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Trade Promotion Authority and Fast-Track Negotiating Authority for Trade Agreements: Major Votes
This report profiles significant legislation, from 1974 to the present, concerning presidential trade promotion authority (also referred to as TPA) for trade agreements. TPA was previously known as fast-track trade negotiating authority for the President. This report identifies significant bills and resolutions that had floor votes. Also included is a list of floor votes on implementing legislation for trade agreements, from 1979 to the present; these bills were passed under expedited procedures by Congress and signed by the President. For further discussions of TPA or fast-track legislative activity, the report lists CRS reports and Internet resources.
Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment
Controversy has arisen regarding U.S. treatment of enemy combatants and terrorist suspects detained in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations, and whether such treatment complies with related U.S. statutes and treaties. Certain provisions of the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), first introduced by Senator John McCain, have popularly been referred to as the "McCain Amendment." This report discusses the McCain amendment and the application of the McCain amendment by the Department of Defense (DOD) in the updated 2006 version of the Army Field Manual.
Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment
Controversy has arisen regarding U.S. treatment of enemy combatants and terrorist suspects detained in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations, and whether such treatment complies with related U.S. statutes and treaties. Certain provisions of the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), first introduced by Senator John McCain, have popularly been referred to as the "McCain Amendment." This report discusses the McCain amendment and also discusses the application of the McCain Amendment by the DOD in the updated 2006 version of the Army Field Manual.
Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment
Controversy has arisen regarding U.S. treatment of enemy combatants and terrorist suspects detained in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations, and whether such treatment complies with related U.S. statutes and treaties. Certain provisions of the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), first introduced by Senator John McCain, have popularly been referred to as the "McCain Amendment." This report discusses the McCain amendment and also discusses the application of the McCain Amendment by the DOD in the updated 2006 version of the Army Field Manual.
United Nations System Funding: Congressional Issues
This report 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. It includes information on the President's request and the congressional response, as well as congressional initiatives during this legislative process. Basic information is provided to help the reader understand this process.
North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Program
North Korea's decisions and policies regarding nuclear weapons create a foreign policy problem for the United States. The main objective of the Bush Administration is to secure the dismantling of North Korea's plutonium and uranium-based nuclear programs. Critics of the Bush Administration have charged that despite its tough rhetoric, the Administration gives North Korea a relatively low priority in U.S. foreign policy and takes a passive diplomatic approach to the nuclear issue and other issues. This report outlines the Administration's strategy in regards to this. It also describes international reactions and responses to this strategy and to the U.S.-North Korean relations in general.
Sudan: Humanitarian Crisis, Peace Talks, Terrorism, and U.S. Policy
Sudan has been ravaged by civil war intermittently for four decades. An estimated 2 million people have died over the past two decades due to war-related causes and famine, and millions have been displaced from their homes. The ongoing crisis in Darfur in western Sudan has led to a major humanitarian disaster, with an estimated 1.9 million people displaced and more than 213,000 people forced into neighboring Chad. This report outlines the Darfur crisis as well as the current political climate of Sudan overall, as well as international efforts to send economic aid and peacekeeping forces to Sudan.
Nuclear Weapons: Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
A comprehensive test ban treaty, or CTBT, is the oldest item on the nuclear arms control agenda. Three treaties currently limit testing to underground only, with a maximum force equal to 150,000 tons of TNT. This report outlines the CTBT and related legislation.
Nuclear Weapons: Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
A comprehensive test ban treaty, or CTBT, is the oldest item on the nuclear arms control agenda. Three treaties currently limit testing to underground only, with a maximum force equal to 150,000 tons of TNT. This report outlines the CTBT and related legislation.
Nuclear Weapons: Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
A comprehensive test ban treaty, or CTBT, is the oldest item on the nuclear arms control agenda. Three treaties currently limit testing to underground only, with a maximum force equal to 150,000 tons of TNT. This report outlines the CTBT and related legislation.
Exempting Food and Agriculture Products from U.S. Economic Sanctions: Status and Implementation
In approving the FY2001 agriculture appropriations act, Congress codified the lifting of unilateral sanctions on commercial sales of food, agricultural commodities, medicine, and medical products to Iran, Libya, North Korea, and Sudan, and extended this policy to Cuba (as enacted in by the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000, or TSRA). Congressional opponents of TSRA's prohibitions on private U.S. financing of agricultural sales, public financing of eligible exports, and tourist travel to Cuba have introduced bills since 2000 to repeal these provisions. Though several amendments to repeal or relax TSRA provisions relative to Cuba were adopted by committees or passed during floor debate, all were dropped in conference action. Administration officials continually signal to conferees they will advise the President to veto any bill that would change TSRA's prohibitions against Cuba.
