Zika Virus in the United States and Mexico

Zika Virus in the United States and Mexico. Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. Jennifer R. Herricks and Kirstin R. W. Matthews. March 4, 2016.

The Zika outbreak serves as a reminder that global health and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) can affect local health. The issue brief argues that continued investments in global health and the study of emerging pathogens could yield better tools to fight infectious diseases long before they become a problem in the developed world. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 6 pages, 1.05 MB].

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): In Brief

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): In Brief. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Ian F. Fergusson et al. February 9, 2016.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) among 12 Asia-Pacific countries, with both economic and strategic significance for the United States. If approved, it would be the largest FTA in which the United States participates. The 12 countries announced the conclusion of the TPP negotiations and released the text of the agreement in late 2015, after several years of ongoing talks. Trade ministers from the TPP countries signed the final agreement on February 4, 2016, but Congress would need to pass implementing legislation for the agreement to enter into force for the United States. Such legislation would be eligible to receive expedited legislative consideration under the recent grant of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), P.L. 114-26, if Congress determines the Administration has advanced the TPA negotiating objectives, and met various notification and consultation requirements. TPP negotiating parties include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam.

[PDF format, 16 pages, 721.59 KB].

Barriers Along the U.S. Borders: Key Authorities and Requirements

Barriers Along the U.S. Borders: Key Authorities and Requirements. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Michael John Garcia. April 8, 2015.

Securing the borders is an issue of perennial concern to Congress. Federal law authorizes the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to construct barriers along the U.S. borders to deter illegal crossings. DHS is also required to construct reinforced fencing along at least 700 miles of the land border with Mexico (a border that stretches 1,933 miles), though Congress has not provided a deadline for its completion. At this time, fence construction has largely been halted, though DHS still needs to deploy fencing along nearly 50 additional miles of the southwest border to satisfy the 700-mile requirement.

[PDF format, 45 pages, 527.05 KB].

Unaccompanied Child Migration to the United States: The Tension between Protection and Prevention

Unaccompanied Child Migration to the United States: The Tension between Protection and Prevention. Migration Policy Institute. Marc R. Rosenblum. April 2015.

Policymakers, the public, and the media were seemingly caught off-guard in spring 2014 when a surge of child migrants from Central America reached the U.S.-Mexico border in unprecedented numbers. Yet the uptick began in 2011. The report examines the causes of this surge and recommends policy solutions to advance both critical protection and enforcement goals in situations of complex, mixed flows. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[HTML format with a link to the full-text PDF file].

Is Geography Destiny? A Primer on North American Relations

Is Geography Destiny? A Primer on North American Relations. Wilson Center. February 2014.

At a time when nearly all of the key issues facing North America are being understood and addressed either independently by the United States, Canada and Mexico, or within the dual-bilateral framework of U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada relations, the report attempts to view these challenges and opportunities through a trilateral lens. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 73 pages, 3.13 MB].

Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods and the WTO Trade Dispute on Meat Labeling

Country-of-Origin Labeling for Foods and the WTO Trade Dispute on Meat Labeling. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Remy Jurenas and Joel L. Greene. April 22, 2013.

Most retail food stores are now required to inform consumers about the country of origin of fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, shellfish, peanuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, ginseng, and ground and muscle cuts of beef, pork, lamb, chicken, and goat. The rules are required by the 2002 farm bill (P.L. 107-171) as amended by the 2008 farm bill (P.L. 110-246).  Other U.S. laws have required such labeling, but only for imported food products already pre-packaged for consumers. The final rule to implement country-of-origin labeling (COOL) took effect on March 16, 2009. Less than one year after the COOL rules took effect, Canada and Mexico challenged them in the World Trade Organization (WTO), arguing that COOL has a trade-distorting impact by reducing the value and number of cattle and hogs shipped to the U.S. market, thus violating WTO trade commitments agreed to by the United States.
[PDF format, 46 pages, 575.88 KB].

The Impact of Taxes and Social Spending on Inequality and Poverty in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico, and Peru: A Synthesis of Results

The Impact of Taxes and Social Spending on Inequality and Poverty in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico, and Peru: A Synthesis of Results. Center for Global Development. Nora Lustig et al. November 26, 2012.

Latin America is known for high levels of inequality, which governments can lessen somewhat through smart policy. The authors analyze how and whether taxes, subsidies, and social spending reduce inequality across countries in the region and identify which policies are most beneficial. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 28 pages, 955 KB].