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China-U.S. Trade Issues

Description: U.S.-China economic ties have expanded substantially over the past several years. China is now the third largest U.S. trading partner, its second largest source of imports, and its fourth largest export market. However, U.S.-China commercial ties have been strained by a number of issues, including a surging U.S. trade deficit with China, China's refusal to float its currency, and failure to fully comply with its World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments, especially its failure to provide protection for U.S. intellectual property rights (IPR). This report explores these issues in detail, especially concerning the lack of protection for U.S. IPR.
Date: July 1, 2007
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Nuclear Weapons: Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

Description: 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.
Date: June 21, 2006
Creator: Medalia, Jonathan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Africa: U.S. Foreign Assistance Issues

Description: Under the Administration's FY2006 foreign assistance request, U.S. aid to sub-Saharan Africa would continue to grow, due to sharp increases through the State Department's Global HIV/AIDS Initiative. Overall, non-food aid to Africa would total about $3.6 billion under the requst, compared with an estimated $3.4 billion being allocated in FY2005. U.S. assistance finds its way to Africa through a variety of channels, including the USAID-administered DA and Child Survival programs, food aid programs, and refugee assistance. The overall level of funding for aid to Africa remains a continuing subject of debate. Other issues include the eligibility of African countries for aid through the Millennium Challenge Account and U.S. support for the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), an African initiative linking increased aid with policy reform.
Date: June 19, 2006
Creator: Dagne, Ted
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Africa: U.S. Foreign Assistance Issues

Description: This report discusses the issue of U.S. economic assistance to sub-Saharan Africa, highlighting the importance of continued assistance in light of U.S. national security and also various U.S.-led efforts to promote reform amongst African citizens themselves. U.S. assistance finds its way to Africa through a variety of channels, including the USAID-administered DA program, food aid programs, and indirect aid provided through international financial institutions and the United Nations.
Date: June 19, 2006
Creator: Dagne, Ted
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Law of the Sea Convention and U.S. Policy

Description: 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)?
Date: June 16, 2006
Creator: Browne, Marjorie Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

United Nations System Funding: Congressional Issues

Description: 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.
Date: June 16, 2006
Creator: Browne, Marjorie Ann & Bite, Vita
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Broadband Internet Regulation and Access: Background and Issues

Description: This report discusses broadband Internet, examining what it is and the various technologies that allow for its transmission. Broadband or high-speed Internet access is provided by technologies that give users the ability to send and receive data at volumes and speeds far greater than access over traditional telephone lines; it also provides a continuous, "always on" connection (no need to dial-up) and a "twoway" capability, that is, the ability to both receive (download) and transmit (upload) data at high speeds.
Date: June 14, 2006
Creator: Gilroy, Angele A. & Kruger, Lennard G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Space Programs: Civilian, Military, and Commercial

Description: The future of the U.S. human space flight program is dominating debate about NASA. Pursuant to the "Vision for Space Exploration" announced by President Bush in January 2004, the shuttle program is to be terminated in 2010. The Vision directs NASA to focus its activities on returning humans to the Moon by 2020 and eventually sending them to Mars. How to manage Department of Defense (DOD) space programs to avoid the cost growth and schedule delays that have characterized several recent projects is a key issue facing DOD. The appropriate role of the government in facilitating commercial space businesses is an ongoing debate.
Date: June 13, 2006
Creator: Figliola, Patricia Moloney; Behrens, Carl E. & Morgan, Daniel
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Syria: U.S. Relations and Bilateral Issues

Description: The country of Syria is a prominent player in the Middle East scene, due to a number of border disputes with the region, as well as problems of resource allocation, and political rivalries have caused frequent tensions between Syria and its neighbors. An array of bilateral issues continue to affect relations between the United States and Syria: the course of Arab-Israeli talks; questions of arms proliferation; Syrian connections with terrorist activity; Syria's role in Lebanon; and Syria's opposition to the U.S. occupation in Iraq. This report explores these issues, as well as the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri--who had been a vocal Syrian critic--and the Syria Accountability Act, which President Bush signed on December 12, 2003, and which imposes sanctions upon Syria unless it halts support for terrorism.
Date: June 6, 2006
Creator: Prados, Alfred B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cooperative R&D: Federal Efforts to Promote Industrial Competitiveness

Description: In response to the foreign challenge in the global marketplace, the United States Congress has explored ways to stimulate technological advancement in the private sector. The government has supported various efforts to promote cooperative research and development activities among industry, universities, and the federal R&D establishment designed to increase the competitiveness of American industry and to encourage the generation of new products, processes, and services.
Date: May 30, 2006
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cooperative R&D: Federal Efforts to Promote Industrial Competitiveness

Description: In response to the foreign challenge in the global marketplace, the United States Congress has explored ways to stimulate technological advancement in the private sector. The government has supported various efforts to promote cooperative research and development activities among industry, universities, and the federal R&D establishment. Among the issues before Congress are whether joint ventures contribute to industrial competitiveness and what role, if any, the government has in facilitating such agreements. Collaborative ventures are intended to accommodate the strengths and responsibilities of all sectors involved innovation and technology development. Given the increased popularity of cooperative programs, questions might be raised as to whether they are meeting expectations. These include questions about the emphasis on collaborative ventures in research rather than in technology development; cooperative manufacturing; defense vs. civilian support; and access by foreign companies.
Date: May 30, 2006
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Industrial Competitiveness and Technological Advancement: Debate Over Government Policy

Description: There is ongoing interest in the pace of U.S. technological advancement due to its influence on U.S. economic growth, productivity, and international competitiveness. Because technology can contribute to economic growth and productivity increases, congressional interest has focused on how to augment private-sector technological development. Congressional action has mandated specific technology development programs and obligations in federal agencies that did not initially support such efforts. Some legislative activity, beginning in the 104th Congress, has been directed at eliminating or significantly curtailing many of these federal efforts. Questions have been raised concerning the proper role of the federal government in technology development and the competitiveness of U.S. industry. As the 109th congress continues to develop its budget priorities, how the government encourages technological process in the private sector again may be explored and/or redefined.
Date: May 30, 2006
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Technology Transfer: Use of Federally Funded Research and Development

Description: The government spends approximately one third of the $83 billion federal R&D budget for intramural research and development to meet mission requirements in over 700 government laboratories. Congress has established a system to facilitate the transfer of technology to the private sector and to state and local governments. Despite this, use of federal R&D results has remained restrained, although there has been a significant increase in private sector interest and activities over the past several years. At issue is whether incentives for technology transfer remain necessary, if additional legislative initiatives are needed to encourage increased technology transfer, or if the responsibility to use the available resources now rests with the private sector.
Date: May 30, 2006
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

India-U.S. Relations

Description: The end of the Cold War freed India-U.S. relations from the constraints of global bipolarity, but interactions continued for a decade to be affected by the burden of history, most notably the longstanding India-Pakistan rivalry and nuclear weapons proliferation in the region. Recent years, however, have witnessed a sea change in bilateral relations, with more positive interactions becoming the norm. India's swift offer of full support for U.S.-led counterterrorism operations after September 2001 was widely viewed as reflective of such change. The United States seeks to curtail the proliferation of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles in South Asia. Continuing U.S. interest in South Asia focuses on ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan. U.S. concerns about human rights issues related to regional dissidence and separatism in several Indian states continue. Many U.S. business interests view India as a lucrative market and candidate for foreign investment.
Date: May 26, 2006
Creator: Kronstadt, K. Alan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department