Immigration Related Border Security Legislation in the 109th Congress
Border security is considered a central aspect of the United States' overall homeland security. Securing the border involves controlling the official ports of entry (POE) through which legitimate travelers and commerce enter the country, as well as monitoring and patrolling the nation's land and maritime borders to detect and interdict the entry of illegal persons and contraband. In the 109th Congress, there are a large number of bills currently pending that would address some of the immigration issues associated with border security by focusing on the movement of people into the country, both at POE and illegally across the U.S. international land border. This report will focus on the main legislative issues facing the 109th Congress relating to the movement of people across the border. It will not address interior enforcement issues or cargo security issues.
WTO Doha Round: The Agricultural Negotiations
This report assesses the current status of agricultural negotiations in the Doha Round of trade negotiations of the World Trade Organization (WTO); traces the developments leading up to the December 2005 Hong Kong Ministerial; examines the major agricultural negotiating proposals; discusses the potential effects of a successful Doha Round agreement on global trade, income, U.S. farm policy, and U.S. agriculture; and provides background on the WTO, the Doha Round, the key negotiating groups, and a chronology of key events relevant to the agricultural negotiations.
Mexico-United States Dialogue on Migration and Border Issues, 2001-2006
This report, which will be updated periodically, focuses on the interactions between Mexico and the United States on migration and border issues during the administrations of President George W. Bush and President Vicente Fox of Mexico. These interactions are increasingly tense in 2006 due to violence in the border region and debate over U.S. immigration reform. The discussions and agreements fall into four areas: (1) the bilateral migration talks, (2) the Partnership for Prosperity, (3) the Border Partnership Agreement, and (4) the trilateral "Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) of North America."
Cuba and the State Sponsors of Terrorism List
Cuba was first added to the State Department's list of states sponsoring international terrorism in 1982. At the time, numerous U.S. government reports and statements under the Reagan Administration alleged Cuba's ties to international terrorism and its support for terrorist groups in Latin America. Cuba remains on the state-sponsored terrorism list with four other countries: Iran, Syria, Sudan, and North Korea. Cuba's retention on the terrorism list has received more attention in recent years in light of increased support for legislative initiatives to lift some U.S. sanctions under the current economic embargo. Supporters of keeping Cuba on the terrorism list argue that there is ample evidence that Cuba supports terrorism. Critics of retaining Cuba on the terrorism list maintain that the policy is a holdover from the Cold War and that Cuba no longer supports terrorism abroad.
The Department of Defense Rules for Military Commissions: Analysis of Procedural Rules and Comparison with Proposed Legislation and the Uniform Code of Military Justice
This report provides a background and analysis comparing military commissions as envisioned under Military Commission Order (M.C.O.) No. 1 to general military courts-martial conducted under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). A summary of the case Rumsfeld v. Hamdan follows, in particular the shortcomings identified by the Supreme Court. The report provides an overview of relevant legislation. Finally, the report provides two charts to compare the regulations issued by the Department of Defense to standard procedures for general courts-martial under the Manual for Courts-Martial and to proposed legislation.
The Department of Defense Rules for Military Commissions: Analysis of Procedural Rules and Comparison with Proposed Legislation and the Uniform Code of Military Justice
This report provides a background and analysis comparing military commissions as envisioned under Military Commission Order (M.C.O.) No. 1 to general military courts-martial conducted under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). A summary of the case Rumsfeld v. Hamdan follows, in particular the shortcomings identified by the Supreme Court. The report provides an overview of relevant legislation. Finally, the report provides two charts to compare the regulations issued by the Department of Defense to standard procedures for general courts-martial under the Manual for Courts-Martial and to proposed legislation.
Nuclear Arms Control: The Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty
On May 24, 2002, President Bush and Russia's President Putin signed the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (known as the Treaty of Moscow) that will reduce strategic nuclear weapons to between 1,700 and 2,200 warheads by December 31, 2012. Russia convinced the United States to sign a legally binding treaty, but the United States rejected any limits and counting rules that would require the elimination of delivery vehicles and warheads removed from service. It wanted the flexibility to reduce its forces at its own pace, and to restore warheads to deployed forces if conditions warranted. Russian officials have hailed the success of Russia's diplomacy in convincing the United States to sign a legally binding Treaty that casts Russia as an equal partner in the arms control process.
