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Obama Trade Promotion Authority Put On Hold For Next President? — A Dirty Deal For American People In 38 Business Sectors Under The Trade In Services Agreement (TISA) — The Coming Legal Immigration Invasion of United States of America! — Videos

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Story 1: Obama Trade Promotion Authority Put On Hold For Next President? — A Dirty Deal For American People In 38 Business Sectors Under The Trade In Services Agreement (TISA) — The Coming Legal Immigration Invasion of United States of America! —  Videos

Unholy-Trinity-TISA-TPP-TTIPUS_visaUSA_Visa

SR 379 Fast Track Dead – Until July 31

Milton Friedman – Free Trade Vs Protectionism

Free Trade and the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Trade Deal Deadline for TAA Do Over Extended to July 30

Rand Paul wants TPP fast tracked without READING IT.. Corporate shill disguised as FREEDOM LOVER

Ron Paul Opposes Treasonous TPP Trade Deal

Why Is Obama Pushing The TPP?

WikiLeaks exposes new batch of secret US, EU trade negotiations

Mark Levin: Fast Track trade bill massively expands Obama’s executive authority over immigration!

The Glenn Beck Program Beck Blitz: The Trade Agreement w/ Rep. Dave Brat 06 11 15

The history and geopolitics of trade in services

EU Parliament to vote on EU-US trade agreement on June 10

Truthout Interviews with Mike Ludwig Mike Ludwig on TISA and Julian Assange

What’s in the TISA and why it’s a secret?

Trade in Services Agreement Moves Forward, But How Will It Affect Consumers? Pt.1

Who is Behind TISA? Pt. 2

A Plan Only Banksters Will Love: WikiLeaks Reveals Trade Deal Pushing Global Financial Deregulation

TAA To Be Forced Down America’s Throat

What is TTIP?

Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership Negotiations

What is the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership?

TTIP Explained: Understanding the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

Why is TTIP more than a trade agreement?

TTIP – good or bad? Hot debate between Philippe Lamberts and Peter Chase

TTIP Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership – secret EU/US legal merger

It’s Illegal to Disclose the Details of “Obamatrade”

Congressman Grayson on The TPP and Its Evil Cousin TISA

What the TiSA Leaked Documents Reveal About Negotiations

Rep. Alan Grayson: ‘88 seconds to Debate the TPP’?

Trade Treachery by Alan Grayson

John Birch Society Predicted 10 Steps To America’s Destruction 55 Years Ago

U.S. House votes to buy more time to revive Obama’s trade plans

McClatchy Washington BureauJune 16, 2015

The U.S. House voted Tuesday to give itself more time to try to salvage President Barack Obama’s faltering trade agenda.

House members will now have until July 30 to reconsider a vote on trade-adjustment assistance that failed last Friday. House leaders originally planned to bring up the issue early this week.

The House voted 236 to 189 for the extension, including it in a rule for debate on the 2016 intelligence authorization bill.

The measure is linked to Obama’s bid to win trade-promotion authority to help him pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a proposed 12-nation trade pact that would rank as the largest in history.

While trade backers said the postponement would give them more time to regroup, opponents said it was unfair to delay a vote for so long and to make it part of an intelligence bill.

“This is one more attempt to play games with the future of hard-working families,” said Connecticut Democratic Rep. Rosa DeLauro, one of the leading opponents of Obama’s trade plans.

Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas said the delay would allow House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio to bring up the issue for a vote at any time in the next six weeks, with no notice. He said Republicans are looking for “the ideal time to muscle through a broken trade policy.”

Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx of North Carolina said that 95 percent of the world’s customers now live overseas and that 1.2 million jobs in her state rely on trade. She said that passing trade-promotion authority, or TPA, is in the best economic interests of her state.

“The allegations that TPA is something for President Obama is false,” she said.

In a big loss for Obama, the House voted overwhelming last week to reject trade-adjustment assistance for American workers who lose their jobs as a result of global trade.

A majority of House Democrats fell in line behind House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, who said that voting against trade-adjustment assistance was the only way to defeat trade-promotion authority.

The Senate passed trade-promotion authority, also known as fast-track authority, last month.

Under fast-track rules, Congress could not amend or filibuster a trade pact once it’s negotiated and submitted for approval.

Critics say that would give too much authority to Obama, while backers of trade-promotion authority say it would be the best way to gain concessions from foreign governments at the negotiating table.

Boehner told reporters Tuesday that he has talked with Obama several times, “trying to find a way to move ahead.”

“No decisions have been made, but when we have one, we’ll let you know,” he said.

TiSA: A Secret Trade Agreement That Will Usurp America’s Authority to Make Immigration Policy

Proponents of Trade Promotion Authority (aka fast-track trade negotiating authority), which the House of Representatives will likely vote on soon, have made an unequivocal promise that future trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will explicitly exclude any provisions that would require a change to U.S. immigration law, regulations, policy, or practices. Many members of Congress in both parties have expressed concern that trade agreements might limit America’s ability to set immigration policy. Republican congressmen Paul Ryan and Robert Goodlatte have responded by explicitly assuring members of their party that there will be no immigration provisions in any trade bill.

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman has stated in an interrogatory with Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and via letter that nothing is being negotiated in the TPP that “would require any modification to U.S. immigration law or policy or any changes to the U.S. visa system.”

Furthermore, just a few weeks ago, the Senate Finance Committee released a statement titled “TPA Drives High-Quality Trade Agreements, Not Immigration Law: The Administration Has No Authority Under TPA or Any Pending Trade Agreement to Unilaterally Change U.S. Immigration Laws,” and the committee’s May 12 report on the Fast Track bill that was eventually passed by the full Senate contained this relevant language:

For many years, Congress has made it abundantly clear that international trade agreements should not change, nor require any change, to U.S. immigration law and practice…

The Committee continues to believe that it is not appropriate to negotiate in a trade agreement any provision that would (1) require changes to U.S. immigration law, regulations, policy, or practice; (2) accord immigration-related benefits to parties to trade agreements; (3) commit the United States to keep unchanged, with respect to nationals of parties to trade agreements, one or more existing provisions of U.S. immigration law, policy, or practice; or (4) expand to additional countries immigration-related commitments already made by the United States in earlier trade agreements.

Congress’ intent could not be any clearer, but there’s strong evidence to doubt that these assurances will be upheld. If you read these statements closely, you’ll see that most of them concern only the TPP and its lack of impact on immigration policy. But the Trade in Services Agreement, or “TiSA”—another trade deal being negotiated in secret by the Obama administration—is another story; there is little doubt that it will constrain the future ability of the United States Congress to regulate U.S. immigration policy. In fact, deregulating the U.S. work visa system, and therefore opening it up to foreign corporations that provide services (as opposed to goods) is the explicit purpose of an entire annex (section) in TiSA, entitled “Movement of Natural Persons.” The text was heretofore secret until Wikileaks published it on its website last week.

It should be noted that much of the text is a proposed draft for negotiation, and within the text, numerous parts of specific provisions are bracketed to denote which countries support or oppose particular sections or language within sections. But the thrust of the text in the annex is clear. For example, Article 4 is about the schedules (i.e., lists) of commitments that countries will have to put together regarding the “Entry and Temporary Stay of Natural Persons,” and a proposed version of Article 4, Section 2 would prohibit member states from “maintain[ing] or adopt[ing] Economic Needs Tests, including labor market tests, as a requirement for a visa or work permit” in the sectors where commitments are made. (In other words, U.S. laws or regulations limiting guestworkers only to jobs where no U.S. workers were available would violate the terms of the treaty.)

Proposed draft Article 5, Section 1 then requires that “Each Party shall take market access and national treatment commitments for intra-corporate transferees, business visitors and categories delinked from commercial presence: contractual service suppliers and independent professionals.” Section 3 gets more specific about the sectors of the economy where member states will have to allow access to intra-corporate transferees, business visitors, contractual service suppliers, and independent professionals:

3. Subject to any terms, limitations, conditions and qualifications that the Party sets out in its Schedule, Parties shall allow entry and temporary stay of [contractual service suppliers and independent professionals3] for a minimum of [X%] of the following sectors/sub-sectors:

Professional services:

  1. Accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services (CPC 862)
  2. Architectural services (CPC 8671)
  3. Engineering services (CPC 8672)
  4. Integrated engineering services (CPC 8673)
  5. Urban planning and landscape architectural services (CPC 8674)
  6. Medical & dental services (CPC 9312)
  7. Veterinary services (CPC 932)
  8. Services provided by midwives, nurses, physiotherapists and paramedical personnel (CPC 93191)

Computer and related services:

  1. Consultancy services related to the installation of computer hardware (CPC 841)
  2. Software implementation services (CPC 842)
  3. Data processing services (CPC 843)
  4. Data base services (CPC 844)
  5. Other (CPC 845+849)

Research and Development services:

  1. R&D services on natural sciences (CPC 851)
  2. R&D services on social sciences and humanities (CPC 852)
  3. Interdisciplinary R&D services (CPC 853)

Other business services

  1. Advertising services (CPC 871)
  2. Market research and public opinion polling services (CPC 864)
  3. Management consulting services (CPC 865)
  4. Services related to management consulting (CPC 866)
  5. Technical testing & analysis services (CPC 8676)
  6. [CH propose: Services incidental to manufacturing]
  7. Related scientific and technical consulting services (CPC 8675)
  8. Maintenance and repair of equipment (not including maritime vessels, aircraft or other transport equipment) (CPC 633 + 8861-8866)
  9. Specialty design services (CPC 87907)

Construction and related engineering services:

  1. General construction work for buildings (CPC 512)
  2. General construction work for civil engineering (CPC 513)
  3. Installation and assembly work (CPC514+516)
  4. Building completion and finishing work (CPC 517)
  5. Other (CPC 511+515+518)

Environmental services:

  1. Sewage services (CPC 9401)
  2. Refuse disposal services (CPC 9402)
  3. Sanitation and similar services (CPC 9403)
  4. Other

[CH propose: Financial Services]

[CH propose: Financial advisors]

Tourism and travel related services:

  1. Hotels and Restaurants (CPC Ex. 641)
  2. Travel Agencies and Tour Operators services (CPC 7471)
  3. Tourist Guides services (CPC 7472)

[CH propose: Transport services

[CH propose: Other services auxiliary to all modes of transport CPC]

Recreational, cultural and sporting services:

38. Sporting and other recreational services (CPC 964)

In the United States, this means the L-1 intra-company transferee, B-1 business visitor visa programs, and any other applicable visa programs could be used to permit temporary employees from abroad to work in the United States, and no economic needs tests (i.e., testing the labor market) could ever be imposed by Congress. To translate, that means that foreign firms would not be required to advertise jobs to U.S. workers, or to hire U.S. workers if they were equally or better qualified for job openings in their own country. (It should be noted that the L-1 is already restricted in this way, as a result of the United States’ commitments under the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATS).) These visa programs are already under-regulated and abused by employers, but since neither the L-1 nor the B-1 visa program is numerically limited by law, this means that potentially hundreds of thousands of workers could enter the United States every year to work in these 38 sectors.

This is worrying and problematic, not because there shouldn’t be any foreign competition from service-providing companies in the United States, but because the competitive advantage foreign companies will get from TiSA is the ability to provide cheaper services by importing much cheaper labor to supplant American workers. They’ll do this by paying their workers the much lower salaries they would earn in their home countries (as they often already do in the L-1 and B-1 visa programs), and the United States might even be prohibited in future from imposing minimum or prevailing wage standards (at present, neither the L-1 or B-1 visa program has a minimum or prevailing wage rule).

There is clear precedent for this. The multilateral GATS agreement, to which the United States is a party, includes limits on the U.S. government’s ability to change the rules on H-1B and L-1 guestworker visas. That’s why when Congress wants to raise visa fees, as they did in 2010, the Indian government cries foul and threatens to formally complain to the World Trade Organization. The U.S.-Chile and U.S.-Singapore trade deals also included new guestworker programs similar to the H-1B and constraints on the U.S. government’s ability to set rules on L-1 intracompany transfers.

The TiSA draft annex on Movement of Natural Persons would also likely restrict the ability of the current and future administrations to continue some of the basic immigration procedures it currently follows, such as requiring an in-person interview with L-1 applicants. The draft treaty might even prohibit common sense legislative proposals that Congress has considered over the past few years, including minimum wage rules for companies seeking to hire guestworkers in the L-1 visa program. This is particularly disturbing since the L-1 visa program has been a primary vehicle to facilitate the offshoring of high wage jobs and for replacing American workers with cheaper guestworkers.

TiSA has been written in secret by and for major corporations that will benefit greatly if it becomes law. If the House of Representatives grants the Obama administration the fast-track trade promotion authority it seeks, the authority will be valid for six years, which means TiSA (like TPP) would also get an up-or-down vote in Congress without any amendments—making it very likely to pass and become law without the necessary democratic deliberations on immigration that such major changes should have. The leaked TiSA text makes it clear that contrary to the claims by proponents of fast-track trade promotion authority, the reality is that those voting for fast track are ceding key powers to make immigration law and policy to an unelected group of corporations and foreign governments.

http://www.epi.org/blog/tisa-a-secret-trade-agreement-that-will-usurp-americas-authority-to-make-immigration-policy/

TPP/TISA Will Give Barack Obama Vastly Expanded Immigration Powers Experts Say

The Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) is an international trade agreement between the U.S. and 23 other countries including Turkey, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Pakistan, Taiwan and Israel. The agreement aims at liberalizing the worldwide trade of services such as banking, health care and transport.

TISA is the sibling of the TPP and the TTIP. All are being negotiated in absolute secrecy and it appears that TISA is covered by TPP fast-track authority. TISA has immigration requirements that would allow Barack Obama to play fast and loose with our immigration laws.

Breitbart reported that inside the Obamatrade being debated on Friday, is a chapter that vastly expands Barack Obama’s power over immigration.

The documents released by Wikileaks had not been examined thoroughly but Breitbart brought in experts and they uncovered a serious problem with fast track. Their findings agree with VDare and Immigration Reform who reported on this last week.

TISA (The Trade and Services Agreement) is covered by fast track authority under TPA. The “implication” is that the U.S. intends to be a party to all or some of the provisions of this agreement. The U.S. would be required to “change its immigration laws”, according to Rosemary Jenks of Numbers USA.

Ten pages of TISA deal exclusively with immigration.

Rosemary Jenks, the Director of Government Relations at Numbers USA, said those 10 pages make it absolutely clear that the administration is negotiating immigration.

Since 2003, a Senate resolution said no immigration provision should be in trade agreements. Hillary Clinton voted for this resolution.

The U.S. Trade Representative who wrote TPA told Congress that the “U.S. is not negotiating immigration– or at least is not negotiating any immigration provisions that would require us to change our laws.” That appears to be inaccurate.

On page 4 and 5 of the agreement, about 40 industries are listed where potentially the U.S. visa processes would have to change to accommodate the requirements within the agreement.

There would be no requirement to show there aren’t U.S. workers available for the job.

On page 7 of the agreement, it suggests, “The period of processing applications may not exceed 30 days.”

There wouldn’t be enough time to vet the visas and the U.S. would end up rubber stamping visa approvals.

The application process has a footnote that says face-to-face interviews are too burdensome, yet we know from experience that they are invaluable and the best opportunity to vet the applicants..

On page 4 of the agreement. It only provides an “[X]” where the number of years would be filled in for the entry or temporary stay. That means our 7-year limit would have to change and Obama could do it constitutionally if he has fast-track authority.

TISA also impacts privacy laws.

On June 4th, Immigration Reform also saw red flags throughout the document. In addition to the ones mentioned by Breitbart, they found that the deal creates “a presumption that all spouses of L-1/B-1 visitors who stay for 12 months should also get visas.’

TISA also has “language about “independent professionals” that is very non-specific and it could be an attempt to allow self-petitioning.”

“Finally, the total impact is uncertain because even after the agreement is signed every signatory needs to publish a schedule of industry sectors that they will allow business visitors, contractual service professionals and independent professionals to enter.”

Senator Sessions said that the administration could use the fast-track authority to expand immigration but Paul Ryan said it was an ‘urban legend.” Ryan chairs the House Ways and Means Committee oversees trade. Right now it looks like Senator Sessions was correct.

Barack Obama is a serious and dangerous globalist. If there is any way that he can use these trade agreements to violate our laws and our sovereignty, he will.

TiSA Annex on Movement of Natural Persons

http://www.independentsentinel.com/tpptisa-will-give-barack-obama-vastly-expanded-immigration-powers-experts-say/

REVEALED: THE SECRET IMMIGRATION CHAPTER IN OBAMA’S TRADE AGREEMENT

Discovered inside the huge tranche of secretive Obamatrade documents released by Wikileaks are key details on how technically any Republican voting for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) that would fast-track trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal would technically also be voting to massively expand President Obama’s executive authority when it comes to immigration matters.

The mainstream media covered the Wikileaks document dump extensively, but did not mention the immigration chapter contained within it, so Breitbart News took the documents to immigration experts to get their take on it. Nobody has figured how big a deal the documents uncovered by Wikileaks are until now. (See below)

The president’s Trade in Services Act (TiSA) documents, which is one of the three different close-to-completely-negotiated deals that would be fast-tracked making up the president’s trade agreement, show Obamatrade in fact unilaterally alters current U.S. immigration law. TiSA, like TPP or the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) deals, are international trade agreements that President Obama is trying to force through to final approval. The way he can do so is by getting Congress to give him fast-track authority through TPA.

TiSA is even more secretive than TPP. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill can review the text of TPP in a secret, secured room inside the Capitol—and in some cases can bring staffers who have high enough security clearances—but with TiSA, no such draft text is available.

Voting for TPA, of course, would essentially ensure the final passage of each TPP, T-TIP, and TiSA by Congress, since in the history of fast-track any deal that’s ever started on fast-track has been approved.

Roughly 10 pages of this TiSA agreement document leak are specifically about immigration.

“The existence of these ten pages on immigration in the Trade and Services Agreement make it absolutely clear in my mind that the administration is negotiating immigration – and for them to say they are not – they have a lot of explaining to do based on the actual text in this agreement,” Rosemary Jenks, the Director of Government Relations at Numbers USA, told Breitbart News following her review of these documents.

Obama will be able to finalize all three of the Obamatrade deals, without any Congressional input, if Congress grants him fast-track authority by passing TPA. Fast-track lowers the vote thresholds in the Senate and blocks Congress from amending any trade deals—and also, since each of these three deals are pretty much entirely negotiated already, it wouldn’t lead to any more congressional involvement or transparency with each.

The Senate passed the TPA last month, so it is up to the House to put the brakes on Obama’s unilateral power. The House could vote as early as Friday on fast-track, but may head into next week. By all counts, it’s going to be a very tight vote—and may not pass. It remains to be seen what will happen in light of leaks about things like the immigration provisions of TiSA—which deals with 24 separate parties, mostly different nations but also the European Union. It is focused on increasing the free flow of services worldwide—and with that, comes labor. Labor means immigration and guestworkers.

“This Trade and Services Agreement is specifically mentioned in TPA as being covered by fast-track authority, so why would Congress be passing a Trade Promotion Authority Act that covers this agreement, if the U.S. weren’t intended to be a party to this agreement – so at the very least, there should be specific places where the U.S. exempts itself from these provisions and there are not,” explained Jenks.

She emphasized that this is a draft, but at this point “certainly the implication is that the U.S. intends to be a party to all or some of the provisions of this agreement. There is nothing in there that says otherwise, and there is no question in my mind that some of the provisions in this Trade and Services Agreement would require the United States to change its immigration laws.”

In 2003, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution that said no immigration provision should be in trade agreements – and in fact, former Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) voted for this resolution.

The existence of these 10 pages is in clear violation of that earlier unanimous decision, and also in violation of the statements made by the U.S. Trade Representative.

“He has told members of Congress very specifically the U.S. is not negotiating immigration – or at least is not negotiating any immigration provisions that would require us to change our laws. So, unless major changes are made to the Trade and Services Agreement – that is not true,” said Jenks.

There are three examples within the 10 pages of areas where the U.S. would have to alter current immigration law.

First, on page 4 and 5 of the agreement, roughly 40 industries are listed where potentially the U.S. visa processes would have to change to accommodate the requirements within the agreement.

Jenks explained that under the agreement, the terms don’t have an economic needs based test, which currently U.S. law requires for some types of visa applications in order to show there aren’t American workers available to fill positions.

Secondly, on page 7 of the agreement, it suggests, “The period of processing applications may not exceed 30 days.”

Jenks said this is a massive problem for the U.S. because so many visa applications take longer than 30 days.

“We will not be able to meet those requirements without essentially our government becoming a rubber stamp because it very often takes more than 30 days to process a temporary worker visa,” she said.

Jenks also spotted another issue with the application process.

“The fact that there’s a footnote in this agreement that says that face to face interviews are too burdensome … we’re supposed to be doing face to face interviews with applicants for temporary visas,” she added.

“According to the State Department Consular Officer, it’s the in person interviews that really gives the Consular Officer an opportunity to determine – is this person is a criminal, is this person a terrorist … all of those things are more easily determined when you’re sitting face to face with someone and asking those questions.”

The third issue is present on page 4 of the agreement. It only provides an “[X]” where the number of years would be filled in for the entry or temporary stay.

Jenks explained that for example, with L visas under current U.S. immigration law, the time limit is seven years – so if the agreement were to go beyond seven years, it would change current U.S. law.

This wouldn’t be unconstitutional if Obama has fast-track authority under TPA, as Congress would essentially have given him the power to finalize all aspects of the negotiations, including altering immigration law.

“I think this whole thing makes it very clear that this administration is negotiating immigration – intends to make immigration changes if they can get away with it, and I think it’s that much more critical that Congress ensure that the administration does not have the authority to negotiate immigration,” Jenks said.

Breitbart News’ Matthew Boyle contributed to this report.

TiSA Annex on Movement of Natural Persons

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/06/10/revealed-the-secret-immigration-chapter-in-obamas-trade-agreement/

Secret Immigration Provisions of Trade Deal Revealed by Wikileaks

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GOP LEADERSHIP’S LATEST OBAMATRADE PLOY REVEALED: SMALL BUSINESS TAX HIKE THAT VIOLATES GOP’S ANTI-TAX PLEDGE

Establishment Republicans desperately trying to secure the passage of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which would give President Obama fast-track authority to secure congressional approval of at least three secretive trade deals, are now willing to increase taxes on small businesses in a way that would violate a pledge almost every Republican Congressman has taken when elected into office.

To secure final passage through Congress of a package that would include TPA fast-track authority—which would ensure finalization of the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) and Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), among other deals—the House would need to pass the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) package that was necessary for Senate passage of TPA. The House voted TAA down 302-126 with widespread bipartisan opposition to last week, but House Ways and Means Committee chairman

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)

58%

and his allies in House GOP leadership have pledged that they will try to pass it again early next week. The vote would potentially be on Monday, but more likely on Tuesday—and if there is no vote by Tuesday, it’s unlikely that Ryan will be able to succeed in his ploy to revive TPA.

TAA is a big government program usually favored by Democrats—it increases the size and scope of government, and is essentially viewed by Republicans as a welfare program—so their opposition to it during Friday’s complicated and confusing House vote schedule was not opposition to TAA as a specific concept, but opposition to the full Obamatrade package, especially TPA.

House Minority Leader

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

9%

gave a blistering floor speech against the full Obamatrade deal, causing a Democratic rebellion against TAA—and forcing Ryan to push Republicans to vote for that part of the package.

TAA was originally supposed to be financed with Medicare cuts – which sparked major outrage, and cries of hypocrisy in what would have certainly turned into boldly negative campaign advertisements against Republicans by Democrats this next cycle. But under pressure, Republican leadership, mainly Boehner and Ryan, negotiated with Democrats to remove the Medicare cuts from the financial backing of TAA and instead using direct tax hikes by raising the penalties for misfiled taxes.

“A vote for Obamatrade on Tuesday is a vote to give the IRS more power and more incentives to go after small businesses,” said Curtis Ellis, founder of the Obamatrade.com website, in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News.

Democrats overwhelmingly opposed TAA Friday after Pelosi voiced opposition to giving President Obama fast-track trade authority.

“So while I am a big supporter of TAA, if TAA slows down the fast-track, I am prepared to vote against the TAA because then its defeat, sad to say, is the only way that we will be able to slow down the fast-track,” Pelosi said just minutes before the crucial vote. She concluded: “The facts are these: If TAA fails, the fast-track bill is stopped.”

“It’s pretty outrageous what is called for in this bill that Congress is going to vote on Tuesday – it literally doubles and triples the taxes on small businesses,” explained Ellis.

Ellis spent hours researching this legislation and explained to Breitbart News how it could impact small business taxes if Congress passes the TAA during its vote on Tuesday.

“Small businesses that are already over-burdened with IRS paperwork will be penalized even further if they make a technical mistake on filing informational paperwork,” he said. “There’s a lot of dishonesty going on when the bill is described as raising the fines on tax violations. That’s dishonest because the fines aren’t for people who failed to pay their taxes, the fines are on businesses that for no fault of their own, they forget to fie a piece of paperwork telling the IRS how much someone else owes on their taxes.”

“It’s outrageous that Republicans who complain all the time – rightfully so – about the IRS’s overreach and over burdening small business are actually increasing the incentive for the IRS to spy on people – to spy on small businesses,” he added.

Essentially, as explained by Ellis, any time a small business paid an independent contractor or freelancer a commission or any tips, it must be reported to the IRS with a 1099 form, which a copy is also sent to the contractor or freelancer. If the small business is late in filing this form, then it is fined by the IRS. The proposal Tuesday, as it stands, would double and triple these fines.

