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TPP Countries Near Agreement without U.S. Participation
This report discuses the negotiations between the signatory countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) after the U.S. withdrawal in January 2017 and possible effects of the implementation of an agreement without the U.S. on the U.S. economy and their image in Asia.
The Rohingya Crises in Bangladesh and Burma
This report discusses the Rohingya refugee crisis in Burma and Bangladesh and proposed legislation in Congress regarding restrictions on Burmese military officials, trade, and humanitarian assistance. A brief background on the Rohingya people group, repressive policies by the Burmese government, current conditions in Burma and Bangladesh, risks of radicalization, human rights violations, and attempts by the U.N. and others to resolve the conflict are included in the report.
Zimbabwe: A Military-Compelled Transition?
This report discusses the military intervention in Zimbabwe which occurred on November 14 and 15th, 2017, and provides a discussion of the main events leading up to the action and possible outcomes.
A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense-Issues for Congress
This report discusses the changing international security environment and how the new realities should effect U.S. defense spending and strategy.
Ukraine: Background and U.S. Policy
This report describes Ukraine's political and governmental structure, economy, relations with the U.S., EU, NATO, and Russia, and the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine with pro-Russian separatists.
Qatar and Its Neighbors: Disputes and Possible Implications
This report discusses the dispute between Qatar and several of its Gulf State and Arab neighbors led by Saudia Arabia which has resulted in the isolation of Qatar by Saudia Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt. The Saudi-led coalition has accused Qatar of supporting terrorism because of their support for the Muslim Brotherhood. Potential implications of the dispute for the United States are then discussed.
Zimbabwe's Political Transition: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the resignation of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe after a military intervention and the installation of one of his former vice-presidents, Emmanuel Mnangagwa as interim President. Various possible outcomes of the change and possible actions by Congress to advance U.S. interests in the region are discussed.
China-India Border Tensions at Doka-La
This report discusses border disputes between China and India in the Himalayas and the recent dispute at Doka La over China extending a road into disputed territory between Bhutan and China.
Iran Sanctions
This report discusses U.S. sanctions against Iran and the 2016 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement which led to the lifting of sanctions based on nuclear proliferation in Iran. The bulk of the report outlines the various sanctions against Iran and their current implementation status, international efforts to bring about compliance, and their effects. Recent discussions regarding President's Trump announcement that the U.S. was decertifying the nuclear agreement and the possibility of reinstating certain sanctions are also discussed.
The State Department's "Trafficking in Persons" Report: Scope, Aid Restrictions, and Methodology
This report describes the legislative provisions that govern the U.S. Department of State's production of the annual TIP Report, reviews country ranking trends in the TIP Report, and identifies recent congressional oversight of and legislative activity to modify the TIP Report. Answers to selected frequently asked questions (FAQs) are included throughout the report.
NAFTA Renegotiation and Modernization
This report provides a brief overview of The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the role of Congress in the renegotiation process. It discusses key issues that are likely to be discussed during the current negotiations, and it provides a discussion of policy implications for Congress going forward.
Iran Sanctions
This report analyzes U.S. and international sanctions against Iran and provides some examples, based on open sources, of companies and countries that conduct business with Iran. CRS has no way to independently corroborate any of the reporting on which these examples are based and no mandate to assess whether any firm or other entity is complying with U.S. or international sanctions against Iran. The sections are grouped by function, in the chronological order in which the themes have emerged
Maritime Territorial and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Disputes Involving China: Issues for Congress
This report provides background information and issues for Congress on maritime territorial and exclusive economic zone (EEZ) disputes in the East China (ECS) and South China Sea (SCS) involving China, with a focus on how these disputes may affect U.S. strategic and policy interests.
A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense-Issues for Congress
This report discuses a shift to a new international security environment and implications of that new environment on defense-related issues. It does not discuss potential implications of a shift in the international security environment for other policy areas, such as foreign policy and diplomacy, trade and finance, energy, and foreign assistance.
A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense--Issues for Congress
This report discusses the shift in the international security environment from a post Cold-War era to a new one with new priorities, strategies, and needs and implications for U.S. defense policy. Topics discussed include past security environments and indicators of a new one and various areas of defense policy affected.
Memorandum on States Obligations Under Additional Protocols to IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements
This report discusses requirements for states with Additional Protocol Agreements under a Comprehensive Safeguard Agreement (CSA) administered by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as a part of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. It provides background and information about additional protocol including information required under the Additional Protocol (AP) and locations and access.
The United Nations Human Rights Council: Issues for Congress
This report provides background on the U.N. Human Rights Council, including the role of the previous U.N. Commission on Human Rights. It discusses the Council's current mandate and structure, as well as Administration policy and congressional actions. Finally, it highlights policy aspects of possible interest to the 115th Congress, including U.S. options for funding the Council, possible drawbacks and benefits of U.S membership, and the Council's focus on Israel.