Trafficking in Persons: The U.S. and International Response
Trafficking in people for prostitution and forced labor is one of the most prolific areas of international criminal activity and is of significant concern to the United States and the international community. The overwhelming majority of those trafficked are women and children. In December 2005, Congress adopted the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005. The State Department, on June 5, 2006, issued a mandate that categorized countries into four groups according to the efforts they were making to combat trafficking. Those countries (Tier Three) that do not cooperate in the fight against trafficking have been made subject to U.S. sanctions since 2003. In the second session of the 109th Congress, both chambers are expected to continue to address the human trafficking issue as part of their authorization, appropriations, and oversight activities.
The Law of the Sea Convention and U.S. Policy
On November 16, 1994, the U.N. Law of the Sea Convention entered into force but without accession by the United States. The major part of the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention had been supported by U.s. Administrations, beginning with President Reagan, as fulfilling U.S. interests in having a comprehensive legal framework relating to competing uses of the world's oceans. However, the United States and many industrialized countries found some of the provisions relating to deep seabed mining in Part XI and Annexes III and IV of the Convention contrary to their interests and would not sign or act to ratify the Convention. A number of questions face the Senate as it considers the Convention/Agreement package, including the following: 1) Does the Agreement sufficiently resolve opposing concerns about the deep seabed mining provisions? 2) What precedent does U.S. acceptance of the Convention/Agreement definition of the common heritage of mankind concept establish? 3) What authority should Congress exert over the expenses of another international organization (the International Seabed Authority)?
Nuclear Weapons: Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
A comprehensive test ban treaty, or CTBT, is the oldest item on the nuclear arms control agenda. These treaties currently limit testing to underground only, with a maximum force equal to 150,000 tons of TNT. Since 1997, the United States has held 22 "subcritical experiments" at the Nevada Test Site, asserting that these experiments do not violate the CTBT because they cannot produce a self-sustaining chain reaction. The Senate rejected the CTBT on October 13, 1999, and the current Administration under President George W. Bush has indicated that it will continue to oppose the CTBT, will continue to adhere to the test moratorium, is considering modifying existing warheads for use against hard and deeply-buried targets, has not ruled out resumed testing, and has no plans to test.
Norht Korea's Nuclear Weapons Program
North Korea's decisions to restart nuclear installations at Yongbyon that were shut down under the U.S.-South Korean Agreed Framework of 1994 and to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty create an acute foreign policy problem for the United States. Restarting the Yongbyon facilities opens up a possible North Korean intent to stage a "nuclear breakout" of its nuclear program and openly produce nuclear weapons. The main objective of the Bush Administration is to secure the dismantling of North Korea's plutonium and uranium-based nuclear programs. China, South Korea, and Russia have criticized the Bush Administration for not negotiating directly with North Korea, and they voice opposition to economic sanctions and to the use force against Pyongyang. China, Russia, and even South Korea increasingly have expressed support for North Korea's position in six-party talks facilitated by China, but the talks have made little progress.
United Nations System Funding: Congressional Issues
Congressional debate over U.N. funding focuses on the following questions: (1) What is the appropriate level of U.S. funding for U.N. system operations and programs? (@) What U.S. funding actions are most likely to produce a positive continuation of U.N. system reform efforts? The U.N. system includes the parent U.N. organization, a number of affiliated agencies, voluntary funds and programs, and peacekeeping operations. For nearly 60 years, the United States has been the single largest financial contributor to the U.N. system. Both Congress and the executive branch have been pressing U.N. system organizations to reform, especially to improve management and budgeting practices. In recent years, the U.N. has undertaken reforms, including a restructuring of its financial assessment system, allowing the U.S. to pay some of its arrears.
Nuclear Testing and Comprehensive Test Ban: Chronology Starting September 1992
The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) bans "any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion." It was opened for signature in September 1996. In September 1997, President Clinton submitted it to the Senate, which rejected it in October 1999. The Bush Administration has not requested Senate consideration of the treaty. This report details actions on nuclear testing and the treaty starting with the most recent U.S. test in September 1992.