“It is the height of cynicism for Congress to plan on paying for a welfare program for unions by increasing the penalties for small businesses,” Ellis reacted.

President of Americans for Limited Government Rick Manning agrees with Ellis about this increasing penalty being a tax increase on small businesses.

“There is no question that raising the penalty on small businesses who commit a paperwork error is a tax increase. It is directly intended to raise revenues, so it can’t be considered anything else. For Republican leadership to ask their members to vote to raise taxes on small business to fund a union bailout that Big Labor doesn’t want is both horrific policy and terrible politics,” Manning told Breitbart News.

This program was so unpopular with both Democrats and Republicans that they removed it from Obamacare.

“This is very similar to one of the ways Obamacare was going to be paid for – as Obamacare was enacted they were looking for revenue to pay for it by increasing the penalties on small businesses who failed to file 1099 forms – that was repealed because it was so unpopular,” Ellis said. “Republicans led the charge in repealing it and now they’re the ones leading the charge to once again increase the penalties in already burdensome paperwork for the IRS.”

Therefore, the Republicans that voted for TAA Friday, essentially voted to finance TAA at the expense of increasing small business taxes – a direct violation of the Grover Norquist tax pledge, which many Republican Congressmen took, pledging to the American public not to raise any more taxes.

Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform, a group for taxpayer advocacy to limit size of government, organized the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. The pledge asks all politicians for both federal and state office to sign the pledge, committing themselves to oppose tax increases.

“This is clearly a tax increase – and it’s a violation of Grover Norquist’s no tax increase pledge that most of these Congressmen signed,” Ellis said. “This legislation assumes that there are small businesses out there that will fail to file the 1099 form and will therefore have to pay a fine.”

“It assumes small businesses will be forced to pay the IRS and then it goes further and says ‘let’s make them pay more’ – it doubles and triples the fines,” he argued.

Nearly every elected Republican in America—with rare exception—has signed Norquist’s anti-tax pledge. As such, the 86 Republicans who voted to raise small business taxes through the TAA on Friday most likely did as well.

ATR spokesman John Kartch told Breitbart News he doesn’t think TAA as it’s structured now in the House is a tax and that it does not violate the tax pledge—but that ATR is vehemently opposed to the program and is recommending all Republicans vote against it. That means ATR is in agreement with other groups from a more conservative perspective—albeit for slightly different reasons—on this matter, and won’t back down to help Obamatrade across the finish line.

“The Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) is, like most government jobs training programs, a well intentioned, but flawed program,” Kartch said in an email on Sunday night.

“Americans for Tax Reform opposes the TAA program and any increase in funding for it. The TAA is tied to the Trade Promotion Authority designed to facilitate trade agreements that reduce tariffs. Tariffs are taxes. For most of our nation’s history our national government was largely funded by tariffs. The increases in fines for not filing 1099s are not tax hikes. Tax increases come from changes in tax law. ATR opposes the increase in the fines. Not every stupid move by government is a tax. Civil asset forfeiture is a vicious misuse of government power — but it is not a tax. Excise taxes are taxes and the bottom line of the drive to expand free trade is that — even with silly ‘bribes’ to Democrats like the TAA –freer trade driven by tariff reductions will reduce the taxes paid by American consumers and increase the nation’s economic strength. As has happened with every tariff reduction in our history.”

This is extraordinarily significant, since Norquist and his organization did support the TPA portion of Obamatrade, but the public opposition to its TAA portion means it’s unlikely any GOP votes will budge if and when leadership brings up TAA again next week. In fact, if any Republicans change their votes, they’re likely to switch from voting in favor of TAA to against it so not to violate their pledge.

Ellis, Manning and Norquist are hardly the only influential right-of-center figures opposing TAA.

“Regardless of how TAA is financed, it is a wasteful ineffective program that undermines the virtues of free trade,” Dan Holler, Communications Director for Heritage Action for America, told Breitbart News.

Heritage Action and Club for Growth – a conservative group – both oppose the TAA program saying it’s a wasteful welfare program. Heritage Action scored against TPA and TAA, but Club For Growth supported—like ATR—TPA but not TAA.

When TAA went down in the House last week, only 86 Republicans voted for it—and they were joined by just 40 Democrats.

A whopping 158 Republicans joined 144 Democrats to oppose TAA. To pass TAA this week, the only way to truly keep Obamatrade alive without having to go through a grueling conference committee strategy that would likely lead to even more lost votes on both the House and Senate side when they would vote on an eventual conference report, the establishment would need to pick up 92 votes to get to 218.

That seems highly unlikely, given that the widespread GOP opposition and the revelation that voting for this TAA portion is technically voting for a tax increase. That alone is likely to keep the 158 Republican noes in their column and probably add GOP opposition as several of the 86 GOP ayes are likely to change their votes to oppose it as Democrat opposition is getting stronger too. On Sunday, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton—the likely eventual Democrat nominee for president in 2016—urged Democrats to trust Pelosi and oppose granting Obama fast track trade authority until a good deal is assured.

“The president should listen to and work with his allies in Congress, starting with

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

9%

,” Clinton said in Iowa.

If TAA were to pass—which is even more unlikely now that there’s probably not going to be any Democrat or GOP defections into supporting it—then so does TPA. The bills would move on to President Obama’s desk together, giving him fast-track authority to finalize his trade deals without any amendments to his deals by Congress.

Ryan’s office has not responded to a request for comment in response to these revelations about Obamatrade’s tax increases.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/06/14/gop-leaderships-latest-obamatrade-ploy-revealed-small-business-tax-hike-that-violates-gops-anti-tax-pledge/

 Trade in Services Agreement

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) is a proposed international trade treaty between 24 Parties, including the European Union and the United States. The agreement aims at liberalizing the worldwide trade of services such as banking, health care and transport.[1] Criticism about the secrecy of the agreement arose after WikiLeaks released in June 2014 a classified draft of the proposal’s financial services annex, dated the previous April.[2]

Origin

Parties to Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA)

The process was an initiative of the United States. It was proposed to a group of countries meeting in Geneva and called the Really Good Friends. All negotiating meetings take place in Geneva. The EU and the US are the main proponents of the agreement, and the authors of most joint changes. The participating countries started crafting the proposed agreement in February 2012[3] and presented initial offers at the end of 2013.[4]

Proposed Agreement

The agreement covers about 70% of the global services economy. Its aim is privatizing the worldwide trade of services such as banking, healthcare and transport.[1][5] Services comprise 75% of American economic output; in EU states, almost 75% of its employment and gross domestic product.[6]

Once a particular trade barrier has unilaterally been removed, it cannot be reintroduced. This proposal is known as the ‘ratchet clause’.[7]

European Union

The EU has stated that companies outside its borders will not be allowed to provide publicly funded healthcare or social services.[7]

Market access for publicly-funded health, social services and education, water services, film or TV will not be taken. Therefore, the ‘racket clause’ will not apply.[7]

Parties involved

Initially having 16 members, the TISA has expanded to include 24 parties. Since the European Union represents 28 member states, there are 51 countries represented.[8] The number of countries represented in each continent are: 32 in Europe, 7 in Asia, 5 in North America, 5 in South America, and 2 in Oceania. The 24 TiSA parties in order of their income categories are:[9]

Income Group Parties
High Income Countries  Australia
 Canada
 Chile
 Hong Kong
 Iceland
 Israel
 Japan
 South Korea
 Liechtenstein
 New Zealand
 Norway
  Switzerland
 Taiwan
 United States
 Uruguay
 European Union
Upper Middle Income Countries  Colombia
 Costa Rica
 Mexico
 Panama
 Peru
 Turkey
Lower Middle Income Countries  Pakistan
 Paraguay

Controversy

The agreement has been criticized for the secrecy around the negotiation. The cover page of the negotiating document leaked by Wikileaks says: “Declassify on: Five years from entry into force of the TISA agreement or, if no agreement enters into force, five years from the close of the negotiations.”[2] Because of this practice it is not possible to be informed about the liberalizing rules that the participating countries propose for the future agreement. Only Switzerland has a practice of making public on the Internet all the proposals it submitted to the other parties since June 2012.[3] European Union published its “offer” for TISA only in July 2014,[10]after the Wikileaks disclosure.

Digital rights advocates have also brought attention to the fact that the agreement has provisions which would significantly weaken existing data protection provisions in signatory countries. In particular, the agreement would strip existing protections which aim to keep confidential or personally identifiable data within country borders or which prohibit its movement to other countries which do not have similar data protection laws in place.[11]

The agreement bans government mandates for use of open source software, stating “No Party may require the transfer of, or access to, source code of software owned by a person of another Party, as a condition of providing services related to such software in its territory.”[12] The open source word processing application LibreOffice has been deployed by many local governments throughout the EU to save money.[13][14][15][16]

Analysis

A preliminary analysis of the Financial Services Annex by prominent free trade critic Professor Jane Kelsey, Faculty of Law, University of Auckland, New Zealandwas published with the WikiLeaks release.[17]

The Public Services International (PSI) organization described TISA as:

a treaty that would further liberalize trade and investment in services, and expand “regulatory disciplines” on all services sectors, including many public services. The “disciplines,” or treaty rules, would provide all foreign providers access to domestic markets at “no less favorable” conditions as domestic suppliers and would restrict governments’ ability to regulate, purchase and provide services. This would essentially change the regulation of many public and privatized or commercial services from serving the public interest to serving the profit interests of private, foreign corporations.[18]

One concern is the provisions regarding retention of business records. David Cay Johnston said, “It is … hard to make the case that the cost of keeping a duplicate record at the home office in a different country is a burden.” He noted that business records requirements are sufficiently important that they were codified in law even before the Code of Hammurabi.[19]

Impacts of the law may include “whether people can get loans or buy insurance and at what prices as well as what jobs may be available.”[19]

Dr. Patricia Ranald, a research associate at the University of Sydney, said:

“Amendments from the US are seeking to end publicly provided services like public pension funds, which are referred to as ‘monopolies’ and to limit public regulation of all financial services … They want to freeze financial regulation at existing levels, which would mean that governments could not respond to new developments like another global financial crisis.”[20]

Regarding the secrecy of the draft, Professor Kelsey commented: “The secrecy of negotiating documents exceeds even the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement(TPP) and runs counter to moves in the WTO towards greater openness.”[17] Johnston adds, “It is impossible to obey a law or know how it affects you when the law is secret.”[19]

See also

References

  1. ^ Jump up to:a b Dorling, Philip. “Medical tourism’ plan revealed: Australia leads top secret push for globalisation of healthcare”. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved6 February 2015.
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b Wikileaks (19 June 2014). “Secret Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) – Financial Services Annex”. Wikileaks.
  3. ^ Jump up to:a b “Trade in Services Agreement (TISA)”. State Secretariat for Economic Affairs. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  4. Jump up^ “Trade in Services Agreement (TISA)”. Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada. Retrieved 3 July 2014..
  5. Jump up^ Palmer, Daniel (30 June 2014). “Major banking shake-up ahead”. The Australian. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  6. Jump up^ “U.S. says basic outline in place for international services trade deal”. Reuters. 18 June 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  7. ^ Jump up to:a b c “Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) Questions and answers”. European Commission. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  8. Jump up^ “Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA)”. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website – http://www.dfat.gov.au. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  9. Jump up^ Amit Sengupta (27 July 2014). “Trading Away Access to Public Services”.People’s Democracy. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  10. Jump up^ The EU publishes TiSA position papers, Brussels, 22 July 2014, Retrieved 2014-09-03
  11. Jump up^ “LEAKED: Secret Negotiations to Let Big Brother Go Global”. Wolf Street. Don Quijones. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
  12. Jump up^ Glyn Moody (4 June 2015). “WikiLeaks releases secret TISA docs: The more evil sibling of TTIP and TPP”. Ars Technica.
  13. Jump up^ https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/news/mayor-munich-eu-laptops-should-have-libreoffice-or-openoffice
  14. Jump up^ “Munich shifts to LibreOffice”. ITworld. 17 October 2013. Retrieved 2 February2014.
  15. Jump up^ “Toulouse saves 1 million euro with LibreOffice”. Joinup. 23 July 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  16. Jump up^ “Moving to LibreOffice saves Toulouse 1 million”.
  17. ^ Jump up to:a b Professor Jane Kelsey (19 June 2014). “Memorandum on Leaked TISA Financial Services Text”. Wikileaks.
  18. Jump up^ “Meet TISA: Another Major Treaty Negotiated In Secret Alongside TPP And TTIP”. Techdirt. 2014-04-29. Retrieved 2014-07-03.
  19. ^ Jump up to:a b c Johnston, David Cay. “Thanks to WikiLeaks, public can debate alarming new trade deal”. Al Jazeera America. Retrieved 2014-07-03.
  20. Jump up^ Hanai, Toru (2014-06-19). “Secret trade agreement covering 68 percent of world services published by WikiLeaks — RT USA”. Russia Today. Retrieved2014-07-03.

External links[edit]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade_in_Services_Agreement

Visa policy of the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A US visa specimen

Entry passport stamp for the United States issued to a citizen of Canada by the U.S. Customs and Border Protectionat San Francisco International Airport.

The visa policy of the United States deals with the requirements which a foreign national wishing to enter the United States must meet to obtain a visa, which is a permit to travel to, enter and remain in the country. Visitors to the United States must obtain a visa from one of the United States diplomatic missions unless they come from one of the visa exempt countries or Visa Waiver Program countries. The same rules apply to Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands while slightly different rules apply to Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa.[1]

The United States gives a visitor visa exemption to:

Overview

United States Visas were issued to 8.9 million foreign nationals visiting the United States and to 482,000 immigrants in 2012.[2] A foreign national wishing to enter the U.S. must obtain a visa unless he or she is

There are separate requirements for Mexican citizens.[3]

While there are about 185 different types of visas,[4] there are two main categories of U.S. visas:

  • Nonimmigrant visa – for temporary visits such as for tourism, business, work or studying.
  • Immigrant visa – for people to immigrate to the United States. At the port of entry, the immigrant visa holder is processed for a permanent resident card (I-551, a.k.a. green card). Upon endorsement (CBP admission stamp) it serves as temporary I-551 evidencing permanent residence for 1 year.

In order to immigrate, one should either have an immigrant visa or have a dual intent visa, which is one that is compatible with making a concurrent application for permanent resident status, or having an intention to apply for permanent residence.

Entering the U.S. on an employment visa may be described as a three-step process in most cases.[4] First, the employer files an application with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services requesting a particular type of category visa for a specific individual.[4] If the employer’s application is approved, it only authorizes the individual to apply for a visa; the approved application is not actually a visa.[4] The individual then applies for a visa and is usually interviewed at a U.S. embassy or consulate in the native country.[4] ƒIf the embassy or consulate gives the visa, the individual is then allowed to travel to the U.S.[4] At the border crossing, airport, or other point of entry into the U.S., the individual speaks with an officer from U.S. Customs and Border Protection to ask to admission to the U.S.[4] If approved, the individual may then enter the U.S.[4]

Contrary to a popular misconception, a U.S. visa does not authorize the alien‘s entry to the United States, nor does it authorize the alien’s stay in the U.S. in a particular status. A U.S. visa only serves as a preliminary permission given to the alien to travel to the United States and to seek admission to the United States at a designated port of entry.[5] The final admission to the United States in a particular status and for a particular period of time is made at the port of entry by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer. For aliens entering the U.S. in a nonimmigrant visa status these details are recorded by the CBP officer on the alien’sForm I-94 (Form I-94W for citizens of the Visa Waiver Program countries entering the U.S. for short visits), which serves as the official document authorizing the alien’s stay in the United States in a particular non-immigrant visa status and for a particular period of time.[6] Another type of U.S. visa is lottery visa. 50,000 additional visa numbers are available each year under the section of visa lottery. In the last few years more than 9 million people have participated in the visa lottery[7]

Visa exemption

  The United States and its territories
  Visa free countries
  Visa Waiver Program countries

Citizens of the following countries, linked with the USA by theCompacts of Free Association, do not require a visa to enter, reside, study, and work indefinitely in the United States:

Citizens of the following country do not require a visa to visit the United States and can study and work under special simplified procedure:

Visa Waiver Program

Main article: Visa Waiver Program

Currently, 38 countries have been selected by the U.S. government for inclusion in the Visa Waiver Program and their citizens do not need to acquire a US visa (but are required to get an electronic authorization if arriving by air or cruise ship[12]) to visit the United States (including Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands):[13]

Visitors may stay for 90 days in the United States which also includes the time spent in Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, or the islands in the Caribbean if the arrival was through the United States.

The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is not a visa. Rather, obtaining a travel authorization from ESTA is a prerequisite to travelling by air to the US under the Visa Waiver Program.[37] ESTA authorization, once obtained, is valid for two years unless during that time the person obtains a new passport or his/her answers to any of the eligibility questions change.[38]

Other arrangements

Citizens of the following countries and territories can travel without obtaining a visa for the United States under certain circumstances:

  •  BermudaBritish Overseas Territories citizens by virtue of their connection to Bermuda can enter the United States visa-free provided they are bona-fide visitors – no I-94 is required.[39] To qualify, they must not have had a criminal conviction or ineligibility, violated U.S. immigration laws in the past and must not be arriving the United States from outside the Western Hemisphere. In addition, they must present a Bermudian passport which fulfils the following criteria: the front cover has printed on it “Government of Bermuda”, the holder’s nationality must be stated as either “British Overseas Territory Citizen” or “British Dependant Territories Citizen”, the passport must contain one of the following endorsement stamps: “Holder is registered as a Bermudian”, “Holder Possesses Bermudian Status” or “Holder is deemed to possess Bermudian status”.
  •  Bahamas – Citizens do not require a visa to enter the United States if they apply for entry at one of the Preclearance Facilities located in Nassau orFreeport International Airports. Bahamian citizens must not have had a criminal conviction or ineligibility, violated U.S. immigration laws in the past and must be in possession of valid, unexpired passport or a Bahamian Travel Document indicating that they have Bahamian citizenship. In addition to a passport, all applicants 14 years of age or older must present a police certificate issued by the Royal Bahamas Police Force within the past six months. All Bahamians applying for admission at a port-of-entry other than the Preclearance Facilities located in Nassau or Freeport International Airport are required to be in possession of a valid visa to enter the United States.[40]
  •  British Virgin Islands – British Overseas Territories Citizens by virtue of their connection to the British Virgin Islands may travel without a visa to the United States Virgin Islands. They may also continue travel to other parts of the United States if they present a Certificate of Good Conduct issued by the Royal Virgin Islands Police Department indicating no criminal record.[41]
  •  Cayman Islands – Whilst residents of the Cayman Islands, as British Overseas Territories Citizens, are eligible automatically to register as a full British citizen under Section 4(A) of the British Overseas Territories Act 2002, thereby able additionally to enter the United States under the Visa Waiver Program, they can alternatively enter visa-free using their Cayman Islands passports. To qualify under the latter method, their Cayman Islands passports must confirm their British Overseas Territories citizenship and be endorsed by the Cayman Islands Passport and Corporate Services Office with a Cayman-U.S. visa waiver, issued at a cost of $15–25 and valid for one entry.[42][43] They must travel directly between the Cayman Islands and the United States and their Cayman Islands passport must also have a validity of at least six months beyond their intended departure date from the United States.[44] If Cayman Islanders elect to enter the U.S. using the Cayman-U.S. visa waiver, they are not required to apply for an ESTA online, since they are not entering under the VWP.
  •  Turks and Caicos Islands – British Overseas Territories Citizens by virtue of their connection to the Turks and Caicos Islands can enter the United States visa-free for short business and pleasure.[45] To qualify, they must not have had a criminal conviction or ineligibility, not violated U.S. immigration laws in the past and must arrive in the United States on a direct flight from the territory. In addition, they must present a Turks and Caicos Islands passport which states that they are a British Overseas Territory Citizen and have the right to abode in the Turks and Caicos Islands. In addition to a valid, unexpired passport, all travellers 14 years of age or older must present a police certificate issued by the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force within the past six months. All British Overseas Territories Citizens of the Turks and Caicos Islands who apply for admission at a port-of-entry that does not have direct air service to/from the territory, are required to be in possession of a valid visa to enter the United States.

Guam and Northern Mariana Islands Visa Waiver Program]

The U.S. territories of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands have a specific Guam-Northern Mariana Islands Visa Waiver Program too. Under this program, first enacted in October 1988 and periodically amended, nationals from several additional countries in Asia and the Pacific islands are permitted to enter the Northern Marianas and Guam as tourists without a visa for up to 45 days. Travel is not permitted onwards to the mainland United States, and because of special visa categories for the Northern Mariana Islands foreign workers, traveling between Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands still requires a full immigration inspection.[46] In addition to the citizens of Australia, Brunei, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and the United Kingdom who are also eligible for the Visa Waiver Program (but do not require ESTA for Guam and Northern Mariana Islands), citizens of the following countries and territories are eligible only for the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program:[47][48]

  •  Russia – despite not being included in the new Guam-CNMI visa waiver program, as part of a parole arrangement, Russian citizens in possession of a machine-readable passport, a completed Form I-736 (Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Information form) and Form I-94 (Arrival-Departure Record) and a non-refundable and non-transferable return ticket can visit both Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands visa-free for up to 45 days.[49]
  •  ChinaChinese citizens in possession of a machine-readable passport, completed Form I-736 (Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Information form) and Form I-94 (Arrival-Departure Record) may enter the CNMI only visa-free for up to 45 days (travel to Guam still requires applying for a visa in advance).[50]

American Samoa

American Samoa entry stamp

The visa waiver does not apply to American Samoa.

Nationals of the following countries arriving for tourism purposes only do not require a visa (they are issued with a 30 day entry permit on arrival): Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland,Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway,Palau, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom.[51]

Summary of visa exemptions

Country or territory Overland Air/Cruise ship All means of transport
United States
and Puerto Rico
United States
Virgin Islands
Guam Northern Mariana
Islands
American Samoa
 Canada Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
 Marshall Islands Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
 Micronesia Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
 Palau Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
 Bermuda Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
 Australia Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization Yes Yes Yes
 Brunei Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization Yes Yes Yes
 Japan Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization Yes Yes Yes
 New Zealand Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization Yes Yes Yes
 Singapore Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization Yes Yes Yes
 United Kingdom[Note 1] Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization Yes Yes Yes
 South Korea Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization Yes Yes No
 Taiwan[Note 2] Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization Yes Yes No
 Andorra Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization Yes
 Austria Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization Yes
 Belgium Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization Yes
 Denmark Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization Yes
 Finland Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization Yes
 France Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization Yes
 Germany Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization Yes
 Iceland Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization Yes
 Ireland Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization Yes
 Italy Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization Yes
 Liechtenstein Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization Yes
 Luxembourg Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization Yes
 Monaco Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization Yes
 Netherlands Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization Yes
 Norway Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization Yes
 Portugal Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization Yes
 San Marino Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization Yes
 Spain Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization Yes
 Sweden Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization Yes
  Switzerland Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization Yes
 Chile Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization No
 Czech Republic Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization No
 Estonia Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization No
 Greece Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization No
 Hungary Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization No
 Latvia Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization No
 Lithuania Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization No
 Malta Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization No
 Slovakia Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization No
 Slovenia Yes electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization electronic authorization No
 Bahamas No preclearance preclearance preclearance preclearance No
 British Virgin Islands No police certificate Yes police certificate police certificate No
 Cayman Islands No police certificate police certificate police certificate police certificate No
 Turks and Caicos Islands No police certificate police certificate police certificate police certificate No
 Hong Kong[Note 3] No No No Yes Yes No
 Malaysia No No No Yes Yes No
 Nauru No No No Yes Yes No
 Papua New Guinea No No No Yes Yes No
 Russia No No No Yes Yes No
 China No No No No Yes No

Outlying islands

Visits to the United States Minor Outlying IslandsBaker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Atoll, Palmyra Atoll, Wake Island and Navassa Island – are severely restricted. Most of the islands are closed off, and prospective visitors require special permits, usually from the US army.[52][53][54][55][56][57][58][59][60][61][62][63][64][65][66][67]

Qualification process

The typical process for issuing a United States visa, possibly including aVisas Mantis check

Applicants for visitor visas must show that they qualify under provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The presumption in the law is that every nonimmigrant visa applicant (except certain employment-related applicants, who are exempt) is an intending immigrant unless otherwise proven. Therefore, applicants for most nonimmigrant visas must overcome this presumption by demonstrating that:

  • The purpose of their trip is to enter the U.S. for a specific, intended purpose;
  • They plan to remain for a specific, limited period; and
  • They have a residence outside the U.S. as well as other binding ties which will ensure their return at the end of their stay.

All visit, business, transit, student, and exchange visitor visa applicants must pay a US$160 application fee (up from $140 as of April 2012) to a US Consulate in order to be interviewed by a Consular Officer who will determine if the applicant is qualified to receive a visa to travel to the U.S (additionally, the officer may also ask the United States Department of State for a Security Advisory Opinion, which can take several weeks to resolve). The application fee is increased to $190 for most work visas (up from $150 as of April 2012) and can be even higher for certain categories. If the applicant is rejected, the application fee is not refunded. Amongst the items included in the qualification decision are financial independence, adequate employment, material assets and a lack of a criminal record in the applicant’s native country.

The immigration visa process is even more stringent and costly. After all processing fees have been paid, most immigration visa applicants pay well over 1000 U.S. dollars to become permanent residents in the United States and may be forced to wait several years before actually immigrating to the U.S.