Iran Nuclear Agreement
This report discusses the Iran nuclear agreement that was made on July 14, 2015 and the lifting of sanctions related to their nuclear weapons programs which occurred on January 16, 2016. Iran's obligations under the agreement and Congressional discussion of adjustments to the agreement or withdrawal are outlined.
U.S. Role in the World: Background and Issues for Congress
This report presents background information and issues for Congress on the overarching U.S. foreign policy issue of the U.S. role in the world. Certain statements and actions from the Trump Administration have led to uncertainty about the Administration's intentions regarding the future U.S. role, and have intensified an ongoing debate among foreign policy specialists, strategists, policymakers, and the public about what that role should be.
Cuba: U.S. Policy in the 115th Congress
This report discusses the relations between U.S. and Cuba after President Raúl Castro succeeded his long-ruling brother Fidel Castro in 2006.
China's February 2017 Suspension of North Korean Coal Imports
This report discusses China's suspension of coal trade with North Korea for the remainder of 2017 which keeps China in compliance with an UN agreement to limit coal buying from North Korea that was implemented in November 2016 in response to continued nuclear tests by North Korea. Coal's value as an export to North Korea, China's trade with North Korea, quantities of coal and its value that was imported into China in 2016 and 2017, and possible reasons and implications for China's decision are discussed.
Kurds in Iraq Propose Controversial Referendum on Independence
This report discusses the proposed Kurdish independence referendum set for September 25, 2017 and the opposition of the Iraqi and U.S. government to holding it at that time.
Iran Policy and the European Union
This report discusses the European Union's reaction to President Trump's announcement of a new strategy for Iran and that the U.S. would not re-certify Iran under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA) which is separate from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) made in 2015. The European Union has expressed dismay with the announcement and urged support for the continued implementation of the JCPOA.
The Open Skies Treaty: Issues in the Current Debate
This report discuses the Open Skies Treaty that was signed in 1992 and began operation in 2002 between 34 countries in Europe and North America including the U.S. It allows member countries to fly unarmed observation flights with cameras and video capabilities within certain parameters in other member countries territory without air-space restrictions over military installations and activities to increase transparency and help prevent accidental war. Recent noncompliance by Russia in certain areas is also discussed.
Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response
This report discusses the ongoing conflict in Syria and previous actions taken by the United States to intervene in the conflict, mediate peace, and assist refugees as well current considerations related to Syria in Congress.
Iran's Nuclear Program: Tehran's Compliance with International Obligations
This report provides a brief overview of Iran's nuclear program and describes the legal basis for the actions taken by the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) board and the Security Council. It will be updated as events warrant.
Qatar: Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report provides an overview of Qatar's governmental structure and leaders, economy, human rights concerns, relations with other Middle Eastern countries, defense cooperation with the U.S., and the recent severing of relations with Qatar by Saudi Arabia and several of its allies such as Bahrain, the UAE, and Egypt over its ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and alleged state sponsorship of terrorism. The crisis and attempt at mediation by the U.S. and Kuwait are discussed.
Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report discusses Afghanistan's historical governments and the activities of the U.S. and other countries during various phases of war against terrorist groups and current U.S. policies in regard to Afghanistan. Topics such as troop numbers, military and governmental strategies, Afghan Army training, developmental aid, the economy, and human rights issues are discussed.
Quatar: Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy
This report outlines Qatar's governmental structure and leaders, economy, human rights issues, their relations with other countries in the region, and U.S. defense partnerships with Qatar.
U.S. Role in the World: Background and Issues for Congress
This report presents background information and issues for Congress on the overarching U.S. foreign policy issue of the U.S. role in the world. Certain statements and actions from the Trump Administration have led to uncertainty about the Administration's intentions regarding the future U.S. role, and have intensified an ongoing debate among foreign policy specialists, strategists, policymakers, and the public about what that role should be. This report includes (particularly in its appendixes) references to other CRS products that provide more in-depth discussions of specific policy and program areas bearing on the U.S. role.
Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS): OECD Tax Proposals
This report first reviews the basics of international tax rules. It then discusses the various action items organized into Action Item 1, which relates to the digital economy and proposes standards only with respect to VATS; Action Items 2-5, 7, and 8-10, items related primarily to profit shifting; Action Item 5, which relates to harmful tax practices; Action Item 6, regarding tax treaties; and Action Items 11-15, which are primarily administrative in nature.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for U.S. Policy
This report discusses the current political and economic landscape of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and its relationship with the U.S. The UAE has been a significant U.S. partner in Gulf security for more than two decades, and the alliance has deepened further in recent years in order to address multiple regional threats.
