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Happy Fourth of July — America The Beautiful — The Meaning of Independence Day — Videos

Posted on July 2, 2015. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, College, Communications, Constitution, Education, Freedom, Friends, history, Law, liberty, Life, Philosophy, Raves, Talk Radio, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

America the Beautiful

The Meaning of Independence Day – Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights

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Hillary Clinton Has A History of Using Private Investigators — Imagine What She Would Do If Elected President With The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and National Security Agency (NSA) — Hillary Would Turn The Key Of NSA’s Turnkey Tyranny — Indict Hillary Clinton For Her Crimes of Destroying Government Documents and Obstructing Justice! — Videos

Posted on July 2, 2015. Filed under: American History, Articles, Blogroll, Business, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), College, Communications, Computers, Computers, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Crisis, Documentary, Economics, Education, European History, Faith, Family, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, government, government spending, history, Illegal, Immigration, IRS, Language, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, media, Middle East, Money, National Security Agency (NSA), National Security Agency (NSA_, People, Philosophy, Photos, Police, Politics, Private Sector, Public Sector, Radio, Rants, Religion, Strategy, Systems, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 498  July 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 497  July 1, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 496  June 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 495  June 29, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 494 June 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 493 June 25, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 492 June 24, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 491 June 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 490 June 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 489 June 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 488 June 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 487 June 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 486 June 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 485 June 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 484 June 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 483 June 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 482 June 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 481 June 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 480 June 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 479 June 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 478 June 4, 2015

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 472 May 27, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 471 May 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 470 May 22, 2015

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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

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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

Story 1: Hillary Clinton Has A History of Using Private Investigators — Imagine What She Would Do If Elected President With The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and National Security Agency (NSA)  — Hillary Would Turn The Key Of NSA’s Turnkey Tyranny — Indict Hillary Clinton For Her Crimes of Destroying Government Documents and Obstructing Justice! — Videos

rewriting historydick morris

Kurtz: Sid Blumenthal’s shadowy role

New revelation in the Clinton email scandal

Impact of the Clinton emails on the Benghazi investigation

John King: Hillary Clinton ‘Has Only Herself to Blame’ for Private Email Scandal

America’s Forum | Dick Morris discusses the Hillary Clinton email scandal

Dick Morris: Beware hillary’s abuse of women + power

The Hard Line | Dick Morris discusses Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and Martin O’Malley

Hillary Clinton Cold Open – SNL

Bernie Sanders gaining momentum in presidential race

Bernie Sanders Says He’ll Win New Hampshire, Iowa, and the White House

Bernie Sanders Speaks With Katie Couric – Full Interview

Bernie Sanders Rally in Madison, Wisconsin

Hillary Clinton Exposed, Movie She Banned From Theaters Full Movie

Hillary’s Flawed Strategy! Dick Morris TV: Lunch ALERT!

America’s Forum | Dick Morris discusses Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton

President Bill Clinton on the resignation of aide Dick Morris

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

He told you so: Bill Binney talks NSA leaks

William Binney – Inside NSA

NSA Whistleblower William Binney: The Future of FREEDOM

Enemy Of The State 1998 (1080p) (Full movie)

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Through a PRISM, Darkly – Everything we know about NSA spying [30c3]

Published on Dec 30, 2013

Through a PRISM, Darkly
Everything we know about NSA spying

From Stellar Wind to PRISM, Boundless Informant to EvilOlive, the NSA spying programs are shrouded in secrecy and rubber-stamped by secret opinions from a court that meets in a faraday cage. The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Kurt Opsahl explains the known facts about how the programs operate and the laws and regulations the U.S. government asserts allows the NSA to spy on you.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit civil society organization, has been litigating against the NSA spying program for the better part of a decade. EFF has collected and reviewed dozens of documents, from the original NY Times stories in 2005 and the first AT&T whistleblower in 2006, through the latest documents released in the Guardian or obtained through EFF’s Freedom of Information (government transparency) litigation. EFF attorney Kurt Opsahl’s lecture will describe how the NSA spying program works, the underlying technologies, the targeting procedures (how they decide who to focus on), the minimization procedures (how they decide which information to discard), and help you makes sense of the many code names and acronyms in the news. He will also discuss the legal and policy ramifications that have become part of the public debate following the recent disclosures, and what you can do about it. After summarizing the programs, technologies, and legal/policy framework in the lecture, the audience can ask questions.

Speaker: Kurt Opsahl
EventID: 5255
Event: 30th Chaos Communication Congress [30c3] by the Chaos Computer Club [CCC]
Location: Congress Centrum Hamburg (CCH); Am Dammtor; Marseiller Straße; 20355 Hamburg; Germany
Language: english

Has Clinton Dispatched Oppo Researchers to UVM’s Sanders Archive?

bernie

Librarians at the University of Vermont’s special collections say interest is spiking in the “Bernard Sanders papers” — 30 boxes of meticulously organized material documenting Sanders’ eight years as mayor of Burlington.

That should come as no surprise, given the independent senator’s rapid rise in the polls in New Hampshire and Iowa, which hold the nation’s first presidential nominating contests.

Media outlets, such as the Guardian, have drilled deep into the archives and unearthed tasty tidbits — but they’re not the only ones interested in getting to know the senator.

Last Thursday, two casually dressed twentysomethings were spotted combing through the Sanders files and decades-old Vermont newspapers. As they were on their way out the door at the end of the day, Seven Days asked what they were doing.

“No comment,” said one of the young men, dressed in a T-shirt and flannel. “No comment.”

As they emerged into the sunlight outside Bailey/Howe Library, Seven Dayspressed again: “Come on! We’re all doing the same thing.”