Visitor visa statistics

Issued B-1,2 visas in fiscal 2013

  United States
  Visa exempt nationalities
  Over 400 thousand issued visas
  Over 100 thousand issued visas
  Over 50 thousand issued visas
  Over 25 thousand issued visas
  Over 10 thousand issued visas
  Over 5 thousand issued visas
  Under 5 thousand issued visas

In fiscal 2013 most B-1,2 visas were issued to the nationals of the following countries (listed over 40,000 visas):[68]

Nationality Issued B-1,2 visas in 2013
 Mexico[69] 1,324,496
 China 1,146,322
 Brazil 925,678
 Colombia 440,902
 India 376,998
 Argentina 240,653
 Russia 229,040
 Venezuela 204,758
 Israel 102,223
 Ecuador 105,125
 Nigeria 92,773
 Philippines 89,288
 Turkey 71,269
 Chile 70,517
 Poland 62,408
 Saudi Arabia 61,940
 Peru 56,116
 Dominican Republic 50,470
 Vietnam 49,247
 Indonesia 47,480
 South Africa 46,581
 Guatemala 44,764
 Thailand 41,987
 Hong Kong 41,969
 Jamaica 41,183
 Egypt 41,081

In fiscal 2013 most reasons to refuse a visa were cited as “failure to establish entitlement to nonimmigrant status”, “incompatible application” (most overcome), “unlawful presence”, “misrepresentation”, “criminal convictions”, “smugglers” and “controlled substance violators”. Smaller number of applications were rejected for “physical or mental disorder”, “prostitution”, “espionage”, “terrorist activities”, “falsely claiming citizenship” and other grounds for refusal including “presidential proclamation”, “money laundering”, “communicable disease” and “commission of acts of torture or extrajudicial killings”.[70]

Admission statistics

Number of non-immigrant admissions for tourists and for business purposes into the United States in fiscal year 2013

  United States
  Over 2 million admissions
  Over 1 million admissions
  Over 500 thousand admissions
  Over 250 thousand admissions
  Over 100 thousand admissions
  Over 15 thousand admissions
  Under 15 thousand admissions

Highest number of non-immigrant admissions for tourists and for business purposes into the United States in fiscal year 2013 was from the following countries (listed over 700,000 admissions):[71]

Country FY 2013
 Mexico 16,925,645
 United Kingdom 4,333,518
 Japan 4,051,814
 Canada 3,003,317
 Germany 2,212,435
 Brazil 2,035,737
 France 1,829,304
 China 1,623,290
 South Korea 1,454,738
 Australia 1,376,715
 Italy 1,133,189
 India 970,416
 Spain 858,402
 Colombia 773,375
 Venezuela 762,313
 Netherlands 741,859
 Argentina 707,863
Total (worldwide) 54,645,551

Classes of nonimmigrant visas

A visa

A visas are issued to representatives of a foreign government traveling to the United States to engage in official activities for that government. A visas are granted to foreign government ambassadors, ministers, diplomats, as well as other foreign government officials or employees traveling on official business (A-1 Visa). The A visa is also granted to immediate family members of such foreign government officials, defined as “the principal applicant’s spouse and unmarried sons and daughters of any age who are not members of some other household and who will reside regularly in the household of the principal alien” (A-2 Visa) and which “may also include close relatives of the principal alien or spouse who are related by blood, marriage, or adoption who are not members of some other household; who will reside regularly in the household of the principal alien; and who are recognized as dependents by the sending government (A-3 Visa).[72]

B-1 and B-2

Main article: B visa

The most common non-immigrant visa is the multiple-purpose B-1/B-2 visa, also known as the “visa for temporary visitors for business or pleasure.” Visa applicants sometimes receive either a B-1 (temporary visitor for business) or a B-2 (temporary visitor for pleasure) visa, if their reason for travel is specific enough that the consular officer does not feel they qualify for combined B-1/B-2 status.[73] Holders may also attend short non-credit courses. Mexican citizens are eligible for Border Crossing Cards.[74]

Validity period

US B visa validity period

  United States
  120 months
  60 months
  24-48 months
  12 months
  Under 12 months

Validity of visas by nationality for B-1/B-2 visa:[75]

Adjusted Visa refusal Rate

US B visa refusal rate

  United States
  Visa exempt countries
  Over 50%
  Over 40%
  Over 30%
  Over 20%
  Over 10%
  Over 5%
  Over 3%
  Under 3%

The Adjusted Visa Refusal Rate for fiscal year 2014 for B visas was:[90]

Use for other countries

US tourist visas that are valid for further travel are accepted as substitute visas for national visas in following countries:

  •  Albania — 90 days;
  •  Antigua and Barbuda — 30 days; USD 100 visa waiver fee applies.
  •  Belize — 30 days; USD 50 visa waiver fee applies.
  •  Colombia — 90 days;
  •  Costa Rica — 30 days or less if the visa is about to expire; must hold a multiple entry visa.
  •  Dominican Republic — 90 days;
  •  El Salvador — 90 days; not applicable to all nationalities.
  •  Georgia — 90 days within any 180 day period;
  •  Guatemala — 90 days; not applicable to all nationalities.
  •  Honduras — 90 days; not applicable to all nationalities.
  •  Jamaica — 30 days; not applicable to all nationalities.
  •  Mexico — 180 days;[92][93]
  •  Montenegro — 30 days;
  •  Nicaragua — 90 days; not applicable to all nationalities.
  •  Panama — 30/180 days; must hold a visa valid for at least 2 more entries.
  •  Philippines — 7 days; for nationals of China and India only.
  •  Serbia — 90 days;
  •  Taiwan — certain nationalities can obtain an online travel authority if holding a valid US visa.
  •  Turkey — certain nationalities can obtain an electronic Turkish visa if holding a valid US visa.

C visa

C-1 visa is a transit visa issued to individuals who are travelling in “immediate and continuous transit through the United States enroute to another country”. The only reason to enter the United States must be for transit purposes. A subtype C-2 visa is issued to diplomats transiting to and from the Headquarters of the United Nations and is limited to the vicinity of New York City.[94]

D visa

D visa is issued to crew members of sea-vessels and international airlines in the United States. This includes commercial airline pilots and flight attendants, captain, engineer, or deckhand of a sea vessel, service staff on a cruise ship and trainees on board a training vessel. Usually a combination of a C-1 visa and D visa is required.[95]

E visa

Main article: E visa

Treaty Trader (E-1 visa) and Treaty Investor (E-2 visa) visas are issued to citizens of countries that have signed treaties of commerce and navigation with the United States.[96] They are issued to individuals engaged in substantial trade activities in international banking, insurance, transportation, tourism or communications with significant economic impact in the United States.[97] The variant visa issued only to citizens of Australia is the E-3 visa (E-3D visa is issued to spouse or child of E-3 visa holder and E-3R to a returning E-3 holder).[98]

F visa

Main article: F visa

These visas are issued for foreign students enrolled at accredited US institutions. F-1 visas are for full-time students, F2 visas are for spouses and children of F-1 visa holders and F-3 visas are for “border commuters” who reside in their country of origin while attending school in the United States.[99] They are managed through SEVIS.[100]

G visa

Main article: G visa

The G visas are issued to diplomats, government officials, and employees who will work for international organizations in the United States. The international organization must be officially designated as such.[101] The G-1 visa is issued to permanent mission members, G-2 visa is issued to representatives of a recognized government traveling temporarily to attend meetings of a designated international organization, G-3 visa is issued to individuals representing non-recognized governments, G-4 visa is for those who are taking up an appointment and G-5 visa is issued to personal employees or domestic workers of G1-G4 visa holders.[102]G1-G4 visas are also issued to family members.[103]

Those working specifically for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization require a NATO visa. NATO–1 visa is issued to permanent representatives of NATO and their staff members, NATO-2 visa is issued to a representative of member state to NATO or its subsidiary bodies, advisor or technical expert of the NATO delegation visiting the United States, a member of the NATO military forces component or a staff member of the NATO representative, NATO-3 visa is issued to official clerical staff accompanying the representative of a NATO member state, NATO-4 visa is issued to foreign national recognized as a NATO official, NATO-5 visa is issued to a foreign national recognized as a NATO expert and NATO-6 visa is issued to a member of the civilian component of the NATO. All NATO visas are issued to immediate family members as well. NATO-7 visas are issued to personal employees or domestic workers of a NATO-1 – NATO-6 visa holders.[104]

H visa

H visas are issued to temporary workers in the United States.

Specialty Occupations, DOD Cooperative Research and Development Project Workers, and Fashion Models
Main article: H-1B visa

The H-1B classification is for professional-level jobs that require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a specific academic field. In addition, the employee must have the degree or the equivalence of such a degree through education and experience. There is a required wage, which is at least equal to the wage paid by the employer to similarly qualified workers or a prevailing wage for such positions in the geographic regions where the jobs are located. This visa also covers fashion models of distinguished merit and ability.[105][106] H-1B1 visa is the variant issued to citizens of Singapore and Chile.

Temporary Agricultural Workers
Main article: H-2A visa

The H-2A visa allows a foreign national entry into the US for temporary or seasonal agricultural work for eligible employers under certain conditions (seasonal job, no available US workers).[107]

Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers
Main article: H-2B visa

The H-2B visa allows a foreign national entry into the US for temporary or seasonal non-agricultural work for eligible employers under certain conditions (seasonal job, no available US workers).[108]

Nonimmigrant Trainee or Special Education Exchange Visitor
Main article: H-3 visa

The H-3 visa is available to those foreign nationals looking to “receive training in any field of endeavor, other than graduate medical education or training, that is not available in the foreign national’s home country” or ” participate in a special education exchange visitor training program that provides for practical training and experience in the education of children with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities.”.[109]

Family members
Main article: H-4 visa

H-4 visa is issued to immediate family members of H visa holders. They are also eligible for employment.[110]

I visa

Main article: I visa

The I-1 visa is issued to representatives of the foreign media, including members of the press, radio, film, and print industries travelling to temporarily work in the United States in the profession.[111]

J visa

Main article: J-1 visa
See also: J-2 visa

J-1 visa is issued to participants of work-and study-based exchange visitor programs.[112] The Exchange Visitor Program is carried out under the provisions of theFulbright-Hays Act of 1961, officially known as the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 (Pub.L. 87–256, 75 Stat. 527). The purpose of the Act is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges. The Exchange Visitor Program is administered by the Office of Exchange Coordination and Designation in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. In carrying out the responsibilities of the Exchange Visitor Program, the Department designates public and private entities to act as exchange sponsors. Spouses and dependents of J-1 exchange visitors are issued a J-2 visa.[113]

Exchange visa categories are:

Exchange Visitor Pilot Programs exist for citizens of Australia,[128] Ireland,[129] New Zealand[130] and South Korea.[131]

K visa

Main article: K-1 visa

A K-1 visa is a visa issued to the fiancé or fiancée of a United States citizen to enter the United States. A K-1 visa requires a foreigner to marry his or her U.S. citizen petitioner within 90 days of entry, or depart the United States. Once the couple marries, the foreign citizen can adjust status to become a lawful permanent residentof the United States (Green Card holder).[132] K-2 visa is issued to unmarried children under the age of 21.[133] Foreign same-sex partners of United States citizens are currently recognized by USCIS and accordingly can be sponsored for K-1 visas and for permanent resident status.[134]

K-3/K-4 visas are issued to foreign spouses and children of US citizens.[135]

L visa

Main article: L-1 visa
See also: L-2 visa

The L-1 classification is for international transferees who have worked for a related organization abroad for at least one continuous year in the past three years and who will be coming to the United States to work in an executive or managerial (L-1A) or specialized knowledge capacity (L-1B).[136] L-2 visa is issued to dependent spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age of qualified L-1 visa holders.

M visa

Main article: M-1 visa

The M-1 visa is a type of student visa reserved for vocational and technical schools. Students in M-1 status may not work on or off campus while studying, and they may not change their status to F-1. The M-2 visa permits the spouse and minor children of an M-1 vocational student to accompany him or her to the United States.[137]

O visa

Main article: O visa

O visa is a classification of non-immigrant temporary worker visa granted to an alien “who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics (O-1A visa), or who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements,” (O-1B visa) and to certain assistants (O-2 visa) and immediate family members of such aliens (O-3 visa).[138]

P visa

Main article: P visa

P visas are issued to individuals or team athletes, or member of an entertainment group including persons providing essential support services (P-1 visa), artists or entertainers (individual or group) under a reciprocal exchange program (P-2 visa) and artists or entertainers (individual or group) visiting to perform, teach or coach under a program that is culturally unique.[139] P-4 visas are issued to spouses, or children under the age of 21, of a P-1, P-2, or P-3 alien and who is accompanying, or following to join.

Q visa

Q visa is issued to participants in an international cultural exchange program.[139]

R visa

Main article: R visa

R-1 visa is issued to temporary religious workers. They must have been a member of a religious denomination having a bona fide non-profit religious organization in the United States for at least 2 years.[140] R-2 visa is issued to dependent family members.[141]

TN visa

Main article: TN status

NAFTA Professional (TN) visa allows citizens of Canada and Mexico whose profession is on the NAFTA list[142] and who must hold a bachelor’s degree to work in the United States on a prearranged job. Canadian citizens usually do not require a visa to work under the TN status (unless they live outside Canada with non-Canadian family members) while Mexican citizens require a TN visa. Spouse and dependent children of a TN professional can be admitted into the United States in the TD status.[143]

U and T visas

U-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa which is set aside for victims of crimes (and their immediate family members) who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse and are willing to assist law enforcement and government officials in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity.[144] Subtypes of this visa are U-2 issued to spouses of U-1, U-3 issued to children of U-1, U-4 issued to parents of U-1 under the age of 21 and U-5 issued to unmarried siblings under the age of 18 of U-1 who is under 21.

T-1 visa is issued to victims of severe forms of human trafficking. Holders may adjust their status to permanent resident status.[145] Subtypes of this visa are T-2 issued to spouses of T-1, T-3 issued to children of T-1, T-4 issued to parents of T-1 under the age of 21 and T-5 issued to unmarried siblings under the age of 18 of T-1 who is under 21.

V visa

Main article: V visa

The V visa is a temporary visa available to spouses and minor children (unmarried, under 21) of U.S. lawful permanent residents (LPR, also known as green cardholders). It allows permanent residents to achieve family unity with their spouses and children while the immigration process takes its course. It was created by the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act of 2000.[146] The Act is to relieve those who applied for immigrant visas on or before December 21, 2000. Practically, the V visa is currently not available to spouses and minor children of LPRs who have applied after December 21, 2000.[147]

List of US visa types

All US visa types and subtypes are listed below:[148][149]

Immigrants

Symbol Description
Immediate Relatives
IR-1 Spouse of U.S. citizen
IR-2 Child of U.S. citizen
IR-3 Orphan from a non-Hague country (i.e., not a party to the Hague Adoption Convention) adopted abroad by U.S. citizen
IR-4 Orphan from a non-Hague country to be adopted in the United States by U.S. citizen
IR-5 Parent of U.S. citizen at least 21 years of age
IH-3 Orphan from a Hague country adopted abroad by U.S. citizen
IH-4 Orphan from a Hague country to be adopted in the United States by U.S. citizen
CR-1 Spouse of U.S. citizen (conditional status)
CR-2 Child of U.S. citizen (conditional status)
IW-1 Certain spouses of deceased U.S. citizens
IW-2 Child of IW-1 IB-1
IB-2 Self-petition child of U.S. citizen
IB-3 Child of IB-1
VI-5 Parent of U.S. citizen who acquired permanent resident status under the Virgin Islands Nonimmigrant Alien Adjustment Act
Vietnam Amerasian Immigrants
AM-1 Vietnam Amerasian principal
AM-2 Spouse/Child of AM-1
AM-3 Natural mother of AM-1 (and spouse or child of such mother), or person who has acted in effect as the mother, father, or next-of-kin of AM-1 (and spouse or child of such person)
Special Immigrants
SB-1 Returning resident
SC-1 Certain persons who lost U.S. citizenship by marriage
SC-2 Certain persons who lost U.S. citizenship by serving in foreign armed forces
Family-Sponsored Immigrants: First Preference
F11 Unmarried son or daughter of U.S. citizen
F12 Child of F11
B11 Self-petition unmarried son or daughter of U.S. citizen
B12 Child of B11
Family-Sponsored Immigrants: Second Preference (Subject to Country Limitations)
F21 Spouse of permanent resident
F22 Child of permanent resident
F23 Child of F21 or F22
F24 Unmarried son/daughter of permanent resident
F25 Child of F24
B21 Self-petition spouse of permanent resident
B22 Self-petition child of permanent resident
B23 Child of B21 or B22
B24 Self-petition unmarried son/daughter of permanent resident
B25 Child of B24
Family-Sponsored Immigrants: Second Preference (Exempt from Country Limitations)
FX1 Spouse of permanent resident
FX2 Child of permanent resident
FX3 Child of FX1 or FX2
BX1 Self-petition spouse of permanent resident
BX2 Self-petition child of permanent resident
BX3 Child of BX1 or BX2
Family-Sponsored Immigrants: Third Preference
F31 Married son or daughter of U.S. citizen
F32 Spouse of F31
F33 Child of F31
B31 Self-petition married son or daughter of U.S. citizen B32
B33 Child of B31
Family-Sponsored Immigrants: Fourth Preference
F41 Brother or sister of U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years of age
F42 Spouse of F41
F43 Child of F41
Employment-Based Immigrants: First Preference (Priority Workers)
E11 Person with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics
E12 Outstanding professor or researcher
E13 Multinational executive or manager
E14 Spouse of E11, E12, or E13
E15 Child of E11, E12, or E13
Employment-Based Immigrants: Second Preference (Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability)
E21 Professional holding advanced degree or person of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business
E22 Spouse of E21
E23 Child of E21
Employment-Based Immigrants: Third Preference (Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers)
E31 Skilled worker
E32 Professional holding baccalaureate degree
E34 Spouse of E31 or E32
E35 Child of E31 or E32
EW3 Other workers (subgroup numerical limit)
EW4 Spouse of EW3
EW5 Child of EW3
Employment-Based Immigrants: Fourth Preference (Certain Special Immigrants)
BC-1 Certain international broadcasters
BC-2 Spouse of BC-1
BC-3 Child of BC-1
SD-1 Minister of religion
SD-2 Spouse of SD-1
SD-3 Child of SD-1
SE-1 Certain employees or former employees of the U.S. Government abroad
SE-2 Spouse of SE-1
SE-3 Child of SE-1
SF-1 Certain former employees of the Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone Government
SF-2 Spouse or child of SF-1
SG-1 Certain former employees of the U.S. Government in the Panama Canal Zone SG-2
SH-2 Spouse or child of SH-1
SJ-2 Spouse or child of SJ-1 (certain foreign medical graduates)
SK-1 Certain retired international organization employees
SK-2 Spouse of SK-1 SK-3
SK-4 Certain surviving spouses of deceased international organization employees SL-1
SM-1 Person recruited outside the United States who has served, or is enlisted to serve, in the U.S. Armed Forces for 12 years (became eligible after October 1, 1991)
SM-2 Spouse of SM-1
SM-3 Child of SM-1
SM-4 Person recruited outside the United States who has served, or is enlisted to serve, in the U.S. Armed Forces for 12 years (eligible as of October 1, 1991)
SM-5 Spouse or child of SM-4
SN-1 Certain retired NATO-6 civilian employees
SN-2 Spouse of SN-1
SN-3 Certain unmarried sons or daughters of NATO-6 civilian employees
SN-4 Certain surviving spouses of deceased NATO-6 civilian employees
SR-1 Certain religious workers (subgroup numerical limit)
SR-2 Spouse of SR-1
SR-3 Child of SR-1
Employment-Based Immigrants: Fifth Preference (Employment Creation – Investors) (Conditional Status)
C51 Employment creation outside targeted area
C52 Spouse of C51
C53 Child of C51
T51 Employment creation in targeted rural/high unemployment area (subgroup numerical set-aside)
T52 Spouse of T51
T53 Child of T51
R51 Investor pilot program, not in targeted area
R52 Spouse of R51
R53 Child of R51
I51
I52 Spouse of I51
I53 Child of I51
Other Numerically Limited Categories: Diversity Immigrants
DV-1 Diversity immigrant
DV-2 Spouse of DV-1
DV-3 Child of DV-1

Nonimmigrants

Symbol Description
A-1 Head of state and immediate family, prime minister and immediate family, government minister, ambassador, career diplomat or consular officer, or immediate family
A-2 Minister of state, other foreign government official or employee, or immediate family
A-3 Attendant, servant, or personal employee of A-1 or A-2, and immediate family
B-1 Temporary visitor for business, domestic employees, academics, researchers and students
B-2 Temporary visitor for holiday, tourism, medical treatment
B1/B2 Temporary visitor for business & pleasure
C-1 Person in transit
C-2 Person in transit to United Nations Headquarters district under Section 11 (3), (4), or (5) of the Headquarters Agreement
C-3 Foreign government official, immediate family, attendant, servant or personal employee, in transit
D Crewmember (sea or air)
E-1* Treaty trader, spouse and children
E-2* Treaty investor, spouse and children
E-3* Treaty traders and investors: Australian Free Trade Agreement
E-3D* Spouse or child of E3
E-3R* Returning E3
F-1 Student (academic or language training program)
F-2 Spouse or child of F-1
F-3 Canadian or Mexican national commuter student in an academic or language training program
G-1 Principal resident representative of recognized foreign member government to international organization, staff, and immediate family
G-2 Other representative of recognized foreign member government to international organization, and immediate family
G-3 Representative of nonrecognized or nonmember foreign government to international organization, and immediate family
G-4 International organization officer or employee, and immediate family
G-5 Attendant, servant, or personal employee of G-1 through G-4, and immediate family
GB Temporary visitors: for business, visa waiver, Guam
GT Temporary visitors: for pleasure, visa waiver, Guam
H-1B* Alien in a specialty occupation (profession)
H1B1* Chilean or Singaporean national to work in a specialty occupation
H-2A Temporary worker performing agricultural services unavailable in the United States
H-2B Temporary worker performing other services unavailable in the United States
H-3 Temporary workers and trainees: industrial trainees
H-4* Temporary workers and trainees: spouses and children of H-1, H-2, and H-3 workers
I Representative of foreign information media, spouse and children
J-1 Exchange visitor
J-2 Spouse or child of exchange visitor
K-1* Fiance(e) of U.S. citizen
K-2* Child of fiance(e) of U.S. citizen
K-3* Spouse of U.S. citizen awaiting availability of immigrant visa
K-4* Child of K-3
L-1* Intracompany transferee (executive, managerial, and specialized personnel continuing employment with international firm or corporation)
L-2* Spouse or child of intracompany transferee
M-1 Vocational student or other nonacademic student
M-2 Spouse or child of M-1
M-3 Border commuter student (vocational or nonacademic)[150]
N-8 Parent of SK-3 special immigrant
N-9 Child of N-8 or of SK-1, SK-2 or SK-4 special immigrant
NATO-1 Principal permanent representative of member state to NATO (including any of its subsidiary bodies) resident in the U.S. and resident members of official staff; Secretary General, Assistant Secretaries General, and Executive Secretary of NATO; other permanent NATO officials of similar rank, and members of immediate family
NATO-2 Other representatives of member states to NATO (including any of its subsidiary bodies) including representatives, advisers, and technical experts of delegations, and members of immediate family; dependents of members of a force entering in accordance with the provisions of the NATO Status-of-Forces Agreement or in accordance with provisions of the “Protocol on the Status of International Military Headquarters”; members of such a force if issued visas
NATO-3 Official clerical staff accompanying a representative of member state to NATO (including any of its subsidiary bodies), and members of immediate family
NATO-4 Officials of NATO (other than those classifiable as NATO-1), and members of immediate family
NATO-5 Experts, other than officials classifiable as NATO-4, employed in missions on behalf of NATO, and their dependents
NATO-6 Members of a civilian component accompanying a force entering in accordance with the provisions of the NATO Status-of-Forces Agreement; members of a civilian component attached to or employed by an Allied Headquarters under the “Protocol on the Status of International Military Headquarters” set up pursuant to the North Atlantic Treaty; and their dependents
NATO-7 Attendant, servant, or personal employee of NATO-1 through NATO-6 classes, and immediate family
O-1* Person with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics
O-2* Person accompanying and assisting in the artistic or athletic performance by O-1
O-3* Spouse or child of O-1 or O-2
P-1* Internationally recognized athlete or member of an internationally recognized entertainment group
P-2* Artist or entertainer in a reciprocal exchange program
P-3* Artist or entertainer in a culturally unique program
P-4* Spouse or child of P-1, P-2, or P-3
Q-1 Participant in an international cultural exchange program
R-1 Person in a religious occupation
R-2 Spouse or child of R-1
S-5 Informant possessing information on criminal activity
S-6 Informant possessing information on terrorism
S-7 Spouse, married or unmarried son or daughter, or parent of S-5 or S-6
SIJS Special Immigrant Juvenile Status: Qualifying children present in the U.S. who are declared dependents of a juvenile court and who would be harmed if returned to their home country
TN NAFTA professional
TD Spouse or child of TN
T-1 Victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons
T-2 Spouse of T-1
T-3 Child of T-1
T-4 Parent of T-1 under 21 years of age
T-5 Under-18 unmarried sibling of T-1
U-1 Victim of criminal activity
U-2 Spouse of U-1
U-3 Child of U-1
U-4 Parent of U-1 under 21 years of age
U-5 Under-18 unmarried sibling of U-1 under 21 at time of filing
V-1* Spouse of lawful permanent resident awaiting availability of immigrant visa
V-2* Child of lawful permanent resident awaiting availability of immigrant visa
V-3* Derivative child of V-1 and V-2
WB Temporary visitors: visa waiver, business
WT Temporary visitors: visa waiver, pleasure

[151][152][153]

* Persons with H-1B visas, H-4 visas (as immediate family members of H-1B visa holders), K visas, L visas, and V visas are permitted to have dual intent under the Immigration and Nationality Act. Federal regulations also appear to recognize dual intent O visas, P visas, and E visas.