Countries of the World and International Organizations: Sources of Information
This report provides a selection of materials for locating information on foreign countries and international organizations. In the general information section, it presents sources giving an overview of politics, economics, and recent history. A specialized information section cites sources on human rights, immigration, international organizations, military strengths, terrorism, and other topics. Included are titles of some of the most frequently consulted bibliographic sources that are available for use in many libraries. Electronic information on foreign countries is also provided, via the Internet, by agencies of the federal government, international organizations, and related sources. Included is a list of foreign chanceries located in Washington, DC.
The Department of Defense Rules for Military Commissions: Analysis of Procedural Rules and Comparison with Proposed Legislation and the Uniform Code of Military Justice
This report provides a background and analysis comparing military commissions as envisioned under M.C.O. (Military Commission Order) No. 1 to general military courts-martial conducted under the UCMJ. The report notes some of the criticism directed at the President's M.O., and explains how those concerns are addressed by the military commission orders and instructions. A summary of the Hamdan case follows, as well as an overview of relevant legislation. Finally, the report provides two charts to compare the regulations issued by the Department of Defense to standard procedures for general courts-martial under the Manual for Courts-Martial and to proposed legislation.
The Department of Defense Rules for Military Commissions: Analysis of Procedural Rules and Comparison with Proposed Legislation and the Uniform Code of Military Justice
This report provides a background and analysis comparing military commissions as envisioned under Military Commission Order (M.C.O.) No. 1 and general military courts-martial conducted under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). The report notes some of the criticism directed at the President's Military Order (M.O.), and explains how those concerns are addressed by the military commission orders and instructions. The report concludes by summarizing legislation introduced to authorize and regulate military tribunals to try suspected Al Qaeda and Taliban members, and provides two charts to compare the proposed military tribunals under proposed legislation, the regulations issued by the Department of Defense, and standard procedures for general courts-martial under the Manual for Courts-Martial.
U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea: Living Resources Provisions
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Terrorist Capabilities for Cyberattack: Overview and Policy Issues
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Exempting Food and Agriculture Products from U.S. Economic Sanctions: Status and Implementation
In approving the FY2001 agriculture appropriations act, Congress codified the lifting of unilateral sanctions on commercial sales of food, agricultural commodities, medicine, and medical products to Iran, Libya, North Korea, and Sudan, and extended this policy to Cuba (as enacted in by the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000, or TSRA). Congressional opponents of TSRA's prohibitions on private U.S. financing of agricultural sales, public financing of eligible exports, and tourist travel to Cuba have introduced bills since 2000 to repeal these provisions. Though several amendments to repeal or relax TSRA provisions relative to Cuba were adopted by committees or passed during floor debate, all were dropped in conference action. Administration officials continually signal to conferees they will advise the President to veto any bill that would change TSRA's prohibitions against Cuba.
Exempting Food and Agriculture Products from U.S. Economic Sanctions: Status and Implementation
Falling agricultural exports and declining commodity prices led farm groups and agribusiness firms to urge the 106th Congress to pass legislation exempting foods and agricultural commodities from U.S. economic sanctions against certain countries. In completing action on the FY2001 agriculture appropriations bill, Congress codified the lifting of unilateral sanctions on commercial sales of food, agricultural commodities, medicine, and medical products to Iran, Libya, North Korea, and Sudan, and extended this policy to apply to Cuba (Title IX of H.R. 5426, as enacted by P.L. 106-387; Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000). Related provisions place financing and licensing conditions on sales to these countries. Those that apply to Cuba, though, are permanent and more restrictive than for the other countries. Other provisions give Congress the authority in the future to veto a President's proposal to impose a sanction on the sale of agricultural or medical products.
Exempting Food and Agriculture Products from U.S. Economic Sanctions: Status and Implementation
Falling agricultural exports and declining commodity prices led farm groups and agribusiness firms to urge the 106th Congress to pass legislation exempting foods and agricultural commodities from U.S. economic sanctions against certain countries. In completing action on the FY2001 agriculture appropriations bill, Congress codified the lifting of unilateral sanctions on commercial sales of food, agricultural commodities, medicine, and medical products to Iran, Libya, North Korea, and Sudan, and extended this policy to apply to Cuba (Title IX of H.R. 5426, as enacted by P.L. 106-387; Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000). Related provisions place financing and licensing conditions on sales to these countries. Those that apply to Cuba, though, are permanent and more restrictive than for the other countries. Other provisions give Congress the authority in the future to veto a President's proposal to impose a sanction on the sale of agricultural or medical products.