“No, we’re not,” Flannel Man shot back.

“We’re just looking,” said the other one, dressed in a white shirt with black stripes.

“Looking at what?”

“Old newspapers,” Stripy said. “Vermont history.”

So who were these mysterious characters? Opposition researchers working for one of Sanders’ rivals? Earlier that day a super PAC supporting former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley launched the first negative ad of the race targeting Sanders.

Asked if Team O’Malley had dispatched Flannel Man and Stripy to Burlington, campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith said, “We have not, and they are not affiliated with our campaign.”

But wait! Here’s a clue: That T-shirt Flannel Man was wearing? It read, “New Hampshire for Jeanne Shaheen.”

Earlier this year, Hillary Clinton absorbed much of Shaheen’s political operation to run her Granite State campaign: state director Mike Vlacich, senior political aide Kari Thurman and spokesman Harrell Kirstein.

Asked if Flannel Man and Stripy belonged to Team Clinton, Kirstein did not respond.

Welcome to Burlington, Hillary. Next time, tell your people to leave their Shaheen shirts at home.

http://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/has-clinton-dispatched-oppo-researchers-to-uvms-sanders-archive/Content?oid=2700753

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Greece Defaults On Debt — Barring Last Minutes Rescue Attempts and Results of Sunday Referendum — No Vote Would Result in Greece Exiting Eurozone And Declaring Debt Odious! — Whose Next? — Videos

Posted on July 2, 2015. Filed under: American History, Articles, Babies, Blogroll, College, Communications, Corruption, Crime, Economics, Education, European History, Faith, Family, Foreign Policy, Fraud, Freedom, government, government spending, history, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Money, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Private Sector, Public Sector, Radio, Raves, Regulations, Resources, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxation, Unemployment, Unions, Video, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 497  July 1, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 496  June 30, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 495  June 29, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 494 June 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 493 June 25, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 492 June 24, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 491 June 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 490 June 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 489 June 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 488 June 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 487 June 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 486 June 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 485 June 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 484 June 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 483 June 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 482 June 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 481 June 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 480 June 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 479 June 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 478 June 4, 2015

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

Pronk Pops Show 473 May 28, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 472 May 27, 2015

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

Story 1: Greece Defaults On Debt — Barring Last Minutes Rescue Attempts and Results of Sunday Referendum — No Vote Would Result in Greece Exiting Eurozone And Declaring Debt Odious! — Whose Next? — Videos

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Greek-Debt-vs-TARP-BailoutGreek-Debts-Payback-Scheduele

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kick the can

Greek PM offers new concessions to creditors

JIM ROGERS – Greece Will Collapse & People Will Be Terrified

Greece faces financial meltdown after IMF loan default

Grexit: The Greek Debt Crisis Explained

Not Much Difference Between U.S. and Greece – Peter Schiff

Why Does Greece Have So Much Debt?

Greece: What Is the Worst-Case Scenario?

Keiser Report: Greece! Start Fresh (E777)

Greece to default on IMF loan on Tuesday as banks close and panic buying begins

Greece formally defaults on its 1.6bn-euro IMF loan

Greece defaults on $1.7 billion payment

GREECE DEBT CRISIS – Obama Claims Greece Crisis Unlikely To Have Major Impact on U.S.

‘Greece should Grexit which is fantastic, they could restart their economy’ – Max Keiser

U.S. Headed Toward Greek Style Debt Default

MM115 Markets Crash on Greece

Keiser Report: We Are All Greeks Now (E764)

Greece Defaults on IMF Loan Despite New Push for Bailout Aid

European finance chiefs shut down Athens’s last-minute request for emergency financial aid

Greece became the first developed country to default on the International Monetary Fund, as the rescue program that has sustained it for five years expired and its creditors rejected a last-ditch effort to buy more time.

The Washington-based fund said the Greek government failed to transfer €1.55 billion ($1.73 billion) by close-of-business on Tuesday—the largest, single missed repayment in the IMF’s history.

The failure to pay the IMF was a dramatic, if anticipated, conclusion to a day full of unexpected twists and turns. On Tuesday morning—with the clock ticking toward the midnight expiration on the European portion of Greece’s €245 billion bailout—officials in Athens said they were working on a new solution to the four-month old impasse with creditors.

By the afternoon, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had asked for a new rescue program—the country’s third in five years—to help pay for some €29.15 billion ($32.52 billion) in debt coming due between 2015 and 2017.

Late Tuesday, Greek officials were also raising doubts over their plans for a referendum planned for Sunday, in which the government had asked its citizens to vote against pension cuts and sales-tax increases demanded by its creditors.

ENLARGE

Some officials suggested that Mr. Tsipras and his ministers could campaign for a “yes” if a better offer from the rest of the eurozone and the IMF was on the table, while others indicated that the vote might even be called off altogether.

Whether any of these developments would keep Greece from financial meltdown andsecure its spot in Europe’s currency union was still unclear. But the prospect of more rescue loans—however dim—might help buffer some of the effects of the nonpayment to the IMF.

But in Berlin, Chancellor Angela Merkel and other senior officials sought to lower expectations for a quick resolution to Greece’s financial crisis.

Before Greeks have voted on the measures demanded by creditors, “we will not negotiate about anything new at all,” Ms. Merkel said. Her deputy and coalition partner, Sigmar Gabriel of the Social Democrats, urged Greece to cancel the referendum altogether. “Then one could very quickly gather for talks, initial talks. If that’s not the case, then we should certainly do this after the referendum,” Mr. Gabriel said.

European stocks and bonds fell amid the uncertainty and the euro declined against the U.S. dollar.