Visa denial

Section 221(g) of Immigration and Nationality Act defined several classes of aliens ineligible to receive visas.

Grounds for denial may include, but are not limited to:

  • Health grounds
  • Criminal grounds
  • Security grounds
  • Public charge (charge means burden in this context)
  • Illegal entrants or immigration violators
  • Failure to produce requested documents
  • Ineligible for citizenship
  • Previously removed from US
  • The spouse of a US Citizen is almost always denied a visitor’s (B1/B2) visa on grounds that the spouse might want to stay in the United States. However, the spouse of a USC is able to immigrate to the US without much of a hurdle.

Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (also cited as 8 United States Code § 1184(b))[154] states that most aliens must be presumed to be intending to remain in the US, until and unless they are able to show that they are entitled to nonimmigrant status. This means there are two sides to a 214(b) denial. Either

  1. The applicant didn’t convince the consular officer that he didn’t intend to stay in the US permanently, or
  2. The applicant didn’t convince the consular officer that he was qualified for the visa for which he had applied.

An example of a denial based upon the first ground would be an applicant for an F-1 student visa who the consular officer felt was secretly intending to remain in the US permanently.

An example of a denial based upon the second ground would be an H-1B applicant who couldn’t prove he possessed the equivalent of a US bachelor’s degree in a specialty field—such an equivalency being a requirement for obtaining an H-1B visa.

In order to thereafter obtain a visa applicants are recommended to objectively evaluate their situation, see in what way they fell short of the visa requirements, and then reapply.[155]

In 2005, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (then Chief Minister of Gujarat) was denied a diplomatic visa to the United States. In addition, the B-1/B-2 visa that had previously been granted to him was also revoked, under a section of the Immigration and Nationality Act which makes any foreign government official who was responsible or “directly carried out, at any time, particularly severe violations of religious freedom” ineligible for the visa.[156] Modi is the only person ever denied a visa to the U.S. under this provision.[157]

Exceptions

There are cases when a US visa has been granted to aliens who were technically ineligible. Japanese mafia (yakuza) leader Tadamasa Goto and three others were issued visas for travel between 2000 and 2004 to undergo liver transplant surgery at UCLA Medical Center.[158] The FBI had aided the men in the visa application process hoping that they would provide information regarding yakuza activities in the US.[158]

See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_policy_of_the_United_States

Exports as Share of GDP By Country

This page shows Exports as Share of GDP across various countries.

Click on any country name on this page to see a time series of Exports as Share of GDP for that country, along with options for graphing, downloading and validating the underlying data.

For any country, click on the Country Page icon to see a collection of 65+ economic, demographic and societal indicators for that country.

Countries are grouped by region. A single sortable table showing all the countries of the world is at the bottom of this page.

G-20 Economies

Country Level Units As Of 1Y Chg ~5Y Ago ~10Y Ago ~25Y Ago Country Page
USA 13.49% % of GDP 2013 -0.08% 11.01% 9.63% 8.91%
China 26.40% % of GDP 2013 -0.92% 26.72% 34.08% 10.60%
Japan 14.73% % of GDP 2012 -0.40% 17.71% 11.87% 9.76%
Germany 50.67% % of GDP 2013 -1.12% 42.46% 38.55% 24.22%
France 28.28% % of GDP 2013 0.20% 24.07% 25.91% 21.48%
Brazil 12.55% % of GDP 2013 -0.03% 10.98% 16.43% 8.93%
UK 29.84% % of GDP 2013 -0.41% 27.01% 24.36% 22.59%
Italy 28.56% % of GDP 2013 0.30% 22.47% 24.05% 18.57%
Russia 28.37% % of GDP 2013 -1.23% 27.94% 34.42% 21.90%
India 24.82% % of GDP 2013 0.82% 20.05% 17.55% 6.90%
Canada 30.08% % of GDP 2013 0.05% 28.44% 37.46% 25.12%
Australia 19.88% % of GDP 2013 -1.44% 22.53% 17.01% 15.14%
Spain 31.56% % of GDP 2013 1.24% 22.67% 25.18% 16.68%
Mexico 31.75% % of GDP 2013 -0.90% 27.28% 26.23% 19.00%
South Korea 53.92% % of GDP 2013 -2.42% 47.55% 38.30% 28.53%
Indonesia 23.74% % of GDP 2013 -0.55% 24.16% 32.22% 24.29%
Turkey 25.65% % of GDP 2013 -0.65% 23.32% 23.55% 16.20%
Saudi Arabia 51.79% % of GDP 2013 -2.63% 47.09% 50.99% 33.75%
Argentina 14.27% % of GDP 2013 -1.53% 17.40% 21.50% 13.06%
South Africa 31.14% % of GDP 2013 1.22% 27.29% 26.42% 26.69%

Click to download all data for G-20 Economies (csv).

Western Europe

Country Level Units As Of 1Y Chg ~5Y Ago ~10Y Ago ~25Y Ago Country Page
Austria 57.44% % of GDP 2013 0.25% 50.05% 51.48% 36.37%
Belgium 82.76% % of GDP 2013 0.53% 69.26% 70.68% 62.99%
Cyprus 40.11% % of GDP 2010 -0.15% 48.00% 55.99% 45.04%
Denmark 54.27% % of GDP 2013 0.30% 46.72% 43.80% 35.25%
Finland 38.18% % of GDP 2013 -1.45% 36.27% 38.59% 23.01%
France 28.28% % of GDP 2013 0.20% 24.07% 25.91% 21.48%
Germany 50.67% % of GDP 2013 -1.12% 42.46% 38.55% 24.22%
Greece 30.23% % of GDP 2013 1.99% 19.01% 20.78% 15.87%
Hungary 88.76% % of GDP 2013 1.35% 75.06% 60.02% 36.04%
Iceland 55.73% % of GDP 2013 -0.99% 49.69% 32.60% 32.66%
Ireland 105.30% % of GDP 2013 -0.34% 87.06% 80.43% 58.99%
Italy 28.56% % of GDP 2013 0.30% 22.47% 24.05% 18.57%
Luxembourg 203.32% % of GDP 2013 9.95% 168.17% 153.87% 102.47%
Netherlands 82.94% % of GDP 2013 0.90% 63.91% 63.36% 56.02%
Norway 38.88% % of GDP 2013 -2.02% 40.04% 41.80% 38.01%
Portugal 39.26% % of GDP 2013 1.91% 27.08% 27.25% 29.46%
San Marino n.a. % of GDP n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Spain 31.56% % of GDP 2013 1.24% 22.67% 25.18% 16.68%
Sweden 43.79% % of GDP 2013 -2.53% 44.45% 43.45% 30.46%
Switzerland 72.15% % of GDP 2013 5.09% 57.44% 51.55% 43.42%
Turkey 25.65% % of GDP 2013 -0.65% 23.32% 23.55% 16.20%
UK 29.84% % of GDP 2013 -0.41% 27.01% 24.36% 22.59%

Click to download all data for Western Europe (csv).

Eastern Europe

Country Level Units As Of 1Y Chg ~5Y Ago ~10Y Ago ~25Y Ago Country Page
Albania 35.05% % of GDP 2013 1.77% 29.60% 21.54% 17.94%
Bosnia and Herzegovina 31.96% % of GDP 2013 1.09% 24.70% 32.24% n.a.
Bulgaria 68.39% % of GDP 2013 3.79% 43.79% 41.33% 46.42%
Croatia 42.94% % of GDP 2013 1.37% 34.52% 39.45% n.a.
Czech Republic 77.20% % of GDP 2013 0.68% 58.81% 57.43% n.a.
Kosovo 17.41% % of GDP 2013 -0.82% 17.07% n.a. n.a.
Macedonia 53.89% % of GDP 2013 0.28% 39.18% 39.94% n.a.
Montenegro 41.78% % of GDP 2013 -2.34% 32.12% 42.02% n.a.
Poland 47.80% % of GDP 2013 1.14% 39.44% 37.49% n.a.
Romania 41.98% % of GDP 2013 1.99% 30.60% 35.84% n.a.
Serbia 40.75% % of GDP 2013 3.82% 26.85% 24.22% n.a.
Slovak Republic 92.95% % of GDP 2013 1.15% 67.64% 68.61% 28.84%
Slovenia 74.69% % of GDP 2013 1.44% 57.24% 54.97% n.a.

Click to download all data for Eastern Europe (csv).

Former Soviet Republics

Country Level Units As Of 1Y Chg ~5Y Ago ~10Y Ago ~25Y Ago Country Page
Armenia 26.99% % of GDP 2013 2.41% 15.47% 29.73% n.a.
Azerbaijan 48.72% % of GDP 2013 -4.99% 51.64% 48.79% n.a.
Belarus 61.18% % of GDP 2013 -20.16% 50.53% 67.89% n.a.
Estonia 86.08% % of GDP 2013 -2.18% 60.84% 61.53% n.a.
Georgia 44.69% % of GDP 2013 6.54% 29.74% 31.56% 42.36%
Kazakhstan 38.25% % of GDP 2013 -6.83% 41.84% 52.50% n.a.
Kyrgyzstan 47.17% % of GDP 2013 2.76% 54.70% 42.56% n.a.
Latvia 58.84% % of GDP 2011 5.03% 42.35% 40.87% n.a.
Lithuania 77.13% % of GDP 2011 9.31% 53.79% 52.71% n.a.
Moldova 44.12% % of GDP 2013 0.64% 36.87% 50.71% n.a.
Russia 28.37% % of GDP 2013 -1.23% 27.94% 34.42% 21.90%
Tajikistan 19.18% % of GDP 2013 -2.36% 15.15% 58.31% 35.90%
Turkmenistan 73.26% % of GDP 2012 -1.44% 64.06% 62.31% n.a.
Ukraine 46.87% % of GDP 2013 -4.11% 46.38% 61.21% 32.08%
Uzbekistan 27.66% % of GDP 2013 -0.01% 35.59% 40.21% n.a.

Click to download all data for Former Soviet Republics (csv).

East Asia

Country Level Units As Of 1Y Chg ~5Y Ago ~10Y Ago ~25Y Ago Country Page
Brunei 76.16% % of GDP 2013 -5.21% 72.78% 68.80% 61.81%
Cambodia 65.72% % of GDP 2013 2.93% 49.22% 63.61% n.a.
China 26.40% % of GDP 2013 -0.92% 26.72% 34.08% 10.60%
Hong Kong 229.59% % of GDP 2013 4.03% 191.23% 186.65% 130.13%
Indonesia 23.74% % of GDP 2013 -0.55% 24.16% 32.22% 24.29%
Japan 14.73% % of GDP 2012 -0.40% 17.71% 11.87% 9.76%
Laos 37.22% % of GDP 2013 -1.62% 30.88% 30.55% 12.13%
Malaysia 81.68% % of GDP 2013 -3.57% 91.42% 115.37% 71.38%
Mongolia 45.14% % of GDP 2013 -5.42% 50.28% 60.79% 22.49%
Myanmar 0.18% % of GDP 2004 0.00% 0.49% 0.83% 9.10%
North Korea n.a. % of GDP n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Philippines 27.91% % of GDP 2013 -2.87% 32.23% 48.57% 28.11%
Singapore 190.52% % of GDP 2013 -4.55% 191.88% 216.34% 179.54%
South Korea 53.92% % of GDP 2013 -2.42% 47.55% 38.30% 28.53%
Thailand 73.57% % of GDP 2013 -1.41% 68.35% 70.70% 34.92%
Vietnam 83.88% % of GDP 2013 3.85% 62.97% 54.90% 23.85%

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South Asia

Country Level Units As Of 1Y Chg ~5Y Ago ~10Y Ago ~25Y Ago Country Page
Afghanistan 6.28% % of GDP 2013 0.77% 14.71% 34.00% n.a.
Bangladesh 19.54% % of GDP 2013 -0.62% 16.94% 15.46% 5.75%
Bhutan 40.85% % of GDP 2013 2.12% 44.70% 31.29% 28.05%
India 24.82% % of GDP 2013 0.82% 20.05% 17.55% 6.90%
Sri Lanka 22.47% % of GDP 2013 -0.36% 21.33% 35.33% 27.26%
Maldives 111.32% % of GDP 2012 2.61% 104.13% 61.47% 75.86%
Nepal 10.70% % of GDP 2013 0.63% 12.42% 16.68% 11.07%
Pakistan 13.22% % of GDP 2013 0.82% 12.40% 15.67% 13.88%

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Middle East and North Africa

Country Level Units As Of 1Y Chg ~5Y Ago ~10Y Ago ~25Y Ago Country Page
Algeria 33.14% % of GDP 2013 -4.60% 35.37% 40.05% 18.64%
Bahrain 0.00% % of GDP 2013 -74.30% 68.47% 78.61% 98.64%
Djibouti 57.09% % of GDP 2007 17.20% 39.91% 40.45% n.a.
Egypt 17.62% % of GDP 2013 0.20% 24.96% 28.23% 17.89%
Iran 32.18% % of GDP 2007 -0.27% 27.23% 13.63% 15.45%
Iraq n.a. % of GDP n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Israel 32.92% % of GDP 2013 -3.32% 33.50% 39.42% 36.81%
Jordan 42.47% % of GDP 2013 -3.77% 45.88% 52.27% 56.05%
Kuwait 71.56% % of GDP 2013 -3.17% 59.47% 56.92% 52.40%
Lebanon 62.55% % of GDP 2013 6.06% 34.12% 36.22% 18.36%
Libya 67.38% % of GDP 2008 -0.18% 63.26% 23.86% n.a.
Malta 93.61% % of GDP 2011 5.42% 89.22% 83.12% 69.58%
Morocco 33.65% % of GDP 2013 -2.26% 28.70% 29.37% 23.29%
Oman 62.65% % of GDP 2012 -4.46% 58.48% 49.76% 40.01%
Qatar 75.62% % of GDP 2012 3.96% 61.36% 61.70% n.a.
Saudi Arabia 51.79% % of GDP 2013 -2.63% 47.09% 50.99% 33.75%
Syria 37.99% % of GDP 2012 2.66% 36.84% 33.47% 17.15%
Tunisia 46.99% % of GDP 2013 -2.19% 45.83% 42.22% 44.35%
UAE 95.15% % of GDP 2012 4.84% 78.87% 55.92% n.a.
Yemen 30.48% % of GDP 2010 2.26% 41.26% 35.90% n.a.

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Sub-Saharan Africa

Country Level Units As Of 1Y Chg ~5Y Ago ~10Y Ago ~25Y Ago Country Page
Angola 55.78% % of GDP 2013 -6.16% 55.01% 70.14% 33.87%
Burundi 7.40% % of GDP 2013 -1.55% 6.80% 6.95% 9.75%
Benin 18.27% % of GDP 2013 2.97% 15.79% 20.03% 13.50%
Burkina Faso 27.49% % of GDP 2012 6.34% 9.88% 8.71% 11.00%
Botswana 55.12% % of GDP 2013 11.64% 35.35% 49.61% 59.22%
Central African Republic 11.65% % of GDP 2012 0.13% 11.70% 18.24% 17.74%
Cameroon 20.66% % of GDP 2013 1.86% 16.04% 19.40% 20.71%
Congo 55.49% % of GDP 2012 -14.54% 40.21% 24.00% 25.50%
Congo-Brazzaville 76.53% % of GDP 2013 -7.24% 70.42% 80.53% 48.52%
Comoros 16.41% % of GDP 2013 0.26% 14.34% 15.47% 14.88%
Cape Verde 34.92% % of GDP 2012 3.45% 32.10% 31.36% 16.71%
Eritrea 19.53% % of GDP 2012 5.16% 4.43% 6.44% n.a.
Ethiopia 12.49% % of GDP 2013 -1.28% 10.50% 14.75% 6.55%
Gabon 58.72% % of GDP 2013 0.14% 52.50% 62.20% 45.80%
Ghana 42.16% % of GDP 2013 -5.96% 29.29% 39.30% 16.74%
Guinea 28.46% % of GDP 2013 -1.26% 26.54% 24.63% 31.09%
Gambia 36.95% % of GDP 2013 0.98% 22.91% 20.33% 55.06%
Guinea-Bissau 17.32% % of GDP 2012 -9.15% 15.89% 16.25% 12.44%
Equatorial Guinea 88.46% % of GDP 2013 -4.35% 91.31% 110.62% 47.33%
Ivory Coast 45.38% % of GDP 2013 -2.99% 50.70% 48.56% 32.03%
Kenya 17.73% % of GDP 2013 -2.12% 20.03% 26.61% 23.03%
Liberia 32.36% % of GDP 2012 4.86% 34.39% 91.51% n.a.
Lesotho 44.98% % of GDP 2012 -4.10% 56.02% 60.07% 20.91%
Madagascar 30.07% % of GDP 2013 1.06% 22.37% 32.64% 18.45%
Mali 31.26% % of GDP 2012 4.94% 29.20% 26.42% 16.37%
Mozambique 30.18% % of GDP 2013 0.30% 28.65% 30.88% 8.22%
Mauritania 66.71% % of GDP 2013 0.00% 44.90% 29.41% 49.83%
Mauritius 54.31% % of GDP 2013 -0.28% 48.96% 54.02% 63.93%
Malawi 46.33% % of GDP 2013 8.77% 24.65% 24.96% 18.78%
Namibia 43.01% % of GDP 2013 -0.33% 52.35% 39.81% 49.63%
Niger 23.34% % of GDP 2013 -1.27% 20.32% 17.36% 16.60%
Nigeria 18.04% % of GDP 2013 -13.40% 30.77% 30.16% 43.98%
Rwanda 14.41% % of GDP 2013 1.54% 10.18% 11.12% 6.14%
Sudan 9.58% % of GDP 2013 -0.37% 15.97% 17.76% 5.34%
Senegal 26.20% % of GDP 2013 1.91% 24.33% 27.14% 24.46%
Sierra Leone 53.10% % of GDP 2013 17.91% 13.50% 16.67% 23.92%
Somalia 9.79% % of GDP 1990 2.10% 6.96% 24.82% 14.96%
South Sudan 18.19% % of GDP 2013 8.07% 60.31% n.a. n.a.
Sao Tome and Principe 11.01% % of GDP 2013 -1.92% 9.98% 13.61% n.a.
Swaziland 55.30% % of GDP 2013 2.27% 59.15% 84.93% 84.11%
Seychelles 76.32% % of GDP 2013 -13.99% 100.28% 67.74% 11.24%
Chad 32.17% % of GDP 2013 -4.75% 35.14% 51.01% 13.78%
Togo 39.43% % of GDP 2011 -0.73% 37.92% 36.52% 41.37%
Tanzania 24.72% % of GDP 2013 -4.60% 23.23% 19.65% n.a.
Uganda 23.73% % of GDP 2013 0.54% 24.13% 12.70% 7.95%
South Africa 31.14% % of GDP 2013 1.22% 27.29% 26.42% 26.69%
Zambia 41.88% % of GDP 2013 2.46% 29.25% 33.54% 26.81%
Zimbabwe 29.49% % of GDP 2013 -3.24% 22.01% 34.47% 23.34%

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North America

Country Level Units As Of 1Y Chg ~5Y Ago ~10Y Ago ~25Y Ago Country Page
USA 13.49% % of GDP 2013 -0.08% 11.01% 9.63% 8.91%
Canada 30.08% % of GDP 2013 0.05% 28.44% 37.46% 25.12%
Mexico 31.75% % of GDP 2013 -0.90% 27.28% 26.23% 19.00%

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Caribbean

Country Level Units As Of 1Y Chg ~5Y Ago ~10Y Ago ~25Y Ago Country Page
Antigua and Barbuda 44.08% % of GDP 2013 -0.88% 46.55% 59.44% 81.00%
The Bahamas 41.95% % of GDP 2013 -3.49% 39.86% 44.55% 53.83%
Barbados 42.48% % of GDP 2012 3.14% 46.03% 42.15% 48.71%
Cuba 19.96% % of GDP 2011 -2.21% 20.34% 11.53% 32.90%
Dominica 32.83% % of GDP 2013 1.68% 29.62% 34.82% 47.14%
Dominican Republic 25.52% % of GDP 2013 1.20% 21.13% 42.33% 33.47%
Grenada 25.10% % of GDP 2013 -0.71% 24.28% 33.00% 40.28%
Haiti 18.24% % of GDP 2013 1.33% 15.71% 15.35% n.a.
Jamaica 30.43% % of GDP 2012 0.04% 41.95% 36.61% 43.63%
Saint Kitts and Nevis 34.25% % of GDP 2012 2.94% 31.31% 35.82% 59.33%
Saint Lucia 45.99% % of GDP 2013 -0.38% 46.23% 52.44% 80.19%
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 27.35% % of GDP 2013 0.20% 28.49% 35.35% 65.34%
Trinidad and Tobago 63.15% % of GDP 2013 7.50% 52.35% 56.04% 42.64%

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Central America

Country Level Units As Of 1Y Chg ~5Y Ago ~10Y Ago ~25Y Ago Country Page
Belize 60.85% % of GDP 2013 -1.60% 51.62% 50.56% 59.74%
Costa Rica 35.14% % of GDP 2013 -2.06% 42.28% 46.26% 30.27%
El Salvador 26.39% % of GDP 2013 0.80% 23.20% 26.96% 13.24%
Guatemala 23.66% % of GDP 2013 -1.21% 23.98% 26.98% 17.31%
Honduras 47.93% % of GDP 2013 -2.46% 39.53% 58.42% 31.00%
Nicaragua 40.52% % of GDP 2013 -2.52% 30.89% 23.06% 32.54%
Panama 71.01% % of GDP 2013 -8.78% 75.53% 67.61% 78.90%

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South America

Country Level Units As Of 1Y Chg ~5Y Ago ~10Y Ago ~25Y Ago Country Page
Argentina 14.27% % of GDP 2013 -1.53% 17.40% 21.50% 13.06%
Bolivia 44.18% % of GDP 2013 -3.08% 35.72% 31.14% 22.50%
Brazil 12.55% % of GDP 2013 -0.03% 10.98% 16.43% 8.93%
Chile 32.56% % of GDP 2013 -1.68% 37.17% 37.86% 35.39%
Colombia 17.83% % of GDP 2013 -0.43% 16.03% 16.77% 18.00%
Ecuador 29.18% % of GDP 2013 -0.85% 25.25% 24.55% 20.28%
Guyana 84.62% % of GDP 2005 -11.17% 94.99% 102.62% 68.92%
Paraguay 49.38% % of GDP 2013 -0.54% 51.54% 54.42% 35.70%
Peru 23.74% % of GDP 2013 -2.86% 25.19% 22.49% 9.67%
Suriname 58.66% % of GDP 2012 28.24% n.a. 19.74% 29.31%
Uruguay 24.00% % of GDP 2013 -2.66% 28.16% 32.11% 23.49%
Venezuela 26.17% % of GDP 2012 -3.77% 30.82% 33.85% 20.57%

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Australia and Oceania

Country Level Units As Of 1Y Chg ~5Y Ago ~10Y Ago ~25Y Ago Country Page
Australia 19.88% % of GDP 2013 -1.44% 22.53% 17.01% 15.14%
Fiji 58.79% % of GDP 2013 -3.87% 49.51% 53.81% 62.67%
Kiribati 10.51% % of GDP 2013 -0.70% 14.34% 11.62% 18.59%
New Zealand 29.65% % of GDP 2013 0.01% 29.32% 29.81% 26.42%
Papua New Guinea 51.00% % of GDP 2012 -2.23% 74.57% 69.42% 43.25%
Samoa 30.64% % of GDP 2013 2.99% 30.16% 28.20% n.a.
Solomon Islands 54.54% % of GDP 2013 -9.63% 39.30% 30.93% 28.98%
Timor-Leste n.a. % of GDP n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Tonga 17.81% % of GDP 2012 0.29% 13.71% 19.31% 22.74%
Tuvalu n.a. % of GDP n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Vanuatu 47.82% % of GDP 2013 -1.26% 49.11% 45.60% 37.40%

