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1998 Country Reports
Economic Policy and Trade Practices

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Introduction | Text of Section 202 | Notes on Preparation of the Reports | Frequently Used Acronyms

1998 Country Reports

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The Department of State is submitting to the Congress its Country Reports on Economic Policy and Trade Practices in compliance with Section 2202 of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988. As the legislation requires, we have prepared detailed reports on the economic policy and trade practices of countries with which the United States has significant economic or trade relationships. This is the Department of State's 10th annual report. It now includes reports on 77 countries, customs territories and customs unions.

Each report contains nine sections.

The first (subsections a through e) outlines the country's laws and practices with respect to internationally recognized worker rights.

The second (subsection f) highlights conditions of worker rights in goods-producing sectors where U.S. capital is invested.

Finally, a table cites the extent of such investment by sector where information is available.

The country reports are based on information supplied by U.S. Embassies, which is analyzed and reviewed by the Department of State in consultation with other U.S. Government agencies. The reports are intended to serve as general guides to economic conditions in specific countries. We have worked to standardize the reports, but there are unavoidable differences reflecting large variations in data availability. In some cases, access to reliable data is limited, particularly in countries making transitions to market economies. Nonetheless, each report incorporates the best information currently available.

Alan P. Larson
Assistant Secretary of State
for Economic and Business Affairs

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"The Secretary of State shall, not later than January 31 of each year, prepare and transmit to the Committee on [International Relations] (*) and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, to the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Finance of the Senate, and to other appropriate committees of the Congress, a detailed report regarding the economic policy and trade practices of each country with which the United States has an economic or trade relationship. The Secretary may direct the appropriate officers of the Department of State who are serving overseas, in consultation with appropriate officers or employees of other departments and agencies of the United States, including the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce, to coordinate the preparation of such information in a country as is necessary to prepare the report under this section. The report shall identify and describe, with respect to each country:

1. The macroeconomic policies of the country and their impact on the overall growth in demand for United States exports;

2. The impact of macroeconomic and other policies on the exchange rate of the country and the resulting impact on price competitiveness of United States exports;

3. Any change in structural policies [including tax incentives, regulation governing financial institutions, production standards, and patterns of industrial ownership] that may affect the country's growth rate and its demand for United States exports;

4. The management of the country's external debt and its implications for trade with the United States;

5. Acts, policies, and practices that constitute significant trade barriers to United States exports or foreign direct investment in that country by United States persons, as identified under section 181(a)(1) of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2241(a)(1));

6. Acts, policies, and practices that provide direct or indirect government support for exports from that country, including exports by small businesses;

7. The extent to which the country's laws and enforcement of those laws afford adequate protection to United States intellectual property, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, and mask works; and

8. The country's laws, enforcement of those laws, and practices with respect to internationally recognized worker rights (as defined in section 502(a)(4) of the Trade Act of 1974), the conditions of worker rights in any sector which produces goods in which United States capital is invested, and the extent of such investment."

(*)  In 1995, the Committee on Foreign Affairs changed its name to the Committee on International Relations.

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Subsections "a" through "e" of the Worker Rights section (section 8) are abridged versions of section 6 in the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1999, submitted to the Committees on International Relations of the House of Representatives and on Foreign Relations of the U.S. Senate in January 1999. For a comprehensive and authoritative discussion of worker rights in each country, please refer to that report.

Subsection "f" highlights conditions of worker rights in goods-producing sectors where U.S. capital is invested. A table cites the extent of such investment by sector where information is available. The Bureau of Economic Analysis of the U.S. Department of Commerce has supplied information on the U.S. direct investment position at the end of 1997 for all countries for which foreign direct investment has been reported to it. Readers should note that "U.S. Direct Position Abroad" is defined as "the net book value of U.S. parent companies' equity in, and net outstanding loans to, their foreign affiliates" (foreign business enterprises owned 10 percent or more by U.S. persons or companies). Where a figure is negative, the U.S. parent owes money to the affiliate. The table does not necessarily indicate total assets held in each country. In some instances, the narrative refers to investments for which figures may not appear in the table.

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ADBAsian Development Bank
BISBank for International Settlements
CACMCentral American Common Market
CARICOMCaribbean Common Market
CAP Common Agricultural Policy (of the EU)
CCCCommodity Credit Corporation (Department of Agriculture)
EBRD European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
EFTAEuropean Free Trade Association
EMSEuropean Monetary System (of the EU)
ERMExchange Rate Mechanism (of the EU)
ESAFEnhanced Structural Adjustment Facility
EUEuropean Union
EXIMBANK U.S. Export- Import
FOREXforeign exchange
FYfiscal year
GATSGeneral Agreement on Trade in Services
GATTGeneral Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
GDPgross domestic product
GNPgross national product
GSPGeneralized System of Preferences
IBRDInternational Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank)
IFIsinternational financial institutions (IMF, World Bank and regional development banks)
ILOInternational Labor Organization (of the United Nations)
IMFInternational Monetary Fund
IDB Inter-American Development Bank
IPRintellectual property rights
LIBORLondon Interbank Offer Rate
MFN most favored nation
NAFTANorth American Free Trade Agreement
NGOs non-government organizations
NISNewly Independent States (of the former Soviet Union)
OECDOrganization for Economic Cooperation and Development
OPICU.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation
PTTPost, Telegraph and Telephone
SAPStructural Adjustment Program (of the IMF/World Bank)
SDR pecial Drawing Rights (of the IMF)
STF Structural Transformation Facility
TRIPs WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
UR Uruguay Round of trade negotiations in the GATT
USDU.S. Dollar
VAT value-added tax
WIPOWorld Intellectual Property Organization
WTOWorld Trade Organization

Geographic Directory:

East Asia and the Pacific
Western Hemisphere
Near East
South Asia

[end of document]

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Country Reports Index | Economic and Trade Policy
Department of State

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