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World Trade Organization Negotiations: The Doha Development Agenda
This report discusses the World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations, begun in November 2001, which has entered its 11th year. It includes background on Doha and the significance of the negotiations, as well as a breakdown of issues on the Doha agenda and the role of the Congress.
Trafficking in Persons: The U.S. and International Response
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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.
Trafficking in Persons: The U.S. and International Response
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Trade Negotiations During the 109th Congress
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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.
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.
Latin America: Terrorism Issues
In the aftermath of the September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., U.S. attention to terrorism in Latin America intensified, with an increase in bilateral and regional cooperation. Latin American nations strongly condemned the attacks. This report outlines the U.S.-Latin American relationship in regards to terrorism, including several pieces of international counterterrorism legislation, including the Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism and the Organization of American States.
U.S.-China Military Contacts: Issues for Congress
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U.S.-Vietnam Relations: Background and Issues for Congress
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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
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 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, or TSRA). Other provisions place financing and licensing conditions on sales to these countries. Those that apply to Cuba, though, are permanent and more restrictive. TSRA also gives Congress the authority in the future to veto a President’s proposal to impose a sanction on the sale of agricultural or medical products.
Lebanon
No Description Available.
U.S.-China Counterterrorism Cooperation: Issues for U.S. Policy
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Nuclear Weapons: Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
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Nuclear Weapons: Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
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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.
Pakistan-U.S. Relations
This report discusses U.S.-Pakistan relationship marked by periods of both cooperation and discord, which was transformed by the September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States into the enlistment of Pakistan as a key ally in U.S.-led counterterrorism efforts. This report outlines key aspects of the U.S.-Pakistan relationship, as well as of Pakistan's economic conditions, political environment, handling of ongoing separatist violence, and nuclear nonproliferation.
Balkan Cooperation on War Crimes Issues
In early May 2006, assessments of insufficient Serbian cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) led the European Union (EU) to suspend association talks with Serbia. Later that month, the U.S. Secretary of State withheld certification of full Serbian cooperation with ICTY, leading to a partial suspension of U.S. bilateral assistance to Serbia. From late 2004 through early 2005, a combination of intensified international pressure and deadlines associated with Euro-Atlantic integration processes prompted a spate of transfers of indicted persons to the tribunal. Full cooperation with ICTY is a key prerequisite to further progress toward a shared long-term goal for the western Balkan countries: closer association with and eventual membership in the European Union and NATO.
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)?
The Law of the Sea Convention and U.S. Policy
This report provides background and analysis and discusses the most recent regarding the law of the sea convention.
United Nations Peacekeeping: Issues for Congress
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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.
Trade Negotiations During the 109th Congress
No Description Available.
Immigration Related Border Security Legislation in the 109th Congress
This report is organized to reflect the main border security issues relating to the movement of people into the country, as indicated by the legislation currently pending in the 109th Congress.
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.
Senate Proposals to Enhance Chemical Facility Security
No Description Available.
China and Falun Gong
“Falun Gong,” also known as “Falun Dafa,”1 combines an exercise regimen with meditation and moral tenets. The “Falun Gong” movement has led to the largest and most protracted public demonstrations in China since the democracy movement of 1989. On April 25, 1999, an estimated 10,000 to 30,000 adherents assembled in front of Zhongnanhai, the Chinese Communist Party leadership compound, and participated in a silent protest against state repression of their activities. On July 21, 1999, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) government, fearful of the spread of social unrest, outlawed the movement and began to arrest Falun Gong protesters.
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.
North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Program
No Description Available.
Border Security and Military Support: Legal Authorizations and Restrictions
The military generally provides support to law enforcement and immigration authorities along the southern border. Reported escalations in violence and illegal immigration, however, have prompted some lawmakers to reevaluate the extent and type of military support that occurs in the border region. President Bush has reportedly announced an interest in sending National Guard troops to support the Border Patrol. Addressing domestic laws and activities with the military, however, might run afoul of the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits use of the armed forces to perform the tasks of civilian law enforcement unless explicitly authorized. There are alternative legal authorities for deploying the National Guard, and the precise scope of permitted activities and funds may vary with the authority exercised.
The Middle East Peace Talks
This report discusses the Middle East peace talks, including the new peace process with the most recent developments,and the war against terrorism.
Immigration: S Visas for Criminal and Terrorist Informants
In response to the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001, Congress passed legislation making permanent a provision that allows aliens with critical information on criminal or terrorist organizations to come into the United States to provide information to law enforcement officials. The law (S. 1424, and then P.L. 107-45) amended the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide permanent authority for the administration of the "S" visa, which was scheduled to expire on September 13, 2001. On November 29, 2001, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft announced the "Responsible Cooperators Program" to reach out to persons who may be eligible for the S visa. Up to 200 criminal informants and 50 terrorist informants may be admitted annually. Since FY2005, more than 500 informants and their accompanying family members have entered on S visas. No terrorist informants have been admitted into the U.S. since 1996.
Border Security and Military Support: Legal Authorizations and Restrictions
The military generally provides support to law enforcement and immigration authorities along the southern border. Reported escalations in violence and illegal immigration, however, have prompted some lawmakers to reevaluate the extent and type of military support that occurs in the border region. President Bush has reportedly announced an interest in sending National Guard troops to support the Border Patrol. Addressing domestic laws and activities with the military, however, might run afoul of the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits use of the armed forces to perform the tasks of civilian law enforcement unless explicitly authorized. There are alternative legal authorities for deploying the National Guard, and the precise scope of permitted activities and funds may vary with the authority exercised. This report will be updated as warranted.
The Law of the Sea Convention and U.S. Policy
This report provides background and analysis and discusses the most recent regarding the law of the sea convention.
United Nations Peacekeeping: Issues for Congress
No Description Available.
Immigration Related Border Security Legislation in the 109th Congress
This report is organized to reflect the main border security issues relating to the movement of people into the country, as indicated by the legislation currently pending in the 109th Congress.
Social Unrest in China
No Description Available.
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.
U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background on the 9/11 Commission Recommendations
No Description Available.
U.S. Public Diplomacy: Background on the 9/11 Commission Recommendations
No Description Available.
Middle East Free Trade Area: Progress Report
The purpose of this report is to describe Middle East Free Trade Area (MEFTA) in terms of: (1) its impetus, (2) its major elements; (3) background trade data, (4) details; and (5) arguments for each.
Nuclear Weapons: Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
No Description Available.
The Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA)
No firms have been sanctioned under the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA), and it has terminated with respect to Libya. In August 2001, the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA, P.L. 104-172) was renewed for another five years (P.L. 107-24). No firms have been sanctioned under ILSA, and ILSA has terminated with respect to Libya. In the 109th Congress, H.R. 282 and S. 333 contain provisions that would modify ILSA. This report discusses various issues including the background and passages of the ILSA and its effectiveness.
U.S. Policy Regarding the International Criminal Court
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U.S. Policy Regarding the International Criminal Court
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Algeria: Current Issues
This report examines the current state of Algeria, including the country's associations with terrorism, despite steady decreases of domestic terrorism; the lessening in power of the Algerian military; and growing oil revenues.
Terrorism and National Security: Issues and Trends
No Description Available.
Arab League Boycott of Israel
This report briefly discusses the Arab League's boycott of Israeli companies and Israeli-made goods since Israel's founding in 1948, as well as U.S. efforts to end the boycott and prevent U.S. firms in participating in the boycott.
Nuclear Arms Control: The U.S.-Russian Agenda
No Description Available.