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World

Country Level Units As Of 1Y Chg ~5Y Ago ~10Y Ago ~25Y Ago Country Page
Afghanistan 6.28% % of GDP 2013 0.77% 14.71% 34.00% n.a.
Albania 35.05% % of GDP 2013 1.77% 29.60% 21.54% 17.94%
Algeria 33.14% % of GDP 2013 -4.60% 35.37% 40.05% 18.64%
Angola 55.78% % of GDP 2013 -6.16% 55.01% 70.14% 33.87%
Antigua and Barbuda 44.08% % of GDP 2013 -0.88% 46.55% 59.44% 81.00%
Argentina 14.27% % of GDP 2013 -1.53% 17.40% 21.50% 13.06%
Armenia 26.99% % of GDP 2013 2.41% 15.47% 29.73% n.a.
Australia 19.88% % of GDP 2013 -1.44% 22.53% 17.01% 15.14%
Austria 57.44% % of GDP 2013 0.25% 50.05% 51.48% 36.37%
Azerbaijan 48.72% % of GDP 2013 -4.99% 51.64% 48.79% n.a.
Bahrain 0.00% % of GDP 2013 -74.30% 68.47% 78.61% 98.64%
Bangladesh 19.54% % of GDP 2013 -0.62% 16.94% 15.46% 5.75%
Barbados 42.48% % of GDP 2012 3.14% 46.03% 42.15% 48.71%
Belarus 61.18% % of GDP 2013 -20.16% 50.53% 67.89% n.a.
Belgium 82.76% % of GDP 2013 0.53% 69.26% 70.68% 62.99%
Belize 60.85% % of GDP 2013 -1.60% 51.62% 50.56% 59.74%
Benin 18.27% % of GDP 2013 2.97% 15.79% 20.03% 13.50%
Bhutan 40.85% % of GDP 2013 2.12% 44.70% 31.29% 28.05%
Bolivia 44.18% % of GDP 2013 -3.08% 35.72% 31.14% 22.50%
Bosnia and Herzegovina 31.96% % of GDP 2013 1.09% 24.70% 32.24% n.a.
Botswana 55.12% % of GDP 2013 11.64% 35.35% 49.61% 59.22%
Brazil 12.55% % of GDP 2013 -0.03% 10.98% 16.43% 8.93%
Brunei 76.16% % of GDP 2013 -5.21% 72.78% 68.80% 61.81%
Bulgaria 68.39% % of GDP 2013 3.79% 43.79% 41.33% 46.42%
Burkina Faso 27.49% % of GDP 2012 6.34% 9.88% 8.71% 11.00%
Burundi 7.40% % of GDP 2013 -1.55% 6.80% 6.95% 9.75%
Cambodia 65.72% % of GDP 2013 2.93% 49.22% 63.61% n.a.
Cameroon 20.66% % of GDP 2013 1.86% 16.04% 19.40% 20.71%
Canada 30.08% % of GDP 2013 0.05% 28.44% 37.46% 25.12%
Cape Verde 34.92% % of GDP 2012 3.45% 32.10% 31.36% 16.71%
Central African Republic 11.65% % of GDP 2012 0.13% 11.70% 18.24% 17.74%
Chad 32.17% % of GDP 2013 -4.75% 35.14% 51.01% 13.78%
Chile 32.56% % of GDP 2013 -1.68% 37.17% 37.86% 35.39%
China 26.40% % of GDP 2013 -0.92% 26.72% 34.08% 10.60%
Colombia 17.83% % of GDP 2013 -0.43% 16.03% 16.77% 18.00%
Comoros 16.41% % of GDP 2013 0.26% 14.34% 15.47% 14.88%
Congo 55.49% % of GDP 2012 -14.54% 40.21% 24.00% 25.50%
Congo-Brazzaville 76.53% % of GDP 2013 -7.24% 70.42% 80.53% 48.52%
Costa Rica 35.14% % of GDP 2013 -2.06% 42.28% 46.26% 30.27%
Croatia 42.94% % of GDP 2013 1.37% 34.52% 39.45% n.a.
Cuba 19.96% % of GDP 2011 -2.21% 20.34% 11.53% 32.90%
Cyprus 40.11% % of GDP 2010 -0.15% 48.00% 55.99% 45.04%
Czech Republic 77.20% % of GDP 2013 0.68% 58.81% 57.43% n.a.
Denmark 54.27% % of GDP 2013 0.30% 46.72% 43.80% 35.25%
Djibouti 57.09% % of GDP 2007 17.20% 39.91% 40.45% n.a.
Dominica 32.83% % of GDP 2013 1.68% 29.62% 34.82% 47.14%
Dominican Republic 25.52% % of GDP 2013 1.20% 21.13% 42.33% 33.47%
Ecuador 29.18% % of GDP 2013 -0.85% 25.25% 24.55% 20.28%
Egypt 17.62% % of GDP 2013 0.20% 24.96% 28.23% 17.89%
El Salvador 26.39% % of GDP 2013 0.80% 23.20% 26.96% 13.24%
Equatorial Guinea 88.46% % of GDP 2013 -4.35% 91.31% 110.62% 47.33%
Eritrea 19.53% % of GDP 2012 5.16% 4.43% 6.44% n.a.
Estonia 86.08% % of GDP 2013 -2.18% 60.84% 61.53% n.a.
Ethiopia 12.49% % of GDP 2013 -1.28% 10.50% 14.75% 6.55%
Fiji 58.79% % of GDP 2013 -3.87% 49.51% 53.81% 62.67%
Finland 38.18% % of GDP 2013 -1.45% 36.27% 38.59% 23.01%
France 28.28% % of GDP 2013 0.20% 24.07% 25.91% 21.48%
Gabon 58.72% % of GDP 2013 0.14% 52.50% 62.20% 45.80%
Gambia 36.95% % of GDP 2013 0.98% 22.91% 20.33% 55.06%
Georgia 44.69% % of GDP 2013 6.54% 29.74% 31.56% 42.36%
Germany 50.67% % of GDP 2013 -1.12% 42.46% 38.55% 24.22%
Ghana 42.16% % of GDP 2013 -5.96% 29.29% 39.30% 16.74%
Greece 30.23% % of GDP 2013 1.99% 19.01% 20.78% 15.87%
Grenada 25.10% % of GDP 2013 -0.71% 24.28% 33.00% 40.28%
Guatemala 23.66% % of GDP 2013 -1.21% 23.98% 26.98% 17.31%
Guinea 28.46% % of GDP 2013 -1.26% 26.54% 24.63% 31.09%
Guinea-Bissau 17.32% % of GDP 2012 -9.15% 15.89% 16.25% 12.44%
Guyana 84.62% % of GDP 2005 -11.17% 94.99% 102.62% 68.92%
Haiti 18.24% % of GDP 2013 1.33% 15.71% 15.35% n.a.
Honduras 47.93% % of GDP 2013 -2.46% 39.53% 58.42% 31.00%
Hong Kong 229.59% % of GDP 2013 4.03% 191.23% 186.65% 130.13%
Hungary 88.76% % of GDP 2013 1.35% 75.06% 60.02% 36.04%
Iceland 55.73% % of GDP 2013 -0.99% 49.69% 32.60% 32.66%
India 24.82% % of GDP 2013 0.82% 20.05% 17.55% 6.90%
Indonesia 23.74% % of GDP 2013 -0.55% 24.16% 32.22% 24.29%
Iran 32.18% % of GDP 2007 -0.27% 27.23% 13.63% 15.45%
Iraq n.a. % of GDP n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Ireland 105.30% % of GDP 2013 -0.34% 87.06% 80.43% 58.99%
Israel 32.92% % of GDP 2013 -3.32% 33.50% 39.42% 36.81%
Italy 28.56% % of GDP 2013 0.30% 22.47% 24.05% 18.57%
Ivory Coast 45.38% % of GDP 2013 -2.99% 50.70% 48.56% 32.03%
Jamaica 30.43% % of GDP 2012 0.04% 41.95% 36.61% 43.63%
Japan 14.73% % of GDP 2012 -0.40% 17.71% 11.87% 9.76%
Jordan 42.47% % of GDP 2013 -3.77% 45.88% 52.27% 56.05%
Kazakhstan 38.25% % of GDP 2013 -6.83% 41.84% 52.50% n.a.
Kenya 17.73% % of GDP 2013 -2.12% 20.03% 26.61% 23.03%
Kiribati 10.51% % of GDP 2013 -0.70% 14.34% 11.62% 18.59%
Kosovo 17.41% % of GDP 2013 -0.82% 17.07% n.a. n.a.
Kuwait 71.56% % of GDP 2013 -3.17% 59.47% 56.92% 52.40%
Kyrgyzstan 47.17% % of GDP 2013 2.76% 54.70% 42.56% n.a.
Laos 37.22% % of GDP 2013 -1.62% 30.88% 30.55% 12.13%
Latvia 58.84% % of GDP 2011 5.03% 42.35% 40.87% n.a.
Lebanon 62.55% % of GDP 2013 6.06% 34.12% 36.22% 18.36%
Lesotho 44.98% % of GDP 2012 -4.10% 56.02% 60.07% 20.91%
Liberia 32.36% % of GDP 2012 4.86% 34.39% 91.51% n.a.
Libya 67.38% % of GDP 2008 -0.18% 63.26% 23.86% n.a.
Lithuania 77.13% % of GDP 2011 9.31% 53.79% 52.71% n.a.
Luxembourg 203.32% % of GDP 2013 9.95% 168.17% 153.87% 102.47%
Macedonia 53.89% % of GDP 2013 0.28% 39.18% 39.94% n.a.
Madagascar 30.07% % of GDP 2013 1.06% 22.37% 32.64% 18.45%
Malawi 46.33% % of GDP 2013 8.77% 24.65% 24.96% 18.78%
Malaysia 81.68% % of GDP 2013 -3.57% 91.42% 115.37% 71.38%
Maldives 111.32% % of GDP 2012 2.61% 104.13% 61.47% 75.86%
Mali 31.26% % of GDP 2012 4.94% 29.20% 26.42% 16.37%
Malta 93.61% % of GDP 2011 5.42% 89.22% 83.12% 69.58%
Mauritania 66.71% % of GDP 2013 0.00% 44.90% 29.41% 49.83%
Mauritius 54.31% % of GDP 2013 -0.28% 48.96% 54.02% 63.93%
Mexico 31.75% % of GDP 2013 -0.90% 27.28% 26.23% 19.00%
Moldova 44.12% % of GDP 2013 0.64% 36.87% 50.71% n.a.
Mongolia 45.14% % of GDP 2013 -5.42% 50.28% 60.79% 22.49%
Montenegro 41.78% % of GDP 2013 -2.34% 32.12% 42.02% n.a.
Morocco 33.65% % of GDP 2013 -2.26% 28.70% 29.37% 23.29%
Mozambique 30.18% % of GDP 2013 0.30% 28.65% 30.88% 8.22%
Myanmar 0.18% % of GDP 2004 0.00% 0.49% 0.83% 9.10%
Namibia 43.01% % of GDP 2013 -0.33% 52.35% 39.81% 49.63%
Nepal 10.70% % of GDP 2013 0.63% 12.42% 16.68% 11.07%
Netherlands 82.94% % of GDP 2013 0.90% 63.91% 63.36% 56.02%
New Zealand 29.65% % of GDP 2013 0.01% 29.32% 29.81% 26.42%
Nicaragua 40.52% % of GDP 2013 -2.52% 30.89% 23.06% 32.54%
Niger 23.34% % of GDP 2013 -1.27% 20.32% 17.36% 16.60%
Nigeria 18.04% % of GDP 2013 -13.40% 30.77% 30.16% 43.98%
North Korea n.a. % of GDP n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Norway 38.88% % of GDP 2013 -2.02% 40.04% 41.80% 38.01%
Oman 62.65% % of GDP 2012 -4.46% 58.48% 49.76% 40.01%
Pakistan 13.22% % of GDP 2013 0.82% 12.40% 15.67% 13.88%
Panama 71.01% % of GDP 2013 -8.78% 75.53% 67.61% 78.90%
Papua New Guinea 51.00% % of GDP 2012 -2.23% 74.57% 69.42% 43.25%
Paraguay 49.38% % of GDP 2013 -0.54% 51.54% 54.42% 35.70%
Peru 23.74% % of GDP 2013 -2.86% 25.19% 22.49% 9.67%
Philippines 27.91% % of GDP 2013 -2.87% 32.23% 48.57% 28.11%
Poland 47.80% % of GDP 2013 1.14% 39.44% 37.49% n.a.
Portugal 39.26% % of GDP 2013 1.91% 27.08% 27.25% 29.46%
Qatar 75.62% % of GDP 2012 3.96% 61.36% 61.70% n.a.
Romania 41.98% % of GDP 2013 1.99% 30.60% 35.84% n.a.
Russia 28.37% % of GDP 2013 -1.23% 27.94% 34.42% 21.90%
Rwanda 14.41% % of GDP 2013 1.54% 10.18% 11.12% 6.14%
Saint Kitts and Nevis 34.25% % of GDP 2012 2.94% 31.31% 35.82% 59.33%
Saint Lucia 45.99% % of GDP 2013 -0.38% 46.23% 52.44% 80.19%
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 27.35% % of GDP 2013 0.20% 28.49% 35.35% 65.34%
Samoa 30.64% % of GDP 2013 2.99% 30.16% 28.20% n.a.
San Marino n.a. % of GDP n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Sao Tome and Principe 11.01% % of GDP 2013 -1.92% 9.98% 13.61% n.a.
Saudi Arabia 51.79% % of GDP 2013 -2.63% 47.09% 50.99% 33.75%
Senegal 26.20% % of GDP 2013 1.91% 24.33% 27.14% 24.46%
Serbia 40.75% % of GDP 2013 3.82% 26.85% 24.22% n.a.
Seychelles 76.32% % of GDP 2013 -13.99% 100.28% 67.74% 11.24%
Sierra Leone 53.10% % of GDP 2013 17.91% 13.50% 16.67% 23.92%
Singapore 190.52% % of GDP 2013 -4.55% 191.88% 216.34% 179.54%
Slovak Republic 92.95% % of GDP 2013 1.15% 67.64% 68.61% 28.84%
Slovenia 74.69% % of GDP 2013 1.44% 57.24% 54.97% n.a.
Solomon Islands 54.54% % of GDP 2013 -9.63% 39.30% 30.93% 28.98%
Somalia 9.79% % of GDP 1990 2.10% 6.96% 24.82% 14.96%
South Africa 31.14% % of GDP 2013 1.22% 27.29% 26.42% 26.69%
South Korea 53.92% % of GDP 2013 -2.42% 47.55% 38.30% 28.53%
South Sudan 18.19% % of GDP 2013 8.07% 60.31% n.a. n.a.
Spain 31.56% % of GDP 2013 1.24% 22.67% 25.18% 16.68%
Sri Lanka 22.47% % of GDP 2013 -0.36% 21.33% 35.33% 27.26%
Sudan 9.58% % of GDP 2013 -0.37% 15.97% 17.76% 5.34%
Suriname 58.66% % of GDP 2012 28.24% n.a. 19.74% 29.31%
Swaziland 55.30% % of GDP 2013 2.27% 59.15% 84.93% 84.11%
Sweden 43.79% % of GDP 2013 -2.53% 44.45% 43.45% 30.46%
Switzerland 72.15% % of GDP 2013 5.09% 57.44% 51.55% 43.42%
Syria 37.99% % of GDP 2012 2.66% 36.84% 33.47% 17.15%
Tajikistan 19.18% % of GDP 2013 -2.36% 15.15% 58.31% 35.90%
Tanzania 24.72% % of GDP 2013 -4.60% 23.23% 19.65% n.a.
Thailand 73.57% % of GDP 2013 -1.41% 68.35% 70.70% 34.92%
The Bahamas 41.95% % of GDP 2013 -3.49% 39.86% 44.55% 53.83%
Timor-Leste n.a. % of GDP n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
Togo 39.43% % of GDP 2011 -0.73% 37.92% 36.52% 41.37%
Tonga 17.81% % of GDP 2012 0.29% 13.71% 19.31% 22.74%
Trinidad and Tobago 63.15% % of GDP 2013 7.50% 52.35% 56.04% 42.64%
Tunisia 46.99% % of GDP 2013 -2.19% 45.83% 42.22% 44.35%
Turkey 25.65% % of GDP 2013 -0.65% 23.32% 23.55% 16.20%
Turkmenistan 73.26% % of GDP 2012 -1.44% 64.06% 62.31% n.a.
Tuvalu n.a. % of GDP n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
UAE 95.15% % of GDP 2012 4.84% 78.87% 55.92% n.a.
Uganda 23.73% % of GDP 2013 0.54% 24.13% 12.70% 7.95%
UK 29.84% % of GDP 2013 -0.41% 27.01% 24.36% 22.59%
Ukraine 46.87% % of GDP 2013 -4.11% 46.38% 61.21% 32.08%
Uruguay 24.00% % of GDP 2013 -2.66% 28.16% 32.11% 23.49%
USA 13.49% % of GDP 2013 -0.08% 11.01% 9.63% 8.91%
Uzbekistan 27.66% % of GDP 2013 -0.01% 35.59% 40.21% n.a.
Vanuatu 47.82% % of GDP 2013 -1.26% 49.11% 45.60% 37.40%
Venezuela 26.17% % of GDP 2012 -3.77% 30.82% 33.85% 20.57%
Vietnam 83.88% % of GDP 2013 3.85% 62.97% 54.90% 23.85%
Yemen 30.48% % of GDP 2010 2.26% 41.26% 35.90% n.a.
Zambia 41.88% % of GDP 2013 2.46% 29.25% 33.54% 26.81%
Zimbabwe 29.49% % of GDP 2013 -3.24% 22.01% 34.47% 23.34%

https://www.quandl.com/collections/economics/exports-as-share-of-gdp-by-country

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Hillary Clinton Should Be Indicted Not Nominated! — Bribery In The Form of Charitable Contributions For State Department Inaction or Action — They Have No Shame — American People Do Not Trust Her or Bill — Hillary Must Win or Face A Possible Prison Sentence — Videos

Posted on June 12, 2015. Filed under: American History, Articles, Blogroll, Business, Communications, Computers, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Crisis, Faith, Family, Foreign Policy, Fraud, government spending, history, Illegal, Immigration, Law, Legal, liberty, Links, media, National Security Agency (NSA), National Security Agency (NSA_, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Radio, Radio, Rants, Raves, Talk Radio, Video, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 477 June 3, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 476 June 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 475 June 1, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 474 May 29, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 470 May 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 469 May 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 468 May 20, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 467 May 19, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 459 May 4, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 458 May 1, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 457 April 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 456: April 29, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 455: April 28, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 454: April 27, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 451: April 22, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 449: April 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 448: April 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 447: April 16, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 439: April 1, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 436: March 27, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 435: March 26, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 427: March 16, 2015

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Story 1: Hillary Clinton Should Be Indicted Not Nominated! — Bribery In The Form of Charitable Contributions For State Department Inaction or Action — They Have No Shame — American People Do Not Trust Her or Bill — Hillary Must Win or Face A Possible Prison Sentence — Videos

Hillary Clinton Exchanged Favors to Sweden for $26 Million Donation • 5/28/15 •Donation

May 28th, 2015 • Peter Schweizer explains how 26 million dollars in donations from Sweden to the Clinton’s immediately resulted in favorable actions by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on behalf of telecom giant Ericsson and other Swedish companies.

Bill and Hillary Clinton: Merchants of Power | True News

• CNN • Clinton Foundation Scandals Affecting Hillary’s Prospects • 5/31/15 •

Mitt Romney on Clinton foundation uranium payments: “It looks like bribery”

Clinton Fdn raised $26 mn in Sweden as gov’t lobbied Hillary on Iran sanctions – report

The Clinton Foundation raised $26 million in Sweden while the Scandinavian country’s government was lobbying US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to forgo sanctions that threatened business dealings with Iran, according to the Washington Times.

The Clinton Foundation’s Swedish organization was called the “William J. Clinton Foundation Insamlingsstiftelse” and had never been cleared with State Department ethics officials, according to the Times.

When Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State in 2009, she agreed to implement a transparent review system of her husband’s fundraising and speaking engagements; one which would scrutinize them for potential ties to foreign nations dealing with the US government. However, the Times reported that some activities were not known to the State Department.

Read more

The foundation’s Swedish division escaped the notice of regulators because its incorporation papers were filed in Stockholm. Additionally, the identities of its donors were included in disclosure reports of the US-based charity, making it difficult to tell how the two separate entities differed.

The Swedish fundraising arm was set up at the same time the Swedish government was worrying about new penalties and sanctions being levied against Iran over its nuclear program, the Times stated. State Department cables released by Wikileaks show that many Swedish companies – including Volvo, Ericsson and ABB – were against tighter financial sanctions.

“Sweden does not support implementing tighter financial sanctions on Iran” and believes “more stringent financial standards could hurt Swedish exports,” reads one cable sent to the State Department.

At the time, Iran was Sweden’s second-largest export market in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia, according the Times. Ericsson was Iran’s second-largest cellular provider.

Ericsson itself didn’t make any contributions to the Swedish Clinton Foundation group, but it did pay the former president $750,000 for a speech in Hong Kong in November 2011, just weeks after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released the first sanctions list for Iran that excluded Ericsson and Volvo.

Read more

The Clinton Foundation told the Times the Swedish branch of her foundation was established in 2011 to collect donations from lotteries in Sweden and take advantage of changes in Swedish law that allowed some of the country’s lotteries to send money abroad. In this case, the Clinton Foundation received cash for causes such as fighting climate change, AIDS in Africa and cholera in Haiti.

The Clinton Foundation is a philanthropy, period. We’ve voluntarily disclosed our more than 300,000 donors on our website, including those from Sweden,”said Clinton Foundation spokesman Craig Minassian to the newspaper.

Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential declined to comment on the matter.

http://rt.com/usa/264793-clinton-foundation-sweden-iran/

Democrats Get a Primary

http://time.com/3908652/hillary-clinton-primary-challengers/

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

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National Security Agency Is Still Massively Collecting All Your Communications — The USA Freedom Act Is At Best A Baby Step Towards Restoring Your Fourth Amendment Constitutional Rights — Fire Your Representatives For Betraying Their Oath Of Office — NSA Turnkey Tyranny Totalitarian Targeting of American People — Videos

Posted on June 12, 2015. Filed under: American History, Articles, Blogroll, Books, British History, Business, College, Communications, Computers, Computers, Constitution, Corruption, Data Storage, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Documentary, Economics, Education, European History, External Hard Drives, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, government, government spending, history, Illegal, Immigration, Investments, Islam, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, media, Middle East, Money, National Security Agency (NSA), National Security Agency (NSA_, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Police, Politics, Press, Psychology, Radio, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Systems, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Terrorism, Video, War, Weapons, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 476 June 2, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 458 May 1, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 457 April 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 456: April 29, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 455: April 28, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 434: March 25, 2015

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Pronk Pops Show 428: March 17, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 427: March 16, 2015

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Story 1: National Security Agency Is Still Massively Collecting All Your Communications — The USA Freedom Act  Is At Best A Baby Step Towards Restoring Your Fourth Amendment Constitutional Rights — Fire Your Representatives For Betraying Their Oath Of Office — NSA Turnkey Tyranny  Totalitarian Targeting of American People — Videos

USA Freedom Act passed by Senate and signed by President Obama, limiting NSA surveillance

Freedom Act Changes NSA Rules For Data Collection

Senate Passes USA Freedom Act, Stops NSA Phone Data Gathering Special Report 1st Segment

Bill Binney: We Are A Gov’t With A Country

Freedom Act: Edward Snowden speaks out on surveillance reform

Politics Panel: Cowards! The Freedom Act is Passed

William Binney’s Heartfelt Plea to the American People

Operation “Toto” Pulling Back The Curtain: Full NSA Interview

William Binney Tells RT That USA Freedom Act is a Farce

NSA Whistleblower William Binney: The Future of FREEDOM

Bill Binney: ‘21 recommendations on fixing NSA sent to US president last year’

NSA Whistleblower: Everyone in US under virtual surveillance, all info stored, no matter the post

Rand Paul Causes A Vicious Senate Cat Fight Over Patriot Act

Rand Paul’s Freedom Act Filibuster

Senate Approves USA Freedom Act, Obama Signs It, After Amendments Fail

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 473-476

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 439-446

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 431-438

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 422-430

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 414-421

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 408-413

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 400-407

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 391-399

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 383-390

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 376-382

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 369-375

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 360-368

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 354-359

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 346-353

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 338-345

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 328-337

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 319-327

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 307-318

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 296-306

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Part 2 0f 3: American People Leaving Both Democratic and Republican Parties In Search of A Party With Principles and Leaders With Integrity and Defenders of The United States Constitution — A New Direction For America — Videos

Posted on June 8, 2015. Filed under: American History, Articles, Blogroll, Books, Business, Communications, Computers, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Crisis, Culture, Documentary, Education, Employment, Faith, Family, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Money, Non-Fiction, Obamacare, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Programming, Psychology, Radio, Radio, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 471 May 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 470 May 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 469 May 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 468 May 20, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 467 May 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 466 May 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 465 May 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 464 May 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 463 May 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 462 May 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 461 May 7, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 460 May 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 459 May 4, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 458 May 1, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 457 April 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 456: April 29, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 455: April 28, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 454: April 27, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 453: April 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 452: April 23, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 451: April 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 450: April 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 449: April 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 448: April 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 447: April 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 446: April 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 445: April 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 444: April 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 443: April 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 442: April 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 441: April 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 440: April 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 439: April 1, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 438: March 31, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 437: March 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 436: March 27, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 435: March 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 434: March 25, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 433: March 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 432: March 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 431: March 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 430: March 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 429: March 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 428: March 17, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 427: March 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 426: March 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 425: March 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 424: March 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 423: February 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 422: February 25, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 421: February 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 420: February 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 419: February 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 418: February 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 417: February 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 416: February 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 415: February 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 414: February 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 413: February 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 412: February 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 411: February 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 410: February 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 409: February 3, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 408: February 2, 2015

Story 1: Part 2 0f 3: American People Leaving Both Democratic and Republican Parties In Search of A Party With Principles and Leaders With Integrity and Defenders of The United States Constitution — A New Direction For America — Videos

Demographic Winter – the decline of the human family

Demographic Winter: Decline of the Human Family

One of the most ominous events of modern history is quietly unfolding.  Social scientists and economists agree – we are headed toward a demographic winter which threatens to have catastrophic social and economic consequences.  The effects will be severe and long lasting and are already becoming manifest in much of Europe.

A groundbreaking film, Demographic Winter: Decline of the Human Family, reveals in chilling soberness how societies with diminished family influence are now grimly seen as being in social and economic jeopardy.