But most of the moves were smaller than the declines a day earlier in reaction to Athens’s weekend announcement that the government would call a referendum on whether to accept the terms that creditors are offering and the government’s shutdown of its banking system to prevent a financial collapse.

In Washington, President Barack Obama played down the potential impact of Greece’s worsening crisis on the U.S. and broader global economy. “That is not something that we believe will have a major shock to the system,” he said.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has been urging his European counterparts to press ahead with bailout talks to find a “pragmatic compromise” that includes both tough economic overhauls and debt relief, to prevent Europe’s economic problems from dragging on U.S. growth.

Related Video

Greek banks have been heavily dependent on support from the European Central Bank. WSJ’s Charles Forelle explains why the country’s banking sector could turn out to be its Achilles heel.

Eurozone finance ministers are scheduled to discuss Greece’s bailout request, along with new proposals for budget cuts and policy overhauls, in a teleconference Wednesday morning.

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis told his counterparts Tuesday that these plans would be close to the creditors’ latest demands, Austrian Finance Minister Hans Jörg Schelling said in a television interview.

Mr. Varoufakis also suggested that his government might campaign for a “yes” in the referendum if its new proposals were accepted, Mr. Schelling said.

Other officials were more skeptical that, after four months of at times acrimonious negotiations, Mr. Tsipras’s left-wing government was finally giving in to creditors’ demands.

“The political stance of the Greek government doesn’t appear to have changed,” said Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister who presides over the talks with his eurozone counterparts. Mr. Dijsselbloem already said over the weekend that the government would have a hard time convincing creditors and investors that it would implement measures it has to far opposed.

The expiration of the existing bailout and a default on the IMF aren’t expected to have immediate consequences for Greece’s economy. Its banks have already been ordered closed until Monday, after the European Central Bank capped emergency loans to Greek lenders over the weekend. Cash withdrawals by Greeks have been limited to €60 a day for each account-holder since Monday.

On Wednesday, the focus will again be on the ECB, whose governing council is due to meet in Frankfurt.

The council, which includes central bankers from the eurozone’s 19 member states, is reluctant to take any additional steps for now that would inflict more pain on Greek banks—for instance, by forcing them to pay back the outstanding loans just days ahead of the referendum, people familiar with the matter said, despite a growing level of impatience over the central bank’s exposure to Greece.

One largely symbolic option would be for the ECB to raise the amount of collateral that banks have to post in return for the emergency loans, but calibrate the reductions on the face value of assets used for collateral so that Greek lenders would still have enough to cover the existing €89 billion loan pile.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/some-greek-banks-to-open-for-pensioners-1435653433

Greek crisis deepens as loan repayment deadline passes

Kim Hjelmgaard and Marco della Cava,

reece’s midnight deadline passed Tuesday for repaying $1.8 billion to the International Monetary Fund and other international creditors, deepening a financial crisis that threatens the Mediterranean nation’s membership in the European Union.

Despite an eleventh-hour effort by Greek lawmakers Tuesday to secure a new two-year debt deal before the deadline, European finance ministers reviewing Greece’s proposal concluded their conference call without offering a bailout extension.

The ministers agreed to convene again Wednesday to further discuss the details of a new series of loans from the eurozone’s European Stability Mechanism, its $560 billion rescue fund.

After the deadline passed (at 6 pm ET), Greece joined Zimbabwe, Sudan and Somaliain being in arrears to the IMF. Fitch Ratings has downgraded Greece’s government debt further into junk territory.

Standing in the way of any new deal from the IMF and other creditors is Sunday’s Greek referendum on whether to accept the terms that would come with a new aid package, which includes tax increases and spending cutbacks after years of recession. There is some dispute over whether such a referendum could be canceled, with some Greek lawmakers arguing that the vote is now set in stone.

Late Tuesday, thousands of Greeks took to the streets of Athens, many of them in support of accepting new bailout terms. A “no” vote would lead to Greece leaving the European Union and abandoning the euro currency.

The $1.8 billion Greece owes is part of a $270 billion aid plan it received from the IMF, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Commission — 19 eurozone governments — during its financial crisis.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel made her position clear Tuesday, telling reporters in Berlin, “We’ll negotiate about absolutely nothing before the planned referendum is held.”

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has said that his government would step down if “yes” votes prevailed, telling a Greek public broadcasting outlet Monday, “We’ll choose in a sovereign way what our future will be like, we will insist on negotiating.”

President Obama cautioned that a failed Greek economy could have significant ripple effects on markets around the world, adding Tuesday that “what you have here is a country that has gone through some very difficult economic times, and needs to find a path toward growth and a path toward staying in the eurozone.”

But should there be a so-called Grexit — or Greek exit from the European financial community — Obama added that “it is important for us that we plan for any contingency, that we work with the ECB and other international institutions to ensure that some of the bumps that occur in the financial markets are smoothed out.”

Greece had previously indicated it would not be able to make the payment. The IMF said it would not give Greece its customary 30-day grace period before issuing a notice of technical default.

But Athens is not expected to immediately go bankrupt. That would only happen if its non-payment triggers further defaults in its financial system, which is not expected.

Next month, on July 20, Greece is also due to pay the ECB $3.9 billion.

Talks between Greece and its creditors have broken down as Athens has tried to negotiate less onerous repayment terms, mainly centered around austerity measures. Global markets on Monday tumbled over fears that the country’s attempts to strike a better deal could see it forced out of the eurozone. Its membership in the European Union is also at stake.

But markets bounced back Tuesday in Asia, and European indexes moved away from earlier losses after steep sell-offs in those regions helped push the Dow down 350 points in the prior session — its biggest one-day point loss since June 20, 2013.

