where the force will be based; the role of the National Guard and Reserves; and should the enrollment at the service academies (West Point) be reduced to pre-9/11 levels. This report will be updated as circumstances warrant.
Date: April 20, 2012
Creator: Feickert, Andrew & Henning, Charles A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Budget "Sequestration" and Selected Program Exemptions and Special Rules

Description: "Sequestration" is a process of automatic, largely across-the-board spending reductions under which budgetary resources are permanently canceled to enforce certain budget policy goals. This report looks at the history and current status of sequestration at it relates to Congress. This includes how it is enacted and special rules that can apply.
Date: April 27, 2012
Creator: Spar, Karen
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China and Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Missiles: Policy Issues

Description: Congress has long been concerned about whether U.S. policy advances the national interest in reducing the role of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and missiles that could deliver them. China has taken some steps to mollify U.S. concerns about its role in weapons proliferation. Skeptics question whether China's cooperation in weapons nonproliferation has warranted President Bush's pursuit of stronger bilateral ties. This report discusses the national security problem of China's role in weapons proliferation and issues related to the U.S. policy response, including legislation, since the mid-1990s.
Date: March 30, 2012
Creator: Kan, Shirley A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China and Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Missiles: Policy Issues

Description: Congress has long been concerned about whether U.S. policy advances the national interest in reducing the role of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and missiles that could deliver them. Recipients of China's technology reportedly include Pakistan and countries said by the State Department to have supported terrorism, such as Iran. This CRS Report, updated as warranted, discusses the security problem of China's role in weapons proliferation and issues related to the U.S. policy response since the mid-1990s.
Date: April 25, 2012
Creator: Kan, Shirley A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China's Rare Earth Industry and Export Regime: Economic and Trade Implications for the United States

Description: Over the past few years, the Chinese government has implemented a number of policies to tighten its control over the production and export of "rare earths"-a unique group of 17 metal elements on the periodic table that exhibit a range of special properties, such as magnetism, luminescence, and strength. Rare earths are important to a number of high technology industries, including renewable energy and various defense systems. This report examines the economic and trade implications of China's rare earth policies for the United States.
Date: April 30, 2012
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M. & Tang, Rachel
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Chile: Political and Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations

Description: This report provides a brief historical background of Chile, examines recent political and economic developments, and considers current issues in U.S.-Chilean relations. The 112th Congress could take up issues such as the U.S.-Chile bilateral income tax treaty that was signed in 2010 and is awaiting submission to the U.S. Senate for ratification.
Date: June 1, 2011
Creator: Meyer, Peter J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Civil Rights Statutes: A Primer

Description: Under federal law, an array of civil rights statutes are available to protect individuals from discrimination. This report provides a brief summary of selected federal civil rights statutes.
Date: March 26, 2012
Creator: Feder, Jody
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fact Sheet: The FY2013 State and Foreign Operations Budget Request

Description: On February 13, 2012, the Obama Administration submitted its FY2013 budget request, including $54.7 billion in new budget authority for State Department, Foreign Operations, and Related Appropriations. Of the total request, $18.6 billion is for programs funded through the State operations and related agencies, and $36.1 billion is for foreign operations. This fact sheet provides a brief overview of the request. A full CRS report on FY2013 State and Foreign Operations budget and appropriations issues is planned to follow initial congressional consideration of appropriations legislation.
Date: April 26, 2012
Creator: Epstein, Susan B.; Lawson, Marian Leonardo & Tiersky, Alex L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Export-Import Bank: Background and Legislative Issues

Description: The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank, EXIM Bank, or the Bank), an independent federal government agency, is the official export credit agency (ECA) of the United States. It helps finance U.S. exports of manufactured goods and services, with the objective of contributing to the employment of U.S. workers, primarily in circumstances when alternative financing is not available. Members of the 112th Congress may examine issues related to the Ex-Im Bank that center on the economic rationale for the Bank; the impact of the Bank on the federal budget and U.S. taxpayers; the Bank's support for specific types of business or industries; the current balance between the Bank's advancement of U.S. commercial interests and other U.S. policy goals; the competitive position of the Bank compared to foreign ECAs; and the Bank's organizational structure.
Date: April 3, 2012
Creator: Ilias, Shayerah
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA): A Summary

Description: This report summarizes the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and the major regulatory programs that mandate reporting by industrial facilities of releases of potentially hazardous chemicals to the environment, as well as local planning to respond in the event of significant, accidental releases.
Date: April 5, 2012
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Labor Relations Statutes: An Overview

Description: This report provides a brief history and overview of the aims of these statutes: the Railway Labor Act (RLA) enacted in 1926, the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), and the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (FSLMRS). It also discusses key statutory provisions for each statute.
Date: May 11, 2012
Creator: Hegji, Alexandra
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?

Description: This report examines 40 major or controversial regulatory actions taken by or under development at EPA since January 2009, providing details on the regulatory action itself, presenting an estimated timeline for completion of the rule and provides the EPA's estimates of costs and benefits where available. It provides background information on recent EPA regulatory activity to help address issues raised by this activity, as well as factors that will affect the timeframe in which these regulations will take place.
Date: April 25, 2012
Creator: McCarthy, James E. & Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The European Union: Questions and Answers

Description: This report provides a brief overview of the European Union (EU), an economic and political partnership between 27 sovereign member states. The report describes the formation of the EU, the three main institutions of the EU, and the EU's relationship with the United States.
Date: April 5, 2012
Creator: Archick, Kristin
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

FEMA's Community Disaster Loan Program: History, Analysis, and Issues for Congress

Description: This report compares and analyzes three different categories of loans issued in different time periods in the program's history: "traditional" loans issued between 1974 and 2005, in 2007, and between 2009 and 2011 (TCDLs); "special" (SCDLs) loans issued in 2005-2006 following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita; and loans issued under unique provisions in 2008 (2008 CDLs).
Date: May 10, 2012
Creator: Brown, Jared T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Laws Relating to Cybersecurity: Discussion of Proposed Revisions

Description: For more than a decade, various experts have expressed concerns about information-system security-often referred to as cybersecurity-in the United States and abroad. This report discusses that framework and proposals to amend more than 30 acts of Congress that are part of or relevant to it.
Date: April 23, 2012
Creator: Fischer, Eric A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights

Description: This report discusses Iraq's political system that is increasingly characterized by peaceful competition and formation of cross-sectarian alliances. However, ethnic and sectarian political and sometimes violent infighting continues, often involving the questionable use of key levers of power and legal institutions. This infighting-and the belief that holding political power may mean the difference between life and death for the various political communities-significantly delayed agreement on a new government that was to be selected following the March 7, 2010, national elections for the Council of Representatives (COR, parliament).
Date: April 19, 2012
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Iran Sanctions

Description: This report focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administration's economic sanctions against Iran. The Obama Administration's policy approach toward Iran has contrasted with the Bush Administration's by attempting to couple the imposition of sanctions to an active and direct U.S. effort to negotiate with Iran on the nuclear issue. That approach was not initially altered because of the Iranian dispute over its June 12, 2009, elections. However, with subsequent negotiations yielding no firm Iranian agreement to compromise, since early 2010 the Administration has focused on achieving the imposition of additional U.N., U.S., and allied country sanctions whose cumulative effect would be to compel it to accept a nuclear bargain.
Date: March 6, 2012
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department