Demographic Winter draws upon experts from all around the world – demographers, economists, sociologists, psychologists, civic and religious leaders, parliamentarians and diplomats.  Together, they reveal the dangers facing society and the worlds economies, dangers far more imminent than global warming and at least as severe.  These experts will discuss how:

The population bomb not only did not have the predicted consequences, but almost all of the developed countries of the world are now experiencing fertility rates far below replacement levels.  Birthrates have fallen so low that even immigration cannot replace declining populations, and this migration is sapping strength from developing countries, the fertility rates for many of which are now falling at a faster pace than did those of the developed countries.

The economies of the world will continue to contract as the human capital spoken of by Nobel Prize winning economist Gary Becker, diminishes.   The engines of commerce will be strained as the workers of today fail to replace themselves and are burdened by the responsibility to support an aging population.

View the entire documentary below

The New Economic Reality Demographic Winter Part 1

The New Economic Reality Demographic Winter Part 2

Ageing population in U.S. skyrockets as baby boomers retire

New Study: Many Americans Will Not Be Able to Retire Until Their 80s

Laziness, Greed, Entitlement – Baby Boomers Defined

The End of the World as We Know It, with Mark Steyn

Gallup: Partisan split at historic level

Gallup Poll: Americans Overwhelmingly Want GOP Congress to Set Country’s Agenda, Not Obama

Most Political Independents Ever In USA

How Are Conservative And Liberal Brains Different?

Poll Record High 42 Percent Americans Identify As Independents

Against the USA, Naked Communist Conspiracy Is Unfolding, NWO

1.U.S. acceptance of coexistence as the only alternative to atomic war.
2.U.S. willingness to capitulate in preference to engaging in atomic war.
3.Develop the illusion that total disarmament by the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength.
4.Permit free trade between all nations regardless of Communist affiliation
5.Extension of long-term loans to Russia & satellites.
6.Provide American aid to all nations regardless
7.Grant recognition of Red China. Admission of Red China to the U.N.
8.Set up East and West Germany as separate states under supervision of the U.N.
9.Prolong the conferences to ban atomic tests because the U.S. has agreed to suspend tests as long as negotiations are in progress.
10.Allow all Soviet satellites individual representation in the U.N.
11.Promote the U.N. as the only hope for mankind. Demand that it be set up as a one-world government with its own independent armed forces.
12.Resist any attempt to outlaw the Communist Party.
13.Do away with all loyalty oaths.
14.Continue giving Russia access to the U.S. Patent Office.
15.Capture one or both of the political parties.
16.Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken by claiming their activities violate civil rights.
17.Get control of the schools. Promote Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers’ associations.
18.Gain control of all student newspapers.
19.Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack.
20.Infiltrate the press. Get control of book-review assignments, editorial writing, policymaking positions.
21.Gain control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures.
22.Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. “eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms.”
23.Control art critics and directors of art museums.
24.Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them “censorship” and a violation of free speech.
25.Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity 26.Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as “normal, natural, healthy.”
27.Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with “social” religion. Discredit the Bible as a “religious crutch.”
28.Eliminate prayer or religious expression in the schools
29.Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.
30.Discredit the American Founding Fathers.
31.Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history
32.Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture; education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.
33.Eliminate all laws or procedures which interfere with the operation of communism
34.Eliminate the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
35.Discredit and eventually dismantle the FBI.
36.Infiltrate and gain control of more unions.
37.Infiltrate and gain control of big business.
38.Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand or treat.
39.Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.
40.Discredit the family. Encourage promiscuity, masturbation, easy divorce.
41.Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding to suppressive influence of parents.
42.Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special-interest groups should rise up and use “united force” to solve economic, political or social problems.
43.Overthrow all colonial governments before natives are ready for self-government.
44.Internationalize the Panama Canal.
45.Repeal the Connally reservation so the United States cannot prevent the World Court from seizing jurisdiction over domestic problems and individuals alike.

Mind Control, Psychology of Brainwashing, Sex & Hypnosis

Fit vs. UnFit, Eugenics, Planned Parenthood & Psychology, Mind Control Report

Yuri Bezmenov: Psychological Warfare Subversion & Control of Western Society

The Subversion Factor, Part 1: Moles In High Places

The Subversion Factor, Part 2: The Open Gates of Troy

G. Edward Griffin – The Collectivist Conspiracy

youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAdu0N1-tvU]

The Quigley Formula – G. Edward Griffin lecture

Robert Welch in 1974 reveals NWO

Robert Welch Speaks: A Touch of Sanity (1965)

Robert Welch Speaks: In One Generation (1974)

CORPORATE FASCISM: The Destruction of America’s Middle Class

CULTURAL MARXISM: The Corruption of America

Countdown to Financial Collapse – A Conversation with G. Edward Griffin

WRCFresnoTV — G. Edward Griffin — The Federal Reserve, Taxes, The I.R.S. & Solutions

Rammstein “We’re all living in America” (HD) English Subtitle

Five Finger Death Punch – Wrong Side Of Heaven

Series Id:           LNS14000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Unemployment Rate
Labor force status:  Unemployment rate
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over

Series Id:           LNS13327709
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (seas) Total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of all civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers
Labor force status:  Aggregated totals unemployed
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over
Percent/rates:       Unemployed and mrg attached and pt for econ reas as percent of labor force plus marg attached

Series Id:           LNS11300000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Labor Force Participation Rate
Labor force status:  Civilian labor force participation rate
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over

Series Id:           LNS12000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Employment Level
Labor force status:  Employed
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

Series Id:           LNS13000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Unemployment Level
Labor force status:  Unemployed
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

Series Id:           LNS15000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Not in Labor Force
Labor force status:  Not in labor force
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

World-Fertility-Rate-Map65 and olderbig-population-age-groupKeeping_Track_Age_Distributionslide_25 aging_chart1PG_14.01.29_agingFacts_4_youngOldUS800px-Uspop.svg   shrinking-families

WASHINGTON, D.C. — After reaching a more than two-year high in early 2015, Americans’ satisfaction with the direction of the U.S. continues to fall. Twenty-six percent of Americans say they are satisfied with the way things are going in the nation in May, down slightly from 32% in January and February.

Satisfaction With the Direction of the U.S.

The latest data are from Gallup’s May 6-10 poll.

Satisfaction jumped nine points in January to 32%, a promising sign that Americans’ moods were improving after a year of lower figures throughout 2014, ranging between 20% and 27%. Since February, though, satisfaction has dipped only slightly each month, but these small drops have resulted in a six-point decline since the beginning of the year. Satisfaction remains below the 36% historical average for Gallup’s trend dating back to 1979.

The drop in Americans’ satisfaction with the way things are going parallels the recent decline in economic confidence. Americans had a more positive outlook on the economy at the dawn of 2015, but these views, like satisfaction, have edged down in recent months.

Satisfaction With the Direction of the U.S. vs. Economic Confidence

Views of the nation’s direction have certainly been brighter in the past. Majorities of Americans were typically satisfied with the direction of the U.S. between 1998 and mid-2002 — including a record high of 71% in February 1999. But satisfaction declined steadily in the latter half of President George W. Bush’s presidency as the public grew disillusioned with the war in Iraq and the national economy suffered. This dip in satisfaction culminated in 7% of Americans, a record low, saying they were satisfied with the direction of the nation in October 2008 as the global economy collapsed and the U.S. stock market plummeted.

Satisfaction improved significantly during the first year of President Barack Obama’s term — reaching 36% in August 2009. It has not returned to that level since, ranging between 11% and 33% throughout Obama’s time in office.

Americans Still List Economy, Gov’t and Unemployment as Top Problems

Though the 14% of Americans who name dissatisfaction with government, Congress and politicians as the top problem facing the U.S. has fallen five points since April, it still remains the most commonly mentioned problem — a distinction it has held for six months.

The economy in general (12%) and unemployment (10%) have remained at the top of the list for several years. But mentions of these issues are down significantly from their recent peaks — the economy reached a high of 37% in 2012, and unemployment reached a high of 39% in 2011.

Trends in Top

Race relations and racism (8%), immigration (6%), a decline in moral, religious and family ethics (6%), the state of the healthcare system (5%) and terrorism (5%) were also among the most frequently cited problems facing the nation.

Most Commonly Named Problems in April 2015 vs. May 2015

Bottom Line

After years of dysfunctional government, the economy and unemployment dominating Americans’ mentions of the top problem facing the nation, fewer mention these problems now than in recent years. Still, these three problems remain at the forefront of Americans’ concerns, and may be driving Americans’ high level of dissatisfaction with the nation’s direction.

Although Americans’ confidence in the economy is higher this year than in recent years, it is still negative. And while fewer mention dysfunctional government as the nation’s top problem, Americans still strongly disapprove of Congress’ performance and remain divided on Obama’s.

Meanwhile, mentions of unemployment as a top problem have dipped as more U.S. workers report their workplaces are hiring and the unemployment rate as reported by the BLS declines. But unemployment still remains one of the most frequently cited problems.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted May 6-10, 2015, with a random sample of 1,024 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cellphone respondents and 50% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/183248/americans-satisfaction-direction-wanes.aspx?utm_source=Politics&utm_medium=newsfeed&utm_campaign=tiles

Trend: Party affiliation in U.S. plus leaners

Story Highlights

  • Congressional job approval at 19%, essentially unchanged
  • Approval of GOP Congress similar among Republicans and Democrats

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressional job approval, currently at 19%, remains stuck near historical lows, despite a number of recent high-profile legislative achievements.

Congressional Job Approval Ratings: 2001-2015

Over the past month, Congress has confirmed the stalled nomination of Attorney General Loretta Lynch and both chambers passed a bill that was signed into law regarding Medicare. Bills that would authorize limited congressional oversight on any international agreement with Iran and help victims of human trafficking passed the Senate with little or no opposition. The uptick in activity, though hardly historic, is notable compared with the past two Congresses. Those Congresses, marked by divided control of the two chambers, were known for their entrenched partisan gridlock and few legislative accomplishments. And Americans didn’t care for their inability to agree — they gave Congress its lowest approval ever over this time period. Gallup found in June 2013, six months into the previous Congress, that gridlock and ineffectiveness were the most frequently cited reason for Americans’ disapproval of Congress.

Several months into this new Congress, the accomplishments that have been realized could give one the impression that the gridlock is softening, particularly over the past month. But these achievements have had virtually no impact on Congress’s job approval compared with early April (15%).

And, of course, Congress is far from working perfectly now, even if the pace of work appears to have increased. Most dramatically, the Senate failed to overcome a Democratic filibuster Tuesday afternoon that would give the president enhanced authority in negotiating trade bills, though the May survey was conducted before this occurrence. Legislation authorizing the use of military force in Iraq and Syria to fight ISIS, proposed by the administration and which many members of Congress support, remains stalled.

GOP Congress Has Low Approval Among Republicans

A key reason the current 114th Congress appears to be having more legislative success than the two Congresses before it is that the House and Senate are now under one party’s control. Unified GOP control of Capitol Hill should, at least in theory, boost Republicans’ overall approval of Congress. But the expected “Republican rally” for Congress has yet to materialize — 21% of Republicans and Republican leaners approve of Congress, not much different from the 18% of independents and of Democrats who approve. Nor is Republican support notably higher than the 15% it reached in 2014, despite the decided Republican tilt of this year’s legislature.

Congressional Job Approval, by Party Identification, May 2015

Bottom Line

After years of dysfunction, Congress is moving forward on key pieces of legislation. No longer shackled by split control — though still facing a president of the opposite party — the legislative branch is suddenly finding some areas of agreement. But even if it appears that the gridlock is easing, the overwhelming majority of Americans still disapprove of Congress. If Congress continues passing bipartisan legislation, more Americans might soften their stance. Still, it may be that Americans are largely not aware of or impressed by Congress’ recent legislative successes. Or it may be that the hit to Congress’ reputation over the last several years — evident not only in dismal job approval ratings, but also fallinglevels of trust and confidence — will take a long time to reverse.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted May 6-10, 2015, with a random sample of 1,024 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cellphone respondents and 50% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/183128/five-months-gop-congress-approval-remains-low.aspx?utm_source=Politics&utm_medium=newsfeed&utm_campaign=tiles

Story Highlights

  • 31% say they are socially liberal, 31% socially conservative
  • This is the first time conservatives have not outnumbered liberals
  • Conservatives maintain edge on economic issues

PRINCETON, N.J. — Thirty-one percent of Americans describe their views on social issues as generally liberal, matching the percentage who identify as social conservatives for the first time in Gallup records dating back to 1999.

Trend: Americans' Self-Description of Views on Social Issues

Gallup first asked Americans to describe their views on social issues in 1999, and has repeated the question at least annually since 2001. The broad trend has been toward a shrinking conservative advantage, although that was temporarily interrupted during the first two years of Barack Obama’s presidency. Since then, the conservative advantage continued to diminish until it was wiped out this year.

The newfound parity on social ideology is a result of changes in the way both Democrats and Republicans describe their social views. The May 6-10 Gallup poll finds a new high of 53% of Democrats, including Democratic-leaning independents, describing their views on social issues as liberal.

Trend: Ideological Identification on Social Issues, Democrats and Democratic Leaners, 2001-2015

Democrats were more likely to describe their views on social issues as moderate rather than liberal from 2001 to 2005. Since then, socially liberal Democrats have outnumbered socially moderate Democrats in all but one year.

Meanwhile, the 53% of Republicans and Republican leaners saying their views on social issues are conservative is the lowest in Gallup’s trend. The drop in Republicans’ self-identified social conservatism has been accompanied by an increase in moderate identification, to 34%, while the percentage identifying as socially liberal has been static near 10%.

Trend: Ideological Identification on Social Issues, Republicans and Republican Leaners, 2001-2015

These trends echo the pattern in Gallup’s overall ideology measure, which dates back to 1992 and shows increasing liberal identification in recent years. As with the social ideology measure, the longer-term shifts are mainly a result of increasing numbers of Democrats describing their views as liberal rather than moderate. That may reflect Democrats feeling more comfortable in describing themselves as liberal than they were in the past, as much as a more leftward shift in Democrats’ attitudes on political, economic and social issues.

Conservatives Still Lead Liberals on Economic Issues

In contrast to the way Americans describe their views on social issues, they still by a wide margin, 39% to 19%, describe their views on economic issues as conservative rather than liberal. However, as on social ideology, the gap between conservatives and liberals has been shrinking and is lower today than at any point since 1999, with the 39% saying they are economically conservative the lowest to date.

Trend: Americans' Self-Description of Views on Economic Issues

Currently, 64% of Republicans identify as conservative economically, which is down from 70% the previous two years and roughly 75% in the early years of the Obama presidency. During George W. Bush’s administration, Republicans were less likely to say they were economic conservatives, with as few as 58% doing so in 2004 and 2005. The trends suggest Republicans’ willingness to identify as economic conservatives, or economic moderates, is influenced by the party of the president in office, and perhaps the types of financial policies the presidential administration is pursuing at the time.

Trend: Ideological Identification on Economic Issues, Republicans and Republican Leaners, 2001-2015

Democrats are also contributing to the trend in lower economic conservative identification. While the plurality of Democrats have consistently said they are economically moderate, Democrats have been more likely to identify as economic liberals than as economic conservatives since 2007. The last two years, there has been a 15-percentage-point gap in liberal versus conservative identification among Democrats on economic matters.

Trend: Ideological Identification on Economic Issues, Democrats and Democratic Leaners, 2001-2015

Implications

Americans’ growing social liberalism is evident not only in how they describe their views on social issues but also in changes in specific attitudes, such as increased support for same-sex marriage and legalizing marijuana. These longer-term trends may be attributable to changing attitudes among Americans of all ages, but they also may be a result of population changes, with younger, more liberal Americans entering adulthood while older, more conservative adults pass on. Gallup found evidence that population replacement is a factor in explaining changes in overall ideology using an analysis of birth cohorts over time.

The 2016 presidential election will thus be contested in a more socially liberal electorate — and a less economically conservative one — than was true of prior elections. Economically and socially conservative candidates may still appeal to the Republican Party base in the primaries, but it may be more important now than in the past for the GOP nominee to be a bit less conservative on social issues in order to appeal to the broader general electorate.

And while Americans are less economically conservative than in the past, economic conservatives still outnumber economic liberals by about 2-to-1. As a result, Democrats must be careful not to nominate a candidate who is viewed as too liberal on economic matters if their party hopes to hold the White House beyond 2016.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted May 6-10, 2015, with a random sample of 1,024 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cellphone respondents and 50% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/183386/social-ideology-left-catches-right.aspx?utm_source=Politics&utm_medium=newsfeed&utm_campaign=tiles

AGAINST THE GRAIN
Democrats’ Vanishing Future

Hillary Clinton is not the only Democratic comeback candidate on the 2016 ticket. Senate Democrats are betting on the past to rebuild their party for the future.

BY JOSH KRAUSHAAR

One of the most underappreciated stories in recent years is the deterioration of the Democratic bench under President Obama’s tenure in office. The party has become much more ideologically homogenous, losing most of its moderate wing as a result of the last two disastrous midterm elections. By one new catch-all measure, a party-strength index introduced by RealClearPolitics analysts Sean Trende and David Byler, Democrats are in their worst position since 1928. That dynamic has manifested itself in the Democratic presidential contest, where the bench is so barren that a flawed Hillary Clinton is barreling to an uncontested nomination.

But less attention has been paid to how the shrinking number of Democratic officeholders in the House and in statewide offices is affecting the party’s Senate races. It’s awfully unusual to see how dependent Democrats are in relying on former losing candidates as their standard-bearers in 2016. Wisconsin’s Russ Feingold, Pennsylvania’s Joe Sestak, Indiana’s Baron Hill, and Ohio’s Ted Strickland all ran underwhelming campaigns in losing office in 2010—and are looking to return to politics six years later. Party officials are courting former Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina to make a comeback bid, despite mediocre favorability ratings and the fact that she lost a race just months ago that most had expected her to win. All told, more than half of the Democrats’ Senate challengers in 2016 are comeback candidates.

On one hand, most of these candidates are the best choices Democrats have. Feingold and Strickland are running ahead of GOP Sens. Ron Johnson and Rob Portman in recent polls. Hill and Hagan boast proven crossover appeal in GOP-leaning states that would be challenging pickups. Their presence in the race gives the party a fighting chance to retake the Senate.

(RELATED: What’s Next In the House Benghazi Committee’s Hillary Clinton Investigation)

But look more closely, and the reliance on former failures is a direct result of the party having no one else to turn to. If the brand-name challengers didn’t run, the roster of up-and-coming prospects in the respective states is short. They’re also facing an ominous historical reality that only two defeated senators have successfully returned to the upper chamber in the last six decades. As political analyst Stu Rothenberg put it, they’re asking “voters to rehire them for a job from which they were fired.” Senate Democrats are relying on these repeat candidates for the exact same reason that Democrats are comfortable with anointing Hillary Clinton for their presidential nomination: There aren’t any better alternatives.

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For a portrait of the Democrats’ slim pickings, just look at the political breakdown in three of the most consequential battleground states. Republicans hold 12 of Ohio’s 16 House seats, and all six of their statewide offices. In Wisconsin, Republicans hold a majority of the state’s eight House seats and four of five statewide partisan offices. In Pennsylvania, 13 of the 18 representatives are Republicans, though Democrats hold all the statewide offices. (One major caveat: Kathleen Kane, the Democrats’ once-hyped attorney general in the state, is under criminal investigation and has become a political punchline.) These are all Democratic-friendly states that Obama carried twice.

If Strickland didn’t run, the party’s hopes against Portman would lie in the hands of 30-year-old Cincinnati Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld, who would make unexpected history as one of the nation’s youngest senators with a victory. (Sittenfeld is still mounting a long-shot primary campaign against Strickland.) Without Feingold in Wisconsin, the party’s only logical option would be Rep. Ron Kind, who has regularly passed up opportunities for a promotion. Former Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett already lost to Gov. Scott Walker twice, and businesswoman Mary Burke disappointed as a first-time gubernatorial candidate last year. And despite the Democratic establishment’s publicized carping over Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania, the list of alternatives is equally underwhelming: His only current intra-party opposition is from the mayor of Allentown.

(RELATED: Hillary Clinton to Launch Her Campaign, Again)

In the more conservative states, the drop-off between favored recruits and alternatives is even more stark. Hagan would be a flawed nominee in North Carolina, but there’s no one else waiting in the wings. The strongest Democratic politician, Attorney General Roy Cooper, is running for governor instead. And in Indiana, the bench is so thin that even the GOP’s embattled governor, Mike Pence, isn’t facing formidable opposition. Hill, who lost congressional reelection campaigns in both 2004 and 2010, is not expected to face serious primary competition in the race to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Dan Coats.

Even in the two swing states where the party landed young, up-and-coming recruits to run, their options were awfully limited. In Florida, 32-year-old Rep. Patrick Murphy is one of only five House Democrats to represent a district that Mitt Romney carried in 2012—and his centrism has made him one of the most compelling candidates for higher office. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee quickly rallied behind his campaign (in part to squelch potential opposition from firebrand congressman Alan Grayson). But if Murphy didn’t run, the alternatives would have been limited: freshman Rep. Gwen Graham and polarizing Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz being the most logical alternatives.

In Nevada, Democrats boast one of their strongest challengers in former state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, vying to become the first Latina ever elected to the Senate. But her ascension is due, in part, to the fact that other talented officeholders lost in the 2014 statewide wipeout. Democratic lieutenant-governor nominee Lucy Flores, hyped by MSNBC as a “potential superstar,” lost by 26 points to her GOP opponent. Former Secretary of State Ross Miller, another fast-rising pol, badly lost his bid for attorney general against a nondescript Republican. By simply taking a break from politics, Cortez Masto avoided the wave and kept her prospects alive for 2016.

(RELATED: Newly Released Clinton Email Detail Benghazi Correspondence)

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This isn’t an assessment of Democratic chances for a Senate majority in 2017; it’s a glaring warning for the party’s longer-term health. If Clinton can’t extend the Democrats’ presidential winning streak—a fundamental challenge, regardless of the political environment—the party’s barren bench will cause even more alarm for the next presidential campaign. And if the Democrats’ core constituencies don’t show up for midterm elections—an outlook that’s rapidly becoming conventional wisdom—Democrats have serious challenges in 2018 as well. It’s why The New Yorker’s liberal writer John Cassidy warned that a Clinton loss next year could “assign [Republicans] a position of dominance.”

By focusing on how the electorate’s rapid change would hand Democrats a clear advantage in presidential races, Obama’s advisers overlooked how the base-stroking moves would play in the states. Their optimistic view of the future has been adopted by Clinton, who has been running to the left even without serious primary competition.

But without a future generation of leaders able to compellingly carry the liberal message, there’s little guarantee that changing demographics will secure the party’s destiny. The irony of the 2016 Senate races is that Democrats are betting on the past, running veteran politicians to win them back the majority—with Clinton at the top of the ticket. If that formula doesn’t work, the rebuilding process will be long and arduous.

http://www.nationaljournal.com/against-the-grain/democrats-vanishing-future-20150521

How Many Workers Support One Social Security Retiree?

Veronique de Rugy | May 22, 2012

With the Social Security Trust Fund exhausting faster than expected, another obstacle to the sustainability of the program is rearing its head: Social Security benefits rest on fewer and fewer taxpayers. This week’s chart by Mercatus senior research fellow Veronique de Rugy uses data from the 2012 Social Security Trustees Report to show the number of workers that need to contribute to the system to ensure the benefits for one retiree.

Most of the major shifts in worker-to-beneficiary ratios before the 1960s are attributable to the dynamics of the program’s maturity. In the early stages of the program, many paid in and few received benefits, and the revenue collected greatly exceeded the benefits being paid out. What appeared to be the program’s advantage, however, turned out to be misleading. Between 1945 and 1965, the decline in worker-to-beneficiary ratios went from 41 to 4 workers per beneficiary.

The Social Security program matured in the 1960s, when Americans were consistently having fewer children, living longer, and earning wages at a slower rate than the rate of growth in the number of retirees. As these trends have continued, today there are just 2.9 workers per retiree—and this amount is expected to drop to two workers per retiree by 2030.

The program was stable when there were more than 3 workers per beneficiary. However, future projections indicate that the ratio will continue to fall from two workers to one, at which point the program in its current structure becomes financially unsustainable.

*Note on the data: At the inception of Social Security in 1935, there were few beneficiaries and a lot of workers. (See the number of beneficiaries per 100 covered workers inTable IV.B2 of the Trustees Report). As the post-WWII baby boomers were born, the worker-to-beneficiary ratio increased. As birth rates decline and the baby boomers retire, the worker-to-beneficiary ratio is on the decline. The increased longevity of Americans only further compounds the problem.

http://mercatus.org/publication/how-many-workers-support-one-social-security-retiree

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Stand With Rand Against Renewal of Patriot Act and National Security Agency’s Turnkey Tyranny And Repeal of Fourth Amendment of U.S. Constitution — Videos

Posted on May 22, 2015. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, British History, Business, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Communications, Computers, Constitution, Corruption, Economics, European History, External Hard Drives, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, government, government spending, history, Investments, IRS, liberty, Life, Links, media, Middle East, National Security Agency (NSA), National Security Agency (NSA_, People, Philosophy, Police, Politics, Radio, Security, Strategy, Systems, Taxes, Technology, Video, War, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Stand With Rand Against Renewal of Patriot Act and National Security Agency’s Turnkey Tyranny And Repeal of Fourth Amendment of U.S. Constitution — Videos

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment originally enforced the notion that “each man’s home is his castle”, secure fromunreasonable searches and seizures of property by the government.  It protects against arbitrary arrests, and is the basis of the law regarding search warrants, stop-and-frisk, safety inspections, wiretaps, and other forms of surveillance, as well as being central to many other criminal law topics and to privacy law.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/fourth_amendment

CLIP: Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) begins his remarks on Patriot Act and NSA Surveillance (C-SPAN)

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AFTER OVER 10 HOURS, RAND PAUL ENDS HIS NSA ‘FILIBUSTER’

The Kentucky Republican spoke on the Senate floor until he could no longer stand. Here’s everything that happened.