On Tuesday, U.S. markets edged higher, buoyed by Greece’s new proposal that came against the dominant crisis narrative of the last 48 hours.

Earlier, citing unnamed government sources, Greece’s Ekathimerini newspaper reported Athens was reconsidering a previous proposal by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. No details were provided.

A Greek eurozone exit, it is feared, would reignite the financial contagion experienced during the sovereign debt crisis of 2009 and beyond when billions of dollars were wiped off the value of European government debt and other assets.

Still, while many analysts and officials have warned that Greece leaving the eurozone could have far-reaching consequences for economies and markets across the world, the specific impact of that possible development remains mostly unclear.

“If Greece leaves the eurozone, there is unlikely to be a big bang moment when the country adopts the drachma (the currency it used prior to adopting the euro in 2001),” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, a unit of the ratings firm.

“It will happen over time, as the Greek government issues IOUs that effectively become the new currency,” he said.

Greek Prime Minister Tsipras hinted Monday that he may resign if his nation votes “yes” in the referendum Sunday. Tsipras’ leftist Syriza party insists the vote is being called to strengthen its negotiating mandate with its creditors.

“If the Greek people want to proceed with austerity plans in perpetuity, which will leave us unable to lift our head, we will respect it, but we will not be the ones to carry it out,” he said on Greek television late Monday.

European leaders including Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and French PresidentFrancois Hollande dispute that. They say that Sunday’s vote will effectively be a referendum on whether Greece wants to remain part of the eurozone.

The government has limited cash withdrawals from banks to about $68 per day in a bid to stave off bank runs and keep its financial system from collapsing, triggering protests from groups on both sides of Sunday’s yes or no vote.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/06/30/greek-crisis-deepens-as-loan-repayment-deadline-nears/29518847/

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

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Will A Greece Default On Debt Trigger A World Recession? — Bubbles Bursting? — Greek Odious Debt Default On The Brink — Jump! — Greece Defaults! — Videos

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Story 1: Will A Greece Default On Debt Trigger A World Recession? — Bubbles Bursting? — Greek Odious Debt Default On The Brink — Jump! — Greece Defaults! — Videos

burst-bubble-animated-gif

euro zone EU-Unemployment-Comparison  Greekbanks  greek_debt_infographicpull out

Greece misses 1.5 billion euro IMF payment 01:12

Greece officially defaults 02:28

Greece defaults on $1.7 billion payment

Laura Branigan – Self Control

last chance

Donna Summer Last Dance

The History of Odious Debt

Not Much Difference Between U.S. and Greece

How Will Greece’s Default to the IMF Impact Europe?

Analysis: Who is to blame for Greece’s debt crisis?

Nightly Business Report — June 29, 2015

Greece’s Economic Disaster May Spread To Other Countries – Episode 704

SR381 – Why Greece Will Default

Keiser Report: Greece! Start Fresh (E777)

Keiser Report: IMF failed Greece long before bailout (E776)

Why Does Greece Have So Much Debt?

Greece Makes The First Move, Debt Is Illegal And Odious – Episode 694

Should Greece Answer The Debt Crisis By Pulling A Trump?

Greece and the Euro Breakup; Why the US Dollar Is Facing an Even Bigger Crisis

Ep. 89: Greece is a sideshow. U.S. is the Main Event.

Greek Economic Crisis: Three Things to Know

Parsons: Greece default will be ‘big time’ problem for U.S. banks

Greece on the Brink – Documentary [HD]

DONNA SUMMER – I feel love (1977) HD and HQ

Laura Branigan – Gloria [1982]

Forever Young Laura Branigan

Greece’s bailout expires, country defaults on IMF payment

By ELENA BECATOROS and DEREK GATOPOULOS

y to fall into arrears on payments to the fund. The last country to do so was Zimbabwe in 2001.

After Greece made a last-ditch effort to extend its bailout, eurozone finance ministers decided in a teleconference late Tuesday that there was no way they could reach a deal before the deadline.

“It would be crazy to extend the program,” said Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbleom, who heads the eurozone finance ministers’ body known as the eurogroup. “So that cannot happen and will not happen.”

(AP) An elderly man passes a graffiti outside an old bank in Athens, Tuesday, June 30,…
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“The program expires tonight,” Dijsselbleom said.The brinkmanship that has characterized Greece’s bailout negotiations with its European creditors and the IMF rose several notches over the weekend, when Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced he would put a deal proposal by creditors to a referendum on Sunday and urged a “No” vote.

The move increased fears the country could soon fall out of the euro currency bloc and Greeks rushed to pull money out of ATMs, leading the government to shutter its banks and impose restrictions on banking transactions on Monday for at least a week.

But in a surprise move Tuesday night, Deputy Prime Minister Yannis Dragasakis hinted that the government might be open to calling off the popular vote, saying it was a political decision.

The government decided on the referendum, he said on state television, “and it can make a decision on something else.”

(AP) A demonstrator waves a Greek flag during a rally organized by supporters of the YES…
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It was unclear, however, how that would be possible legally as Parliament has already voted for it to go ahead.Greece’s international bailout expires at midnight central European time, after which the country loses access to billions of euros in funds. At the same time, Greece has said it will not be able to make a payment of 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion) to the IMF.

With its economy teetering on the brink, Greece suffered its second sovereign downgrade in as many days when the Fitch ratings agency lowered it further into junk status, to just one notch above the level where it considers default inevitable.

The agency said the breakdown of negotiations “has significantly increased the risk that Greece will not be able to honor its debt obligations in the coming months, including bonds held by the private sector.”

Fitch said it now considered a default on privately-held debt “probable.”