U.S. Agricultural Policy Response to WTO Cotton Decision
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Removing Terrorist Sanctuaries: The 9/11 Commission Recommendations and U.S. Policy
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Latin America: Terrorism Issues
This report discusses terrorism in the region tri-border area (TBA) of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay has been a regional hub for Hizballah and Hamas fundraising activities. The report also examines activity by Cuba, which has been designated by the State Department as a state sponsor of terrorism since 1982, and asserts that Venezuela has virtually ceased its cooperation in the global war on terror.
Terrorism and National Security: Issues and Trends
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Border Security: Key Agencies and Their Missions
After the massive reorganization of federal agencies precipitated by the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), there are now four main federal agencies charged with securing the United States’ borders: the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which patrols the border and conducts immigrations, customs, and agricultural inspections at ports of entry; the Bureau of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which investigates immigrations and customs violations in the interior of the country; the United States Coast Guard, which provides maritime and port security; and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which is responsible for securing the nation’s land, rail, and air transportation networks. This report is meant to serve as a primer on the key federal agencies charged with border security; as such it will briefly describe each agency’s role in securing our nation’s borders.
Cybercrime: The Council of Europe Convention
Forty-three countries, including the United States, have signed the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime of November 2001. The U.S. Senate ratified the Convention on August 3, 2006. The Convention seeks to better combat cybercrime by harmonizing national laws, improving investigative abilities, and boosting international cooperation. Supporters argue that the Convention will enhance deterrence, while critics counter it will have little effect without participation by countries in which cybercriminals operate freely. Others warn it will endanger privacy and civil liberties.
Global Climate Change: U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions - Status, Trends, and Projections
According to the summary, this report reviews U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases in the contexts both of domestic policy and of international obligations and proposals.
Agriculture and Fast Track or Trade Promotion Authority
New “fast track,” or trade promotion, authority (TPA) cleared the 107th Congress, and was signed into law (P.L. 107-210) on August 6, 2002. Such authority enables the Administration to submit negotiated foreign trade agreements to Congress for consideration under expedited procedures. Many agricultural and food industry interests were among the export-oriented enterprises that supported TPA, arguing that foreign trading partners would not seriously negotiate with an Administration that lacked it. However, some farm groups argued that fast track ultimately will lead to new agreements that have adverse effects on U.S. producers, at least of some commodities.
The Iran Nonproliferation Act and the International Space Station: Issues and Options
The Iran Nonproliferation Act of 2000 (INA) was enacted to help stop foreign transfers to Iran of weapons of mass destruction, missile technology, and advanced conventional weapons technology, particularly from Russia. Section 6 of the INA bans U.S. payments to Russia in connection with the International Space Station (ISS) unless the U.S. President determines that Russia is taking steps to prevent such proliferation. The ISS is currently under construction in orbit. According to current plans, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will become dependent on Russia for certain ISS crew-related services beginning in April 2006 for which NASA must pay. Thus, the INA could significantly affect U.S. utilization of ISS. This report outlines the history of INA, its effect on Russian and Iranian proliferation, its impact on the ISS program, and options for resolving associated issues.
Nuclear Testing and Comprehensive Test Ban: Chronology Starting September 1992
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The Reagan Administration Posture Toward the ABM Treaty - Possible Implications
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World Trade Organization (WTO): Issues in the Debate on U.S. Participation
In a report submitted to Congress on March 2, 2005 on the costs and benefits of continued participation in the WTO, the Administration cited a number of statistics that show growth in the U.S. and world economies since establishment of the WTO. Whether the growth cited was the result exclusively or mainly of activity in the WTO is arguable. Academic studies indicate that the United States would gain substantially from broad reductions in trade barriers worldwide. At the same time, some workers and industries might not share in those gains. Questions of governance and power are among the issues at the heart of the debate on the WTO. Major decisions in the WTO are made by member governments, who determine their negotiating positions, file dispute challenges, and implement their decisions. However, some challenge the claim that the WTO is democratic in nature by arguing that smaller countries are left out of the decisionmaking and that governments tend to represent large commercial interests only.
United States-Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Free Trade Agreement Negotiations: Background and Political Issues
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U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background on the 9/11 Commission Recommendations
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U.S. Policy Regarding the International Criminal Court
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U.S. Policy Regarding the International Criminal Court
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U.S. Policy Regarding the International Criminal Court
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U.S. Assistance to Women in Afghanistan and Iraq: Challenges and Issues for Congress
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