Foreign Affairs Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) Funding: Background and Current Status
This report provides background information and discusses the foreign affairs Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding.
Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response
This report discusses the ongoing conflict in Syria and provides an overview of U.S. policy responses. The rise of the insurgent terrorist group known as the Islamic State (IS, aka the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or ISIL/ISIS) and Russia's military intervention on behalf of the Syrian government have reshaped debates over U.S. policy toward the ongoing civil conflict in Syria, now in its fifth year.
Stafford Act Assistance and Acts of Terrorism
This report provides an overview of emergency and major disaster declarations and explains how they might be used in the aftermath of a terrorist incident that does not involve a fire or an explosion, such as high casualty mass shootings or chemical gas attacks. This report also provides an overview of Stafford Act assistance provided for past terrorist incidents.
Options to Cease Implementing the Iran Nuclear Agreement
This report analyzes some of the options the Administration might use to end or alter U.S. implementation of the JCPOA, if there is a decision to do so. These options, which might involve use of procedures in the JCPOA itself or the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (P.L. 114-17), are not necessarily mutually exclusive.
Iran: Politics, Human Rights, and U.S. Policy
This report outlines Iran's political structure and current leaders, human rights issues, and past and current U.S. relations with Iran.
Paraguay: In Brief
This report outlines Paraguay's governmental structure and leaders, economy, and relations between the United States and Paraguay.
Human Rights in China and U.S. Policy: Issues for the 115th Congress
This report discusses U.S. policy toward China in regards to the many human rights abuses found there. A selection of the top areas human rights violations in China are discussed such as internet control. religious freedom, the criminal justice system, family planning policies, and the persecution of ethnic minorities. This is followed by a discussion of U.S. efforts and policies aimed at ending or decreasing human rights abuses in China.
U.S. Role in the World: Background and Issues for Congress
This report presents background information and issues for Congress on the overarching U.S. foreign policy issue of the U.S. role in the world. Certain statements and actions from the Trump Administration have led to uncertainty about the Administration's intentions regarding the future U.S. role, and have intensified an ongoing debate among foreign policy specialists, strategists, policymakers, and the public about what that role should be.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for U.S. Policy
This report outlines the United Arab Emirates (UAE) governmental structure, economy, military, foreign policy, human rights issues and U.S. policies and relations with the UAE. Major areas of U.S. policy concerns discussed are the UAE's participation in the war in Yemen supporting Saudia Arabia and the current standoff with Quatar over alleged sponsorship of terrorism by Quatar in relation to the significant amount of U.S. military personnel based in the UAE.
Mexican-U.S. Relations: Increased Tensions
This report describes the increased tensions in Mexican-U.S. relations after Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto canceled an upcoming meeting with President Donald J. Trump following exchanges between the two leaders over social media concerning U.S. policies toward Mexico.
Barriers Along the U.S. Borders: Key Authorities and Requirements
This report discusses key statutory authorities and requirements governing the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) construction of barriers along the U.S. borders. It also includes appendixes listing federal laws that have been waived by DHS in furtherance of border construction projects.
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
This report provides an overview of North American trade liberalization before NAFTA, an overview of NAFTA provisions, the economic effects of NAFTA, and policy considerations.
Russian Compliance with the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty: Background and Issues for Congress
This report describes the current status of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and highlights issues that Congress may address as the United States pursues its compliance concerns with Russia. It includes a historical overview and summary of the provisions of the INF Treaty and Russia's concerns with U.S. compliance with the treaty and concludes with a discussion of options that the United States might pursue to address its concerns with Russia's activities and options that it might pursue if Russia deploys new INF-range missiles.
A Shift in the International Security Environment: Potential Implications for Defense--Issues for Congress
This report briefly describes the shift in the international security environment that some observers believe has occurred, and identifies some defense-related issues for Congress that could arise from it. Congress's decisions on these issues could have significant implications for U.S. defense capabilities and funding requirements.
United Kingdom's Prime Minister Visits President Trump
This report describes the visit of the United Kingdom's Prime Minister, Theresa May, at the White House. She was the first foreign leader to meet with President Donald Trump.
Venezuela: Background and U.S. Policy
This report examines the political and economic situation in Venezuela and U.S.-Venezuelan relations. It is divided into three main sections -- political background, current political and economic environment, U.S. relations and policy -- and also includes introductory and outlook information.
Overview of U.S. Sanctions Regimes on Russia
This report discusses sanctions imposed by the Obama administration on Russia for malicious cyber activity.
Cuba: Issues and Actions in the 114th Congress
This report discusses Cuba's political succession in 2006 from the long-ruling Fidel Castro to his brother Raúl, human rights, and a number of market-oriented economic policy changes.