(AP) People stand in a queue to use an ATM outside a closed bank, next to a sign on the…
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Hopes for an 11th-hour deal were raised when the Greek side announced it had submitted a new proposal Tuesday afternoon, and the eurozone’s 19 finance ministers held a teleconference to discuss it.But those hopes were quickly dashed.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she ruled out further negotiations with Greece before Sunday’s popular vote on whether to accept creditors’ demands for budget reforms.

“Before the planned referendum is carried out, we will not negotiate over anything new,” the dpa news agency quoted Merkel as saying.

Greece’s latest offer involves a proposal to tap Europe’s bailout fund — the so-called European Stability Mechanism, a pot of money set up after Greece’s rescue programs to help countries in need.

(AP) The word “NO”, referring to the upcoming referendum, is written in red paint outside…
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Tsipras’ office said the proposal was “for the full coverage of (Greece’s) financing needs with the simultaneous restructuring of the debt.”Dijsselbloem said the finance ministers would “study that request as we should” and that they would hold another conference call Wednesday, as they had also received a second letter from Athens that they had not had time to read.

Dragasakis said the new letter “narrows the differences further.”

“We are making an additional effort. There are six points where this effort can be made. I don’t want to get into specifics. But it includes pensions and labor issues,” he said.

European officials and Greek opposition parties have been adamant that a “No” vote on Sunday will mean Greece will leave the euro and possibly even the EU.

(AP) Demonstrators shout slogans during a rally organized by supporters of the YES vote…
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The government says this is scaremongering, and that a rejection of creditor demands will mean the country is in a better negotiating position.In Athens, more than 10,000 “Yes” vote supporters gathered outside parliament despite a thunderstorm, chanting “Europe! Europe!”

Most huddled under umbrellas, including Athens resident Sofia Matthaiou.

“I don’t know if we’ll get a deal. But we have to press them to see reason,” she said, referring to the government. “The creditors need to water down their positions, too.”

The protest came a day after thousands of government supporters advocating a “No” vote held a similar demonstration.

(AP) Demonstrators gather under the rain during a rally organized by supporters of the…
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On Monday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker made a new offer to Greece. Under that proposal, Tsipras would need to accept the creditors’ proposal that was on the table last weekend. He would also have to change his position on Sunday’s referendum.Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said the offer would also involve unspecified discussions on Athens’s massive debt load of over 300 billion euros, or around 180 percent of GDP. The Greek side has long called for debt relief, saying its mountainous debt is unsustainable.

A Greek government official said Tsipras had spoken earlier in the day with Juncker, European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi and European Parliament president Martin Schulz.

Meanwhile, missing the IMF payment will cut Greece off from new loans from the organization.

And with its bailout program expiring, Greece will lose access to more than 16 billion euros ($18 billion) in financial support it has not yet tapped, officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because talks about the program were still ongoing.

On the streets of Athens, long lines formed again at ATM machines as Greeks struggled with the new restrictions on banking transactions. Under credit controls imposed Monday, Greeks are now limited to ATM withdrawals of 60 euros ($67) a day and cannot send money abroad or make international payments without special permission.

The elderly have been hit particularly hard, with tens of thousands of pensions unpaid as of Tuesday afternoon. Many also found themselves completely cut off from any cash as they do not have bank cards.

The finance ministry said it would open about 1,000 bank branches across the country for three days beginning Wednesday to allow pensioners without bank cards to make withdrawals. But the limit would be set at 120 euros for the whole week.

 http://apnews.myway.com/article/20150630/eu–greece-bailout-26fc170deb.html

What happens if Greece defaults on its International Monetary Fund loans?

Cash-starved Athens has resorted to extraordinary measures to avoid defaulting to the IMF. But what would be the fall-out of a disorderly default?

No county has ever defaulted to the Fund in its 70-year history

The Greek government faces the prospect of becoming the first developed nation to ever default on its international obligations.

After a harrowing five months, and in a drama of soft deadlines, the cash-strapped government now faces a €1.55bn payment to the International Monetary Fund due at 11pm tonight.

With negotiations have broken off in dramatic fashion last week, a cacophony of voices on Syriza’s Left have vowed to prioritise domestic obligations unless creditors finally unlock the remainder of its €240bn bail-out programme. Greece only avoided going bust earlier this month after the government has asked for a Zambia-style debt bundling which will now be due on June 30.

The rhetoric is a far cry from February, when Greece’s finance minister pledged his government would “squeeze blood out of a stone” to meet its obligations to the Fund.

Greece owes €9.7bn to the IMF this year. Missing any instalment to the IMF would see the country fall into an arrears process, unprecedented for a developed world debtor.

Although no nation has ever officially defaulted on its obligations in the post-Bretton Woods era, Greece would join an ignominious list of war-torn nations and international pariahs who have failed to pay back the Fund on time.

What happens after a default?

In choosing to bundle up four separate June repayments, Greece avoided triggering an immediate default.

But in the event of a delayed repayment, according to IMF protocol, Greece could be afforded a 30-day grace period, during which it would be urged to pay back the money as soon as possible, and before Ms Lagarde notifies her executive board of the late payment.

However, with talks have broken down in acrimonious fashion between the country and its creditors, Ms Lagarde has said she will renege on this and notify her board “immediately”.

Having spooked creditors and the markets of the possibility of a fatal breach of the sanctity of monetary union, Greece may well stump up the cash if an agreement to release the country more emergency aid is reached (that’s looking increasingly unlikely however).

But should no money be forthcoming however, the arrears process may well extend indefinitely.

Greece’s other creditor burden would also start piling up, with the government due to pay another €6.6bn to the European Central Bank in July and August.