BY DUSTIN VOLZ AND KAVEH WADDELL

en. Rand Paul has just wrapped a ten-and-a-half hour long speech on the Senate floor in what his office called a filibuster against the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, as part of an apparent stand against efforts by some of his Republican colleagues to extend the Patriot Act’s expiring spy powers.

“There comes to a time in the history of nations when fear and complacency allow power to accumulate and liberty and privacy to suffer,” Paul started. “That time is now. And I will not let the Patriot Act, the most un-patriotic of acts, go unchallenged.”

“There comes to a time in the history of nations when fear and complacency allow power to accumulate and liberty and privacy to suffer,” Paul started. “That time is now. And I will not let the Patriot Act, the most un-patriotic of acts, go unchallenged.”
Paul took the podium at 1:18 p.m. and left the floor at 11:49 p.m. Here’s what happened, and what’s coming next.

12:26 a.m.: A very tired Rand Paul, off the floor, opens up.

After he walked off the Senate floor, the Kentucky senator told reporters he was “tired, voice is worn out, ready to go home.”

But Paul didn’t feel like his time and energy were for nothing. Business shoes in hand, a weary Paul said “we accomplished something by having, you know, it was kind of nice to have bipartisan support.”

Paul said that even though he didn’t last until midnight, he still believed he had slowed down the clock by a day on procedural advancement on any Patriot Act reauthorization. But an aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested the theatrics matter little. “Cloture on trade would be tomorrow either way. Patriot Act is after that,” the aide said.

Because McConnell did not file for cloture by Tuesday evening, it was already unlikely the Senate could act on the Patriot Act before the House goes on recess tomorrow, given the drawn-out parliamentary process of the upper chamber. Unless the Senate is willing to stay in town over the weekend and approve the House-passed Freedom Act, it appears increasingly likely that we are headed for a full expiration of the law’s three surveillance authorities, which sunset on June 1.

Paul, while talking to reporters, took a jab at President Obama for not ending the NSA’s bulk phone-records program unilaterally. Obama “needs to step up and be a little more of a leader in getting us out of this mess,” he said.

Noting support from Sens. Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, his presidential rival, Paul said “We’re not exactly [on] the same page but I think we’re all opponents of the bulk collection.” Both Lee and Cruz support the USA Freedom Act, while Paul says it does not go far enough.

11:49 p.m.: It’s over. Thanking his staff, Sen. Rand Paul has relinquished the floor after 10 hours and 30 minutes.

(C-SPAN)
Since Paul didn’t speak past midnight, the week’s schedule appears to remain unchanged. Earlier in the night, an aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that if Paul talked into Thursday, it would hold up possible consideration of a Patriot Act extension and throw off the Senate’s calendar before breaking for recess.

11:45 p.m.: We’re winding down. After Sen. Ted Cruz’s fiery speech, a tired Paul took the podium for a final hurrah. “My voice is rapidly leaving, and my bedtime has long since past,” he said, before launching into a summary of what he’s been saying for almost 10 and a half hours. “Bulk collection must end, and I think we have the votes to end it now,” Paul said.

11:29 p.m.: At last, Ted Cruz stands with Rand. Sen. Ted Cruz joined Paul to rail against the Patriot Act late Wednesday evening, just before 11:30 p.m. Cruz is the third Republican to join Paul on the floor.

The Texas Republican praised Paul for having “altered this debate” over NSA surveillance.

Cruz presided over the Senate for a bit earlier in the evening but stepped down to the floor to join Paul’s efforts.

Cruz is running for the GOP nomination for president, as is Paul. Sen. Marco Rubio is currently presiding, meaning three Republican White House contenders are currently in the chamber. A Paul-sanctioned super PAC that is backing his presidential bid earlier mocked Cruz on Twitter for not #StandingWithRand.

Cruz began talking up the virtues of the House-passed USA Freedom Act. Though Cruz supports the bill, he is only one of five GOP co-sponsors in the Senate. Paul believes the bill does not enough, while Rubio wants to preserve the Patriot Act’s spying authorities and the NSA’s bulk data regime.

Cruz emphasized that a straight extension of the Patriot Act provisions that the NSA uses to justify its surveillance program would not be acceptable.

“It is abundantly, abundantly clear that a clean reauthorization of the Patriot Act ain’t passing this body, and it certainly ain’t passing the House of Representatives.”

Cruz spent much of his speech focusing on the personal, saying that standing on the floor with Paul and Sen. Mike Lee reminded him of The Blues Brothers and getting the band back together.

“I said many times I will go to my grave in debt to Sen. Rand Paul that the first opportunity I had to speak on the Senate floor was in support of his epic filibuster,” Cruz said.

11:25 p.m.: Rand Paul is now selling a “filibuster starter pack.” This talk-a-thon is about more than just national security, the power of government, and privacy rights. It’s also about Rand Paul and his presidential ambitions. The latest example: you can now buy yourself a “filibuster starter pack” at Paul’s online campaign store, as the senator’s Twitter account alerted followers to.

The kit is $30 and includes, per the site, a t-shirt that reads “The NSA knows I bought this Rand Paul tshirt,” a bumper sticker that says the same, just about buying a sticker, and a “Spy blocker” for your computer camara.

11:16 p.m.: Patriot Act defender Marco Rubio is now presiding over Paul’s Patriot Act takedown. Another GOP presidential candidate is now presiding over Paul’s “filibuster.” Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida took over the duties to run the floor from Sen. Ted Cruz.

Rubio has vociferously defended the NSA’s surveillance powers, once penning an op-ed calling for the permanent extension of the Patriot Act’s spy provisions.

Rubio was spotted intently reading a magazine—using a pen to go line by line—as Sen. Lee spoke from the floor. Cruz, meanwhile, took a seat to Lee’s right, indicating he may end up joining the talk-a-thon after all.

11:10 p.m.: Rand Paul’s biggest House fans join him on Senate floor. A handful of House members gathered behind Paul on the Senate floor late Wednesday to cheer him on. The gaggle included Republican Rep. Tom Massie and Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer, both of whom voted against the House-passed USA Freedom Act last week on grounds it does not do enough to curb NSA surveillance. Massie has long been a big political ally of Paul’s.

Paul tonight has repeatedly said he is concerned the Freedom Act needs to do more before it can earn his support.

10:43 p.m.: Mike Lee returns. The tea-party Republican from Utah has reemerged to keep the Patriot Act talk-a-thon going. Lee is one of two Republicans to speak on the floor for Paul’s “filibuster,” along with Sen. Steve Daines of Montana.

Lee is a lead sponsor of the House-passed USA Freedom Act, alongside Sen. Patrick Leahy, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. Though seven Democrats have supported Paul on the floor today, Leahy is not one them.

10:25 p.m.: Cruz’s office says he was scheduled to be presiding officer. In a strange twist of fate, Sen. Ted Cruz was already on the books to preside over the Senate tonight, his office says. Many expected Cruz to support Paul during his speech.

10:15 p.m.: As promised, Wyden is back. The Oregon Democrat has returned to speak on the floor, giving Paul a much-needed break.

10:10 p.m.: Sen. Ted Cruz arrives, but not to help. After nearly nine hours, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz arrived on the floor. But he wasn’t there to stand with the long-suffering Kentucky senator—he is presiding over the nearly-empty senate.

Cruz, who, like Paul, is running for the GOP presidential nomination, is a co-sponsor of the USA Freedom Act, which would rein in parts of the NSA and effectively end its bulk collection of U.S. call data. He is one of five Republicans to cosponsor the measure. Paul has said the bill does not go far enough.

9:50 p.m.: Another Democrat arrives to stand with Rand. Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut appeared to give Paul another breather. This is the seventh Democrat to come to Paul’s assistance.

Blumenthal talked about the secrecy of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and pressed for more transparency and oversight of the judicial body, which some privacy advocates have derided as a “rubber stamp” for the NSA’s surveillance orders. Blumenthal called for an adversarial body to argue against the government before the FISA Court.

9:48 p.m.: Ron Paul is standing with his son. The Campaign for Liberty, the organization led by former Rep. Ron Paul, tweeted out a picture of Paul and his wife standing by a TV tuned to C-SPAN 2. “C4L Chairman @RonPaul and his wife Carol stand with their son Rand to end NSA spying. Do you? #StandWithRand”

9:43 p.m. Rand Paul is slowing down. Over the last twenty minutes, Paul has paused for prolonged moments, swaying back and forth as he shuffles through the papers on his desk. His voice sounds hoarse, and he has fallen silent to pop a candy into his mouth a few times. If you were wondering if talking for so long with few breaks can get physically taxing, he’s your proof.

9:03 p.m.: Wyden returns. Sen. Ron Wyden, who was the first senator to join Paul several hours ago, is now back on the floor. The Oregon Democrat discussed his concerns about so-called “backdoor search loopholes” that can be used by the intelligence community to pry into the digital communications of Americans who correspond with foreigners.

Wyden then praised Paul’s stamina and determination before pledging to return later in the evening. “I intend to rejoin my colleague before long,” Wyden said.

8:57 p.m.: After listening for hours, Sen. Cantwell speaks. Washington Democrat Maria Cantwell, who has been sitting at a desk for much of the evening—certainly longer than any other senator—stood to ask Paul about encryption technology. She follows Sens. Wyden, Heinrich, Manchin, Coons, and Tester as the sixth Democrat to speak with Paul.

8:51 p.m.: McConnell aide: If Paul talks past midnight, he will delay NSA consideration. An aide for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said late Wednesday that if Paul continues his talk-a-thon past midnight, he will succeed in delaying the Senate’s possible consideration of any Patriot Act extension, possibly into the weekend or later.

This is significant because the House is due to pack its bags and leave town tomorrow. Because the Patriot Act’s spy authorities expire on June 1, the Senate may not be able to pass any surveillance legislation in time before the lower chamber recesses until next month.

If Paul makes it past midnight, the McConnell aide said, he will delay when the Senate—which still needs to address pending trade legislation—can file cloture on any Patriot Act legislation.

Earlier Wednesday, the Obama administration said the NSA would start shutting down its phone-records dragnet this Friday in order to have it turned off completely by June 1 unless Congress figured out a way forward before then.

It is unclear if McConnell would have filed cloture today had he been given the opportunity, however. And this all may be a moot point, as it is unclear if either the Freedom Act or a short-term “clean” reauthorization has the 60 votes necessary to advance through the Senate.

8:12 p.m.: Paul: Freedom Act allows for continued spying. Paul has said he’s unhappy with the House-passed USA Freedom Act because it doesn’t go far enough to stop NSA surveillance. He outlined his gripes with the bill on the floor, saying that the liability protection it offers telephone companies is proof that it doesn’t limit the spying programs enough.

“One question I would ask, if there was anybody that would actually tell you the answer, would be: If we already gave them liability protection under the Patriot Act, why are they getting it again under the USA Freedom Act unless we’re asking them to do something new that they didn’t have permission for?” Paul asked.

“The other problem with the USA Freedom Act is: If you think bulk collection is wrong, why do they need new authorities? Why are we giving them some new authorities?” he continued.

7:55 p.m.: Paul: This is just the tip of the iceberg. Paul is under no illusions that letting portions of the Patriot Act expire would end what he calls illegal spying. While the NSA’s bulk surveillance is a high-profile target, Paul says he thinks there are many similar programs that haven’t been revealed.

“If we decide to fix bulk records and try to do something about this, I think, injustice, the main thing is we should be aware that this isn’t the only program. There’s probably a dozen programs. There’s probably another dozen we haven’t even heard of that they won’t tell any of us about,” Paul said.

“And realize that they’re not asking Congress for permission. They are doing whatever they want,” he continued. “We did not give them permission under the Patriot Act to do bulk collection of phone records. They are doing it with no authority, or inherent authority, or some other authority, because the courts have already told them that there is no authority under the Patriot Act.”

7:47 p.m.: Paul goes off on EPA overreach. To illustrate the problems that come with big government, Paul turned away from the NSA and toward the EPA, an agency much reviled among conservatives unhappy with government overinvolvement.

Paul brought up a case that saw a man and his daughter sentenced to 10 years in prison for “putting clean dirt on his own land.”

“That’s what’s happening in America. So you wonder why some of us worry about our records being snatched up? We’re worried about our own government’s run amok, that our own government’s out of control and that our own government’s not really paying attention to us,” Paul said. “To put a 70-year-old man in prison for ten years for putting clean dirt on his own land, the person that did that ought to go to jail, in fact they ought to be put in a stockade and publicly flogged and then made to pay penance for a decade for doing something so stupid.”

Paul appeared to be referring to this 2005 case. According to an EPA administrator, “the defendants destroyed valuable wetlands and victimized the residents of Big Hill Acres, who ended up with polluted homes and yards with leaking sewage.”

7:13 p.m.: Rand’s getting a lot of help, but where is Ted Cruz? Two Republicans and five Democrats have joined Paul’s extended oratorical demonstration against the Patriot Act, but one senator is so far notably absent: Ted Cruz.

Cruz, who, like Paul, is running for president, has frequently lambasted the NSA for violating Americans’ privacy rights with its sweeping surveillance programs. Cruz is also one of five GOP cosponsors of the USA Freedom Act, the reform bill that passed the House and would effectively end the NSA’s domestic phone-records dragnet.

But Cruz, who was spotted in the Capitol earlier Wednesday, has so far not appeared on the floor to lend support to Paul. Cruz’s office did not respond to multiple requests for comment asking whether the Texas senator had plans to join the “filibuster.”
6:50 p.m.: Sen. Jon Tester is here. The Montana Democrat and chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is the fifth Democrat to join Paul on the Senate floor.

6:45 p.m.: Rand Paul takes on “people who believe that the inherent authorities of the president are unlimited.” Paul said the bulk collection program’s beginnings, during which it was not sanctioned by law, fell outside the bounds of a president’s authority.

“For the first several years we did bulk collection, they just did it,” Paul said. “They just said it was under the inherent authorities of the president. This should scare us because there are people who believe that the inherent authorities of the president are unlimited. That would not be a president. There would be another name for that.”

6:44: Sen. Chris Coons comes to the floor. The Delaware senator is the fourth Democrat to come to the floor.

It’s relatively rare for my colleague from Kentucky and I to come to the floor in agreement on an issue,” Coons said. “But it has happened before on exactly this issue.”

6:35 p.m.: Standing with Rand outside the Capitol. About 25 “grassroots” supporters of Rand Paul gathered outside the Capitol Wednesday to show solidarity for his stand against the Patriot Act and support his presidential campaign. Chanting “stand with Rand” and “President Paul,” the group was nearly matched by the number of journalists snapping photos of the demonstration.

Cliff Maloney, 24, organized the event on Facebook. Maloney, who works for Young Americans for Liberty, said he supports Paul because of his stances on privacy issues and ability to reach out to younger voters.

“Look at today,” Maloney said. “He’s on the Senate floor filibustering [for digital privacy rights]. And that’s something young voters care about.”

6:20 p.m.: Sen. Joe Manchin Spars with Paul over USA Freedom Act. The Democrat from West Virginia joined Paul on the floor just after 6 p.m. “My good friend, I don’t always agree with you on every issue, but when it comes to this nation’s intelligence gathering and security, we agree more than we don’t,” Manchin said.

Manchin went on to express his support for the NSA reform bill that the House passed last week. “I believe this bill, USA Freedom 2015, moves us in a positive direction, ends the bulk data collection program, and ensures that the collection of data is related to a relevant, particular terrorist investigation,” Manchin said.

When Paul took the podium again, he laid out his concerns with the act that Manchin was touting. “I want to like it, and I want to because it ends bulk collection,” Paul said. But he said the fact that the bill allows the government to search for a person’s records leaves a loophole.

“See, the big thing for me is a warrant should be individualized and I’m worried when you use the word “person” if it can be replaced with the word verizon and still collect all the records,” Paul said. The problem stems from the legal practice of treating corporations as people.

“I don’t know if they’re insurmountable, but those are a couple concerns,” Paul said.

6:02 p.m.: Sen. Steve Daines joins the fray. Montana Republican Steve Daines joined Paul’s stand against the Patriot Act shortly before 6 p.m.

“I spent more than 12 years in the technology sector before being elected to Congress,” Daines said. “I know firsthand the power that big data holds. I also know the great risks that arise when this power is abused. There is a clear and a direct threat to American civil liberties that comes from the mass collection of our personal information and our phone records.”

Daines is one of five GOP cosponsors of the reform-minded USA Freedom Act, which passed the House easily last week. Paul is not a cosponsor of the measure, which he says does not go far enough to limit the Patriot Act’s spying provisions.

It is expected nearly all Senate Democrats would vote for the Freedom Act, with Sen. Bill Nelson being the lone holdout. But it remains unclear if the bill has enough Republican support to reach a filibuster-proof 60-vote threshold, especially with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell whipping against it.

5:53 p.m.: What Rand Paul wants. Paul began going into detail over the last twenty minutes about the amendments he and Sen. Ron Wyden are “most likely” to offer on legislation seeking to reauthorize the expiring provisions of the Patriot Act. Many of the amendments would push for privacy safeguards that the two civil-liberties advocates have long championed.

The first amendment, Paul said, would prohibit the government from mandating that tech firms create so-called surveillance “backdoors” in their products, which the NSA could access. “I know facebook has objected to this and fought them on this, but our amendment would say that the government just can’t do this,” Paul said.

A second amendment would “end bulk collection and replace it with nothing,” Paul said. It would close a loophole that allows back-door searches, he said, referring to the NSA’s practice of using a rule that allows it to search the foreigners’ data to capture information on U.S. citizens. The amendment would also require a “constitutional advocate” to be present in order to argue against the government in intelligence courts.

That amendment, Paul said, would also enact certain privacy protections for Americans whose digital records are held by third-party companies.

Another amendment Paul wants to introduce would make warrantless spying on Americans illegal “in non-terror” cases. He said the amendment would protect Americans against the government using a warrant intended for foreign terrorists that’s easier to obtain.

A fourth amendment would require courts to approve national security letters to “make them more like warrants,” Paul said. So-called NSLs compel companies to hand over communications data or financial records of certain users for the purposes of a national security investigation. The decades-old investigative tool that has grown in importance and frequency of use since the Patriot Act’s passage. Hundreds of thousands of letters have been used by the Justice Department since Sept. 11, 2001, and are often accompanied by gag orders.

Paul continued to tick off several other amendment ideas, including additional protections for whistleblowers, allowing for U.S. citizens to appeal surveillance orders handed down by Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and implementing limitations to the Reagan-era Executive Order 12333, which some privacy advocates say allows the NSA the majority of its spying power.

5:50 p.m.: Supports of Rand to Rally in Capitol. A group of “grassroots supporters” for Paul’s efforts to block the Patriot Act will gather at 6 p.m. outside the U.S. Capitol, according to a Facebook event page. The event calls for supporters to gather on the Senate steps “on the west front side” that face the White House. Eighty-nine people have currently RSVP’d for the Stand with Rand party.

5:01 p.m.: Martin Heinrich arrives. Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich became the second Democrat to join Paul on the floor to criticize the NSA’s mass surveillance programs.

The New Mexico senator took the opportunity to cite a recent federal appeals court decision deeming the NSA’s phone-records dragnet illegal as proof the Patriot Act’s spying provisions cannot be renewed without substantial changes akin to what the USA Freedom Act offers.

“Why on Earth, I would ask you, why on Earth would we extend a law that this court has found to be illegal?” Heinrich asked. “Now, given the overwhelming evidence that the current bulk collection program is not only unnecessary but also illegal, i think we’ve reached a critical turning point

Heinrich serves on the intelligence committee along with Sen. Ron Wyden, who spoke on the floor earlier. The two have frequently teamed up to question the intelligence community’s broad surveillance powers.

4:46 p.m.: Lee makes his case for a vote on USA Freedom. Sen. Mike Lee said he was open to amendments to his NSA reform package, the USA Freedom Act, but that it would be irresponsible for the Senate to not take up consideration with sufficient time for discussion.

“If there are those who have concerns with the legislation passed by the House of Representatives last week by a vote of 338-88, I welcome their input, I welcome any amendments they may have, I welcome the opportunity to make the bill better to make it more compatible with this or that interest,” Lee said. “We cannot continue to function by cliff. Government by cliff is a recipe for disaster.”

4:27 p.m.: Wyden out, Lee in. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, joined Paul on the Senate floor to give the Kentucky senator’s vocal cords a rest. Lee has been an outspoken supporter of reforming the NSA’s surveillance programs, and is one of the co-sponsors of the USA Freedom Act. Lee acknowledged that his position is not as extreme as Paul’s—he does not support allowing the Patriot Act to expire, as Paul does—but he offered his support on the floor.

“Let me be clear at the outset that while the senator from Kentucky and I come to different conclusions with regard to the specific question as to whether we should allow section 215 of the Patriot Act to expire, I absolutely stand with the junior senator from Kentucky,” Lee said when he took the podium.

On Tuesday. Lee asked the Senate to table discussion of the trade bill to begin debating the USA Freedom Act. The move was blocked by an objection from Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.

4: 17 p.m.: What do other Republican senators think of Paul’s “filibuster”? Some of Paul’s Republican colleagues attempted to downplay the significance of Paul taking over the Senate floor on Wednesday. “Oh that’ll be, you know, 12 hours, and he’ll get a lot of publicity for a day or so, but it won’t affect the process,” Sen. John McCain said Tuesday, when asked about Paul’s expected filibuster.

Republican leadership seemed relieved Paul chose to take the floor during dead time Wednesday, a move they anticipate may mean he won’t get in the way later this week when the chamber actually considers a Patriot Act extension. “I guess if he’s going to, doing it now as opposed to doing it on the weekend is maybe preferable,” Sen. John Thune told an AP reporter.

“I don’t think those inside Washington are listening very well,” Paul said during his speech, in apparent recognition of his colleagues’ unwillingness to let the NSA’s bulk call-records program lapse.

4:12 p.m.: “No Senators.” One headline that Sen. Paul wasn’t necessarily hoping for: a little bit into his speech, C-SPAN2 aired this chyron while the senator spoke:

3:46 p.m.: Backup is here, and it’s a Democrat. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., took the podium to relieve Paul more than two hours into Paul’s floor speech. Wyden is Paul’s partner in opposing a straight reauthorization of the Patriot Act, and he is the only other senator who has also promised to filibuster an extension of the NSA’s spying programs. “This will not be the last time we are back on the floor,” Wyden said as he took over for Paul.

Paul and Wyden are somewhat strange bedfellows, as Wyden has indicated he would vote for the reform package the House passed last week, known as the USA Freedom Act. Paul contends it does not go far enough. But the bipartisan pair is co-sponsoring a number of amendments they say will make the USA Freedom Act go farther in limiting the NSA’s surveillance powers.

“A number of us—myself specifically—have been concerned that the majority leader and other supporters of business as usual on bulk collection of all of these phone records would somehow try to take advantage of our current discussions and try to, in effect, sneak through a motion to extend section 215 of the USA Patriot Act,” Wyden said. “As long as the senator from Kentucky has the floor, that cannot happen.”

“My colleague from Kentucky has been an invaluable ally on this particular cause since he arrived in the Senate,” the Oregon Democrat continued.

3:41 p.m.: Hitler appears. It took a little over two hours for the first mention of Hitler during Paul’s speech. “Any time you make an analogy to horrific people in history, a Mussolini or a Hitler, people say, ‘Oh, you’re exaggerating, you’re talking about—it’s hyperbole. And maybe it is. And particularly to accuse anybody of that is a horrific analogy, and I’m not doing that,” Paul said. “But what I would say is that if you are not concerned that democracy could produce bad people, I don’t think you’re really thinking this through too much.”

3:20 p.m.: Paul goes after Graham. Paul attacked fellow Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., for his characteristically hawkish views on surveillance and due process. Paul seized on Graham’s comment earlier this week about how he would deal with anyone who’s thinking about joining the Islamic State terrorist group.

“One senator said recently—i find this really hard to believe—he said, well, when they ask you for a judge, just drone them,” Paul said. “Ha ha. Same guy said when they ask you for a lawyer, tell them to shut up.”

The Background

Paul, who is a Republican candidate for president, has for weeks threatened that he would filibuster any attempt to reauthorize the Patriot Act authorities due to sunset on June 1. Although the Senate was not taking up votes Wednesday afternoon, a Paul spokesman called the speech a “filibuster” and said the Kentucky Republican “will speak until he can no longer speak.”

The timing of Paul’s speech took some observers by surprise, as the Senate has not yet moved to consider the Patriot Act and is still trudging through an ongoing fight over an international trade deal. Because Paul was not actually objecting to any specific vote, his speech does not appear to qualify as a formal filibuster.

Procedural votes could still come up later this week on the Freedom Act and McConnell’s short-term extension. But the Senate would likely need to stay through the weekend to get through the full process of voting on the opposing measures, as McConnell had not filed for cloture on either option by Tuesday.

Paul could further stall each vote and force the Senate to stay in town through the weekend. But his decision to eat up time on Wednesday likely indicates he does not want to cause party leaders that headache. Either way, the Senate almost certainly won’t resolve the matter before the House leaves town on Thursday, and an expiration of the Patriot Act’s spy provisions looks increasingly likely.