Stopping the cash

Although the exact process is uncertain, falling into a protracted arrears procedure could have major consequences for continued financial assistance from Greece’s other creditors – the European Central Bank and European Commission.

“If Greece defaults to the IMF, then they are considered to be in default to the rest of the eurozone,” says Raoul Ruparel, head of economic research at Open Europe.

The terms of Greece’s existing bail-out programme stipulate that a default to the IMF would automatically constitute a default on the country’s European rescue loans.

“Such a scenario would risk the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) cancelling all or part of its facility or even declaring the principal amount of the loan to be due immediately,” say analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Should the EFSF take such a decisive move, it could activate a range of cross default clauses on Greek government bonds held by private investors and the ECB. These clauses state a default to one creditor institution applies to all.

The political and market damage that may ensue would be substantial. Popular sentiment in creditor nations would turn against the errant Greeks, while the position of the ECB in particular could quickly come under the spotlight.

The central bank has kept Greek banks on a tight leash, maintaining that it would only restore normal lending operations to the country once “conditions for a successful completion of the programme are in place”.

A wave of defaults may force the ECB into finally pulling the plug on the emergency assistance it has been providing in ever larger doses since February.

What would happen if Greece left the euro? In 60 seconds

Scrambling for funds

Whatever the outcome, Greece on many measures, is all but bankrupt.

In addition to the half a billion euros plus it owes the Fund this month, the Leftist government will still be paying back the IMF until 2030. In total, its repayment schedule stretches out over the next 42 years to 2057.

Greece makes new aid proposal, seeks debt restructuring

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece has submitted to creditors a new two-year aid proposal calling for parallel debt restructuring, the office of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Tuesday, in what seemed like a last-ditch effort by Athens to resolve an impasse with lenders.

The statement came hours before Athens was set to default on a loan to the International Monetary Fund. It was unclear how creditors would respond.

“The Greek government proposed today a two-year deal with the ESM (European Stability Mechanism) to fully cover its financial needs and with parallel debt restructuring,” the government said in a statement.

“Greece remains at the negotiating table,” the statement said, adding that Athens would always seek a “viable solution to stay in the euro.”

http://news.yahoo.com/greece-makes-aid-proposal-seeks-debt-restructuring-134508038–business.html

If Greece defaults on its debt, it will be the biggest default by a country in history.
Greece is expected to miss a €1.5 billion ($1.7 billion) debt payment on Tuesday. That won’t be enough to put it in the record books yet, but it could eventually make Greece default on its entire debt load: €323 billion ($360 billion).

This isn’t the first time Greece has been on the brink. Greece already holds the record for the biggest default ever by a country from 2012 when it went into technical default and had to restructure about $138 billion of its debt. Back then, Greece was quickly bailed out by its European peers. That’s unlikely to happen now.
The Greek government pulled its negotiators from talks with European officials Friday after little progress was made on a debt payment plan and economic reforms. Greece has called for a referendum vote on July 5 on the latest proposal from Europe and the International Monetary Fund.

Greece already holds the record: Greece’s 2012 technical default shattered the previous record set by Argentina in 2001, when the South American nation defaulted on $95 billion in debt. While there are parallels between the two countries, experts say this potential Greek default could be much worse.
“Things are incredibly dire,” says Anna Gelpern, a Georgetown University professor. “For political reasons and market-confidence reasons, they need to deal with the debt…It’s not clear to me how they deal with it without defaulting on anyone.”

Greece won’t officially be in default right away. The International Monetary Fund generally gives countries a month after missing a debt payment before it declares a country in defaulted. However, the markets will most likely judge Greece to be in default by July 1.
Greece’s debt is spread out across the board. Greece owes money to the International Monetary Fund, Germany, France, Greek banks and several others.
But consider this: Whatever happens to Greece, it’s likely to be a long process. Argentina is still in default. But a key difference is that Greece has four times the debt load of Argentina — the next worst default — but Greece’s economy is only half the size of Argentina’s.
While Greece would be the biggest sovereign default, Lehman Brothers had over $600 billion in assets when it filed for bankruptcy in 2008. A Greek default would be smaller and unlikely to rattle the global financial system like Lehman, but it would have a long-lasting impact on the Greek people.
Here are some of the worst sovereign defaults since 2000.

1. Greece — $138 billion, March 2012. Despite going into a technical default, the Greek government is propped up by bailout funds from its European peers. Those bailout funds eventually lead to the current dilemma.
2. Argentina — $95 billion, November 2001. Argentina’s currency was “pegged” or equal to one U.S. dollar for years — a currency exchange that eventually proved to be completely inaccurate. Like Greece is doing this week, Argentina also clamped down on Argentines trying to take money out of the banks. It didn’t help. The country’s economy was nearly three times smaller just one year later, according to IMF data. In July 2014, Argentina went into a technical default after it missed a debt payment to its hold out creditors.
3. Jamaica — $7.9 billion, February 2010. Massive government overspending for years and rapid inflation pushed Jamaica into default five years ago. At the time, over 40% of the government’s budget went to paying debts. Its economy, which depends on tourism, suffered when the U.S. recession began in late 2008.
4. Ecuador — $3.2 billion, December 2008. Ecuador pulled a fast one on its creditors. With a debt payment looming, the Ecuardor’s government, led by President Rafael Correa, just said no to its creditors. He claimed the debt, some which was owned by American hedge funds, was “immoral.” Rich in resources, Ecuardor could have made debt payments, but intentionally chose not to.

http://money.cnn.com/2015/06/29/investing/greece-default-bigger-than-argentina/

Despite Lagarde’s initial reluctance, IMF on the hook for Greece

By Anna Yukhananov

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As French Finance Minister in 2010, Christine Lagarde opposed the involvement of the International Monetary Fund in Greece.

Now as the country stands on the edge of defaulting on a 1.6 billion euro ($1.8 billion) payment to the Fund, Lagarde’s tenure at the head of the IMF since 2011 will be shaped by Greece, which holds a referendum on Sunday that could pave the way to its exit from the euro.

By its own admission the Washington-based institution broke many of its rules in lending to Greece. It ended up endorsing austerity measures proposed by the European Commission and European Central Bank, its partners in the troika of Greece’s lenders, instead of leading talks as it had done with other countries such as Russia and in the Asian financial crisis.

“I think the IMF has missed the opportunity (on Greece), because it has not fully leveraged the lessons it learned from the previous crises it was involved in, due to this asymmetric relationship within the troika,” said Domenico Lombardi, a former IMF board member.

That the IMF lent to Greece at the behest of Europe, which has nominated every IMF Managing Director since the inception of the Fund in 1946, may expose the institution to greater scrutiny, especially as it has $24 billion in loans outstanding to Greece in its largest-ever program.

“When it was clear that the Greek program was underperforming, they did not push back sufficiently against the euro zone, which had at the time a misguided policy emphasis on only austerity,” said Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, a fellow at the Peterson Institute in Washington.

The involvement of the Fund in Greece and its continued support for decisions driven by eurozone governments caused a deep split in the institution.

Some IMF economists had misgivings about lending to Greece in 2010 within the constraints of the so-called “troika” of lenders, where the Fund would be the junior partner to the European Central Bank and the European Commission.

IMF board members also protested the “exceptional” size of the program, as Athens did not meet the Fund’s criteria for debt sustainability, meaning it would have trouble repaying.

Yet swayed by the fear that contagion in Athens could spread to French and German banks, the IMF agreed to participate in a joint 110-billion-euro bailout of Greece with the Europeans.

“The Europeans have a third of the voting rights (at the IMF), and they have appointed the managing director since the beginning, so essentially it is the governance that has driven the Greek program,” said Lombardi who is now with the Canada-based Center for International Governance Innovation.

Later, the Fund admitted that its projections for the Greek economy had been overly optimistic. Instead of growing after a year of austerity, Greece’s economy plunged into one of the worst recessions to ever hit a country in peacetime, with output falling 22 percent from 2008 to 2012.

While the euro zone’s insistence on drawing a direct link between euro membership and Greece’s debt sustainability and the negotiating tactics of the Greek government have exposed both to questions of credibility, the Fund stands charged as well.

“The IMF’s reputation, too, has been shaken from widespread criticism of the Greek program, including its own admission of its failures,” said Lombard Street Research economist Konstantinos Venetis.

TEMPTATION TO GO BIG

If Greece does default on all $24 billion it owes to the Fund, that will dwarf previous delinquencies from countries like Sudan, Zimbabwe and Somalia.

While the IMF was worried about contagion when it made the loans, it also had institutional incentives for wanting to bail out troubled countries, said Andrea Montanino, a former IMF board member who left the Fund in 2014 after participating in reviews of Greece’s second bailout in 2012.

“The IMF is in a preferred creditor status; the more you lend, the more you earn,” said Montanino, now with the Atlantic Council.

The IMF’s heavy involvement in large bailouts for euro zone countries, which included Ireland and Portugal, have enabled it to build up its reserve buffers in recent years. It is now aiming to store away some $28 billion by 2018.

From interest and charges on the Greek program alone, the IMF has earned some $3.9 billion since 2010, according to figures on the IMF’s website.

“I think the Greek lesson is in the future, the IMF will be much more careful,” said Montanino.

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/despite-lagardes-initial-reluctance-imf-hook-greece-223005193–business.html

Greece lifelines run out as IMF payment looms

Greece is widely expected to miss a crucial payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday—hours before its bailout officially ends at midnight and the country is left with few, if any, financial lifelines.

Greek officials have already warned the country is unable to pay the 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion) due to the IMF by 6 p.m. ET, after reforms-for-aid talks with creditors broke down at the weekend.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the president of the Eurogroup, subsequently tweeted on Tuesday that there would be a teleconference to discuss an “official request” from the Greek government “received this afternoon” at 1 p.m. ET.
The Greek government on Tuesday proposed a new, two-year bailout deal with the European Stability Mechanism. This would be to “fully cover its financing needs and the simultaneous restructuring of debt,” according to a translated press release from the office of the Greek Prime Minister.

A protester waves a Greek flag in front of the parliament building during a rally in Athens, Greece, June 22, 2015.

Yannis Behrakis | Reuters
A protester waves a Greek flag in front of the parliament building during a rally in Athens, Greece, June 22, 2015.

This comes at a time when Greece’s financial future is in jeopardy. The country will potentially have no access to external sources of cash, once its funding from the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) expires at midnight.

Read MoreEFSF: CNBC Explains

Meanwhile, Greece’s banking system is being kept afloat by emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) from the European Central Bank, which is up for review on Wednesday.

Against a backdrop of uncertainty, Tsipras has called a referendum on July 5 of the Greek people on whether to accept the bailout proposals—and accompanying austerity measures—proposed by creditors.

Tsipras has urged the public to vote “no” to more austerity.

“The Greek government will claim a sustainable agreement within the euro. This is the message of NO to a bad deal at the referendum on Sunday,” the translated statement from the prime minister’s office said on Tuesday.

‘Running out of notches’

Meanwhile, credit ratings agencies are increasingly nervous about the country’s solvency.