Paul opposes both McConnell’s push and the Freedom Act, which he says does not go far enough in ushering in surveillance reforms.

Paul’s stand against government surveillance comes as three provisions of the Patriot Act are due to expire on June 1, including Section 215, which the NSA uses to justify its bulk collection of U.S. call records.

(RELATED: Where the 2016 Republicans Stand on NSA Spying)

Congress has reauthorized the authorities in the past, but the current expiration is the first to occur after the Edward Snowden revelations, which began two years ago and publicly exposed for the first time the NSA’s phone dragnet.

Last week the House overwhelmingly passed a reform package called the USA Freedom Act, which would effectively end the NSA’s domestic phone records program. Instead, telephone companies would be relied on to keep the records and hand them over to the government on an as-needed basis after judicial approval is obtained from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

But that measure has run hard into a wall in the upper chamber, where Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and a number of GOP defense hawks have said it could jeopardize national security. McConnell and his flock prefer a “clean” reauthorization to the Patriot Act’s spying authorities, and have most recently pushed for a two-month extension to allow more time for debate.

Paul said his stand will force the Senate to debate the surveillance programs, which he says did not happen when the Patriot Act was first introduced in the weeks following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“The Patriot Act—I’m not sure unless we insert ourselves a at this moment that we’ll have any debate over it. It’s been set to expire for three years. We’ve known it was coming. And the question is, do we not have enough time because we just don’t care enough?”

In 2013, Paul famously spoke for 13 hours on the Senate floor on John Brennan’s nomination to run the CIA, attacking the nominee and the Obama administration for its drone policy.

Within twenty minutes of the beginning of Paul’s speech, his campaign sent an email to supporters asking for donations. “I will not rest. I will not back down. I will not yield one inch in this fight so long as my legs can stand,” the email, which was signed by Paul, read.

The campaign took a dig at senators eager to leave town for the long weekend. “It seems many of my colleagues here in the Senate care more about getting out of town for the Memorial Day break than protecting the Constitution so many American patriots have fought and died for,” the email said. “I have news for them. They are going NOWHERE.”

Quoting founding fathers and waxing philosophical on the importance of privacy, Paul called for President Obama to immediately issue an executive order to end the NSA’s surveillance programs.

(RELATED: On NSA Spying, Bernie Sanders, Not Elizabeth Warren, Is Pushing Hillary Clinton Let)

“For over a year now, he has said the program is illegal and yet he does nothing,” Paul said on the Senate floor. “He says, well, Congress can get rid of the Patriot Act. Congress can get rid of the bulk collection. And yet he has the power to do it at his fingertips.”

“He began this illegal program,” Paul continued. “The court has informed him that the program is illegal. He has every power to stop it and yet the president does nothing.”

Paul has said he would end the NSA’s surveillance programs were he elected president.

http://www.nationaljournal.com/tech/rand-paul-filibuster-live-blog-20150520

NSA shouldn’t keep phone database, review board recommends

By Ellen Nakashima and Ashkan Soltani

Read the report

report

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2013-12-12_rg_final_report.pdf

A panel appointed by President Obama to review the government’s surveillance activities has recommended significant new limits on the nation’s intelligence apparatus that include ending the National Security Agency’s collection of virtually all Americans’ phone records.

It urged that phone companies or a private third party maintain the data instead, with access granted only by a court order.

The President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies also recommended in a wide-ranging report issued Wednesday that decisions to spy on foreign leaders be subjected to greater scrutiny, including weighing the diplomatic and economic fallout if operations are revealed. Allied foreign leaders or those with whom the United States shares a cooperative relationship should be accorded “a high degree of respect and deference,” it said.

The panel also urged legislation that would require the FBI to obtain judicial approval before it can use a national security letter or administrative subpoena to obtain Americans’ financial, phone and other records. That would eliminate one of the tool’s main attractions: that it can be employed quickly without court approval.

The review group also would impose a ban on warantless NSA searches for Americans’ phone calls and e-mails held within large caches of communications collected legally because the program targeted foreigners overseas.

A report from the five-member Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies contains 40-plus recommendations on the NSA. Read it.

Taken together, the five-
member panel’s recommendations take aim at some of the most controversial practices of the intelligence community, in particular the 35,000-employee NSA, headquartered at Fort Meade, Md. The signals intelligence agency has been in the news constantly since June, when reports based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden began appearing in The Washington Post and the Guardian.

The White House released the 300-plus-page report as part of a larger effort to restore public confidence in the intelligence community, which has been shaken by the Snowden revelations.

The panel said that the NSA’s storage of phone data “creates potential risks to public trust, personal privacy, and civil liberty” and that as a general rule, “the government should not be permitted to collect and store mass, undigested, non-public personal information” about Americans to be mined for foreign intelligence purposes.

Despite the proposed constraints, panel member Michael Morell, a former deputy director of the CIA, said, “We are not in any way recommending the disarming of the intelligence community.”

The panel made 46 recommendations in all, which included moving the NSA’s information assurance directorate — its computer defense arm — outside the agency and under the Defense Department’s cyber-policy office.

“The review committee has reaffirmed that national security neither requires nor permits the government to help itself to Americans’ personal information at will,” said Elizabeth Goitein, co-
director of the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program. “The recommendations would extend significant privacy protections to Americans.”

Some intelligence professionals were dismayed. “If adopted in bulk, the panel’s recommendations would put us back before 9/11 again,” said Joel F. Brenner, a former NSA inspector general.

Former NSA and CIA director Michael V. Hayden urged senior intelligence officials to lay out the operational costs of adopting the recommendations. “The responsibility is now in the intelligence community to be ruthlessly candid with the policy leadership,” Hayden said.

Obama met Wednesday morning with the panel, whose suggestions are advisory only, and some intelligence officials predicted that the most far-reaching recommendations, including ending the government collection and storage of bulk phone data, would not be adopted. The White House has said it will announce in January which ideas it has embraced, as it concludes its internal review of surveillance activities.

The NSA’s phone-records program has prompted debate about whether the government has overreached in the effort to prevent terrorist attacks. The review panel is urging that Congress pass legislation to end the NSA’s storage of phone records — estimated by some former officials to number more than 1 trillion — “as soon as reasonably practicable.”

If the data were held by phone companies or a private third party, access to them would be permitted only with an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, based on reasonable suspicion that the information sought is relevant to an authorized terrorism investigation. Each phone number would require a court order.

Currently, the NSA holds for five years the phone records it gathers daily from U.S. phone companies. These “metadata” include the numbers dialed and call times and durations, but not call content or subscriber names.

The review panel is not recommending that the phone companies maintaining the data store it any longer than they do now — periods that vary from as little as six months to 10 years.

In a ruling Monday on the collection program, U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon described the technology used to search the NSA database as “almost Orwellian.” The judge said the collection was “almost certainly” unconstitutional.

“The combination of this report plus the judge’s decision Monday makes this a big week for the cause of intelligence reform,” said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

Moving custodianship of the records outside the NSA would diminish the agency’s agility in detecting terrorist plots, supporters of the current arrangement say. With companies holding data for different periods and in different formats, searching across them would become complicated, they argue.

But the panel said the collection program had not proved its utility. “Our review suggests that the information contributed to terrorist investigations by the use of . . . telephony metadata was not essential to preventing attacks and could readily have been obtained in a timely manner using conventional [court] orders,” it said.

The review group urged that the public have a legal advocate before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the recommendation to end NSA’s bulk collection “goes to the very heart of NSA dragnet surveillance.” He called it “the most necessary recommendation of the review group.”

The NSA’s information assurance directorate, which would be shifted out of the agency, protects classified government computer systems and works with industry to help them better safeguard their systems. That mission differs from the NSA’s job of breaking into systems overseas to gain intelligence, the panel said.

The suggested move, said Gregory T. Nojeim, senior counsel at the Center for Democracy and Technology, would “end NSA’s dual personality as a code-breaker and cybersecurity-enhancer. It’s good.”

But Tony Sager, a former NSA information assurance executive, said moving the defensive mission out of NSA was unwise. “The defensive mission benefits a lot from the technology and the skills of people who work on the offensive side of the house and vice versa,” he said. “They get better insight into the model of what real adversaries do.”

The panel also recommended a prohibition on the government “in any way”subverting or weakening commercial software in order to get around encryption and urged that it not undermine efforts to create encryption standards. The panel also said the government should add oversight to the use and production of “zero day” hacking tools that can be used to penetrate computer systems and, in some cases, damage or destroy them.

The security community has long been concerned that the NSA is building and buying hacking tools, but a Pentagon cyber-official, Eric Rosenbach, has said that the government discloses vulnerabilities it finds to software companies.

Matthew Blaze, a University of Pennsylvania cryptology expert, said disclosure “doesn’t mean that the government can’t or wouldn’t be able to make use of cyberattack techniques that involve exploiting computers.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/nsa-shouldnt-keep-phone-database-review-board-recommends/2013/12/18/f44fe7c0-67fd-11e3-a0b9-249bbb34602c_story.html

Rand Paul Begins Filibuster Of Patriot Act

By ALEX PAPPAS

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is filibustering the Patriot Act on the Senate floor, and it doesn’t look like he’s going to stop anytime soon.

The Republican presidential candidate took control of the floor Wednesday afternoon at 1:18 p.m., simultaneously explaining on Twitter that he is filibustering the renewal of the Patriot Act because of the National Security Agency’s program that collects bulk phone record data of American citizens.

“The government shouldn’t have the ability to get that information unless they have suspicion,” Paul said on the floor Wednesday. “Unless they have probable cause you committed a crime.”

In an campaign email to supporters, posted online by a reporter from Time magazine, Paul said: “I will not rest. I will not back down. I will not yield one inch in this fight so long as my legs can stand.”

Here’s how a Paul campaign aide described the marathon speech: “Senator Rand Paul has taken the floor of the U.S. Senate to filibuster the reauthorization of the Patriot Act. Senator Paul is a staunch defender of liberty and believes Americans have a right to privacy. The U.S. government has no place conducting these warrantless searches and should focus on gathering intelligence on suspected terrorists and foreign actors.”

On Monday, Paul previewed the filibuster, holding a press conference in Philadelphia and calling on Obama to end the NSA’s program.

“Here in front of Independence Hall, I call for the president to obey the law,” he said Monday. “The court said last week that it is illegal to collect all of your phone records, all of the time, without a warrant with your name on it. I call on the president today to immediately end the bulk collection of our phone records.”
Asked on Monday whether he would filibuster the upcoming vote on the extension of the Patriot Act, which the NSA uses to carry out the bulk collection program, Paul told reporters: “I will do everything possible. The rules are tricky in the Senate, so I don’t know what I can promise. But we will do everything possible, including filibustering the Patriot Act, to stop that.”

This isn’t Paul’s first filibuster: in 2013, he filibustered the nomination of John Brennan as director of the CIA for 13 hours, talking about drones and the Bill of Rights.

http://dailycaller.com/2015/05/20/rand-paul-begins-filibuster-of-patriot-act/

The USA PATRIOT Act is an Act of Congress that was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001. Its title is a ten-letter backronym (USA PATRIOT) that stands for “Uniting andStrengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001″.[1]

On May 26, 2011, President Barack Obama signed the PATRIOT Sunsets Extension Act of 2011, a four-year extension of three key provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act:[2] roving wiretaps, searches of business records (the “library records provision“), and conducting surveillance of “lone wolves”—individuals suspected of terrorist-related activities not linked to terrorist groups.[3]

Details

From broad concern felt among Americans from both the September 11 attacks and the 2001 anthrax attacks, Congress rushed to pass legislation to strengthen security controls. On October 23, 2001, Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner introduced H.R. 3162 incorporating provisions from a previously sponsored House bill and a Senate bill also introduced earlier in the month.[4] The next day on October 24, 2001, the Act passed the House 357 to 66,[5] with Democrats comprising the overwhelming portion of dissent. The following day, on October 25, 2001, the Act passed the Senate by 98 to 1.[6]

Opponents of the law have criticized its authorization of indefinite detentions of immigrants; the permission given law enforcement officers to search a home or business without the owner’s or the occupant’s consent or knowledge; the expanded use of National Security Letters, which allows the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to search telephone, e-mail, and financial records without a court order; and the expanded access of law enforcement agencies to business records, including library and financial records. Since its passage, several legal challenges have been brought against the act, and Federal courts have ruled that a number of provisions are unconstitutional.

Many provisions of the act were to sunset beginning December 31, 2005, approximately 4 years after its passage. In the months preceding the sunset date, supporters of the act pushed to make its sunsetting provisions permanent, while critics sought to revise various sections to enhance civil liberty protections. In July 2005, the U.S. Senate passed a reauthorization bill with substantial changes to several sections of the act, while the House reauthorization bill kept most of the act’s original language. The two bills were then reconciled in a conference committee that was criticized by Senators from both the Republican and Democratic parties for ignoring civil liberty concerns.[7]

The bill, which removed most of the changes from the Senate version, passed Congress on March 2, 2006, and was signed into law by President George W. Bush on March 9 and 10, 2006.

Background

The PATRIOT Act[8] made a number of changes to U.S. law. Key acts changed were the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA), the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA), the Money Laundering Control Act of 1986 and Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), as well as the Immigration and Nationality Act. The Act itself came about after the September 11th attacks on New York City and the Pentagon. After these attacks, Congress immediately started work on several proposed antiterrorist bills, before the Justice Department finally drafted a bill called the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001, introduced to Congress on September 19, 2001. This was introduced to the House as the Provide Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (PATRIOT) Act of 2001, and was later passed by the House as the Uniting and Strengthening America (USA) Act (H.R. 2975) on October 12.[9] It was then introduced into the Senate as the USA Act (S. 1510)[10] where a number of amendments were proposed by SenatorRuss Feingold,[11][12][13][13] all of which were passed. The final bill, the USA PATRIOT Act was introduced into the House on October 23 and incorporated H.R. 2975, S. 1510 and many of the provisions of H.R. 3004 (the Financial Anti-Terrorism Act).[14] It was vehemently opposed by only one Senator, Russ Feingold, who was the only Senator to vote against the bill. Senator Patrick Leahy also expressed some concerns.[15]However, many parts were seen as necessary by both detractors and supporters.[16][17][18] The final Act included a number of sunsets which were to expire on December 15, 2005.

Due to its controversial nature, a number of bills – none of which were passed – were proposed to amend the USA PATRIOT Act. These included the Protecting the Rights of Individuals Act,[19] the Benjamin Franklin True Patriot Act,[20] and the Security and Freedom Ensured Act (SAFE).[21] In late January 2003, the founder of the Center for Public Integrity, Charles Lewis, published a leaked draft copy of an Administration proposal titled the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003.[22] This highly controversial document was quickly dubbed “PATRIOT II” or “Son of PATRIOT” by the media and organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation.[23] The draft, which was circulated to 10 divisions of the Department of Justice,[24]proposed to make further extensive modifications to extend the USA PATRIOT Act.[25] It was widely condemned, although the Department of Justice claimed that it was only a draft and contained no further proposals.[26]

Titles

Title I: Enhancing domestic security against terrorism

Title I authorizes measures to enhance the ability of domestic security services to prevent terrorism. The title established a fund for counter-terrorist activities and increased funding for the Terrorist Screening Center which is administered by the FBI. The military was authorized to provide assistance in some situations that involve weapons of mass destruction when so requested by the Attorney General. The National Electronic Crime Task Force was expanded, along with thePresident‘s authority and abilities in cases of terrorism. The title also condemned the discrimination against Arab and Muslim Americans that happened soon after the September 11 terrorist attacks. The impetus for many of the provisions came from earlier bills, for instance the condemnation of discrimination was originally proposed by Senator Tom Harkin (DIA) in an amendment to the Combatting Terrorism Act of 2001, though in a different form. It originally included “the prayer ofCardinal Theodore McCarrick, the Archbishop of Washington in a Mass on September 12, 2001 for our Nation and the victims in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist hijackings and attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania reminds all Americans that ‘We must seek the guilty and not strike out against the innocent or we become like them who are without moral guidance or proper direction.'”[27] Further condemnation of racial vilification and violence is also spelled out in Title X, where there was condemnation of such activities against Sikh Americans, who were mistaken for Muslims after the September 11th terrorist attack.[28]

Title II: Surveillance procedures

Title II is titled “Enhanced Surveillance Procedures”, and covers all aspects of the surveillance of suspected terrorists, those suspected of engaging in computer fraud or abuse, and agents of a foreign power who are engaged in clandestine activities. It primarily made amendments to FISA, and the ECPA, and many of the most controversial aspects of the USA PATRIOT Act reside in this title. In particular, the title allows government agencies to gather “foreign intelligence information” from both U.S. and non-U.S. citizens, and changed FISA to make gaining foreign intelligence information the significant purpose of FISA-based surveillance, where previously it had been the primary purpose.[29] The change in definition was meant to remove a legal “wall” between criminal investigations and surveillance for the purposes of gathering foreign intelligence, which hampered investigations when criminal and foreign surveillance overlapped.[30] However, that this wall even existed was found by the Federal Surveillance Court of Review to have actually been a long-held misinterpretation by government agencies. Also removed was the statutory requirement that the government prove a surveillance target under FISA is a non-U.S. citizen and agent of a foreign power, though it did require that any investigations must not be undertaken on citizens who are carrying out activities protected by the First Amendment.[31] The title also expanded the duration of FISA physical search and surveillance orders,[32] and gave authorities the ability to share information gathered before a federal grand jury with other agencies.[33]

The scope and availability of wiretapping and surveillance orders were expanded under Title II. Wiretaps were expanded to include addressing and routing information to allow surveillance of packet switched networks[34]—the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) objected to this, arguing that it does not take into account email or web addresses, which often contain content in the address information.[35] The Act allowed any district court judge in the United States to issue such surveillance orders[34] and search warrants for terrorism investigations.[36] Search warrants were also expanded, with the Act amending Title III of the Stored Communications Access Act to allow the FBI to gain access to stored voicemail through a search warrant, rather than through the more stringent wiretap laws.[37]

Various provisions allowed for the disclosure of electronic communications to law enforcement agencies. Those who operate or own a “protected computer” can give permission for authorities to intercept communications carried out on the machine, thus bypassing the requirements of the Wiretap statute.[38] The definition of a “protected computer” is defined in 18 U.S.C. § 1030(e)(2) and broadly encompasses those computers used in interstate or foreign commerce or communication, including ones located outside the United States. The law governing obligatory and voluntary disclosure of customer communications by cablecompanies was altered to allow agencies to demand such communications under U.S.C. Title 18 provisions relating to the disclosure of electronic communications (chapter 119), pen registers and trap and trace devices (chapter 206) and stored communications (121), though it excluded the disclosure of cable subscriber viewing habits.[39] Subpoenas issued to Internet Service Providers were expanded to include not only “the name, address, local and long distance telephone toll billing records, telephone number or other subscriber number or identity, and length of service of a subscriber” but also session times and durations, types of services used, communication device address information (e.g. IP addresses), payment method and bank account and credit card numbers.[40] Communication providers are also allowed to disclose customer records or communications if they suspect there is a danger to “life and limb”.[41]

Title II established three very controversial provisions: “sneak and peek” warrants, roving wiretaps and the ability of the FBI to gain access to documents that reveal the patterns of U.S. citizens. The so-called “sneak and peek” law allowed for delayed notification of the execution of search warrants. The period before which the FBI must notify the recipients of the order was unspecified in the Act—the FBI field manual says that it is a “flexible standard”[42]—and it may be extended at the court’s discretion.[43] These sneak and peek provisions were struck down by judge Ann Aiken on September 26, 2007 after a Portland attorney, Brandon Mayfield, was wrongly jailed because of the searches. The court found the searches to violate the provision that prohibits unreasonable searches in the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.[44][45]

Roving wiretaps are wiretap orders that do not need to specify all common carriers and third parties in a surveillance court order. These are seen as important by the Department of Justice because they believe that terrorists can exploit wiretap orders by rapidly changing locations and communication devices such as cell phones,[46] while opponents see it as violating the particularity clause of the Fourth Amendment.[47][48] Another highly controversial provision is one that allows the FBI to make an order “requiring the production of any tangible things (including books, records, papers, documents, and other items) for an investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities, provided that such investigation of a United States person is not conducted solely upon the basis of activities protected by the first amendment to the Constitution.”[49] Though it was not targeted directly at libraries, the American Library Association (ALA), in particular, opposed this provision.[50] In a resolution passed on June 29, 2005, they stated that “Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act allows the government to secretly request and obtain library records for large numbers of individuals without any reason to believe they are involved in illegal activity.”[51] However, the ALA’s stance did not go without criticism. One prominent critic of the ALA’s stance was the Manhattan Institute‘s Heather Mac Donald, who argued in an article for the New York City Journal that “[t]he furor over section 215 is a case study in Patriot Act fear-mongering.”[52]

The title also covers a number of other miscellaneous provisions, including the expansion of the number of FISC judges from seven to eleven (three of which must reside within 20 miles (32 km) of the District of Columbia),[53] trade sanctions against North Korea and Taliban-controlled Afghanistan[54] and the employment oftranslators by the FBI.[55]

At the insistence of Republican Representative Richard Armey,[56] the Act had a number of sunset provisions built in, which were originally set to expire on December 31, 2005. The sunset provision of the Act also took into account any ongoing foreign intelligence investigations and allowed them to continue once the sections had expired.[57] The provisions that were to expire are below.

Title II sections that were to originally expire on December 31, 2005
Section Section title
201 Authority to intercept wire, oral, and electronic communications relating to terrorism
202 Authority to intercept wire, oral, and electronic communications relating to computer fraud and abuse offenses
203(b) Authority to share electronic, wire and oral interception information
204 Clarification of intelligence exceptions from limitations on interception and disclosure of wire, oral, and electronic communications
206 Roving surveillance authority under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.
207 Duration of FISA surveillance of non-United States persons who are agents of a foreign power
209 Seizure of voice-mail messages pursuant to warrants
212 Emergency disclosure of electronic communications to protect life and limb
214 Pen register and trap and trace authority under FISA
215 Access to records and other items under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
217 Interception of computer trespasser communications
218 Foreign intelligence information
220 Nationwide service of search warrants for electronic evidence
223 Civil liability for certain unauthorized disclosures
225 Immunity for compliance with FISA wiretap

Title III: Anti-money-laundering to prevent terrorism

Title III of the Act, titled “International Money Laundering Abatement and Financial Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001,” is intended to facilitate the prevention, detection and prosecution of international money laundering and the financing of terrorism. It primarily amends portions of the Money Laundering Control Act of 1986 (MLCA) and the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 (BSA). It was divided into three subtitles, with the first dealing primarily with strengthening banking rules against money laundering, especially on the international stage. The second attempts to improve communication between law enforcement agencies and financial institutions, as well as expanding record keeping and reporting requirements. The third subtitle deals with currency smuggling and counterfeiting, including quadrupling the maximum penalty for counterfeiting foreign currency.

The first subtitle tightened the record keeping requirements for financial institutions, making them record the aggregate amounts of transactions processed from areas of the world where money laundering is a concern to the U.S. government. It also made institutions put into place reasonable steps to identify beneficial owners of bank accounts and those who are authorized to use or route funds through payable-through accounts.[58] The U.S. Treasury was charged with formulating regulations intended to foster information sharing between financial institutions to prevent money-laundering.[59] Along with expanding record keeping requirements it put new regulations into place to make it easier for authorities to identify money laundering activities and to make it harder for money launderers to mask their identities.[60] If money laundering was uncovered, the subtitle legislated for the forfeiture of assets of those suspected of doing the money laundering.[61]In an effort to encourage institutions to take steps that would reduce money laundering, the Treasury was given authority to block mergers of bank holding companies and banks with other banks and bank holding companies that had a bad history of preventing money laundering. Similarly, mergers between insured depository institutions and non-insured depository institutions that have a bad track record in combating money-laundering could be blocked.[62]

Restrictions were placed on accounts and foreign banks. It prohibited shell banks that are not an affiliate of a bank that has a physical presence in the U.S. or that are not subject to supervision by a banking authority in a non-U.S. country. It also prohibits or restricts the use of certain accounts held at financial institutions.[63]Financial institutions must now undertake steps to identify the owners of any privately owned bank outside the U.S. who have a correspondent account with them, along with the interests of each of the owners in the bank. It is expected that additional scrutiny will be applied by the U.S. institution to such banks to make sure they are not engaging in money laundering. Banks must identify all the nominal and beneficial owners of any private bank account opened and maintained in the U.S. by non-U.S. citizens. There is also an expectation that they must undertake enhanced scrutiny of the account if it is owned by, or is being maintained on behalf of, any senior political figure where there is reasonable suspicion of corruption.[64] Any deposits made from within the U.S. into foreign banks are now deemed to have been deposited into any interbank account the foreign bank may have in the U.S. Thus any restraining order, seizure warrant or arrest warrant may be made against the funds in the interbank account held at a U.S. financial institution, up to the amount deposited in the account at the foreign bank.[65] Restrictions were placed on the use of internal bank concentration accounts because such accounts do not provide an effective audit trail for transactions, and this may be used to facilitate money laundering. Financial institutions are prohibited from allowing clients to specifically direct them to move funds into, out of, or through a concentration account, and they are also prohibited from informing their clients about the existence of such accounts. Financial institutions are not allowed to provide any information to clients that may identify such internal accounts.[66] Financial institutions are required to document and follow methods of identifying where the funds are for each customer in a concentration account that co-mingles funds belonging to one or more customers.

The definition of money laundering was expanded to inclu