Fitch Ratings downgraded Greek banks on Monday to “Restricted Default,” after Athens imposed capital controls to prevent an exodus of deposits from Greece.

In addition, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) lowered Greece’s credit rating to CCC- from CCC, saying the probability of the country exiting the euro zone was now 50 percent.

Moritz Kraemer, chief rating officer of sovereign ratings at S&P, told CNBC on Tuesday that the group was “actually running out of notches” for Greece.

“We have the rating at CCC- and that’s pretty much the lowest rung that we have on our scale,” he told CNBC Europe’s “Squawk Box.”

Default?

If Greece misses its payment on Tuesday, then the IMF will consider it in “arrears” – a technical term used by the IMF, which is similar to default.

If a country is in arrears to the IMF, it means it won’t get any future aid until the bill is repaid.

Read MoreIMF’s Lagarde on Greece: Next few days are crucial

Although the IMF payment is dominating headlines, S&P’s Kraemer said that Greece’s bailout program ending at midnight was just as significant.

“Basically after that we’re back to square one,” he said. “So even if there was to be a change of heart in Athens and they did decide to take the creditors’ offer, that’s legally no longer possible as the program would have elapsed.”

Greece’s debt crisis: It all started in 2001…

Yannis Behrakis | Reuters

Odious debt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In international law, odious debt, also known as illegitimate debt, is a legal theory that holds that the national debt incurred by a regime for purposes that do not serve the best interests of the nation, should not be enforceable. Such debts are, thus, considered by this doctrine to be personal debts of the regime that incurred them and not debts of the state. In some respects, the concept is analogous to the invalidity of contracts signed under coercion.[1]

History

The doctrine of odious debt was formalized in a 1927 treatise by Alexander Nahum Sack, a Russian émigré legal theorist. It was based on two 19th century precedents—Mexico‘s repudiation of debts incurred by Emperor Maximilian, and the denial by the United States of Cuban liability for debts incurred by the Spanish colonial regime.[2]

Sack wrote:

When a despotic regime contracts a debt, not for the needs or in the interests of the state, but rather to strengthen itself, to suppress a popular insurrection, etc, this debt is odious for the people of the entire state. This debt does not bind the nation; it is a debt of the regime, a personal debt contracted by the ruler, and consequently it falls with the demise of the regime. The reason why these odious debts cannot attach to the territory of the state is that they do not fulfil one of the conditions determining the lawfulness of State debts, namely that State debts must be incurred, and the proceeds used, for the needs and in the interests of the State. Odious debts, contracted and utilised for purposes which, to the lenders’ knowledge, are contrary to the needs and the interests of the nation, are not binding on the nation – when it succeeds in overthrowing the government that contracted them – unless the debt is within the limits of real advantages that these debts might have afforded. The lenders have committed a hostile act against the people, they cannot expect a nation which has freed itself of a despotic regime to assume these odious debts, which are the personal debts of the ruler.[3]

There are many examples of similar debt repudiation.[4]

Reception

Patricia Adams, executive director of Probe International, a Canadian environmental and public policy advocacy organisation and author of Odious Debts: Loose Lending, Corruption, and the Third World’s Environmental Legacy, stated: “by giving creditors an incentive to lend only for purposes that are transparent and of public benefit, future tyrants will lose their ability to finance their armies, and thus the war on terror and the cause of world peace will be better served.”[5] In a Cato Institute policy analysis, Adams suggested that debts incurred by Iraq during Saddam Hussein‘s reign were odious because the money was spent on weapons, instruments of repression, and palaces.[6]

A 2002 article by economists Seema Jayachandran and Michael Kremer renewed interest in this topic.[7] They propose that the idea can be used to create a new type of economic sanction to block further borrowing by dictators.[8] Jayachandran proposed new recommendations in November 2010 at the 10th anniversary of the Jubilee movement at the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C.[9]

Application

In December 2008, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa attempted to default on Ecuador’s national debt, calling it illegitimate odious debt, because it was contracted by corrupt and despotic prior regimes.[10] He succeeded in reducing the price of the debt letters before continuing paying the debt.[11]

After the overthrow of Haiti‘s Jean-Claude Duvalier in 1986, there were calls to cancel Haiti’s debt owed to multilateral institutions, calling it unjust odious debt, and Haiti could better use the funds for education, health care, and basic infrastructure.[12] As of February 2008, the Haiti Debt Cancellation Resolution had 66 co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives.[13] Several organizations in the United States issued action alerts around the Haiti Debt Cancellation Resolution, and a Congressional letter to the U.S. Treasury,[14] including Jubilee USA, the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti and Pax Christi USA.

See also

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

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American People’s Crisis of Confidence in Big Government And Out of Control Spending and Taxes — Abandoning Both Political Parties — The Coming Of A Third Independent Party — Toppling Two Party Tyranny — The Wealth Creators Will Lead The American Renaissance — Videos

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confidence in institutions

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The mission of the Financial Policy Council Inc. (FPC), a research think tank and educational institution, is to formulate and promote sound public policy based on the principles of free enterprise and wealth creation as envisioned by the ideals of the American Founding Fathers.

Our goal is to ensure that America, the land of opportunity where freedom and prosperity have flourished, is not derailed by poorly formulated and reactive economic, fiscal and tax policy. In addition, our goal is to retain and reclaim America’s leading role in the global economic community.

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Myths That Conceal Reality

  • Americans’ confidence in presidency up four points, at 33%
  • Thirty-two percent have confidence in the Supreme Court
  • Congress retains the least confidence, at 8%

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans’ confidence in each of the three branches of the U.S. government remains low, with confidence in Congress and the Supreme Court near their all-time lows reached last year. Currently, 33% of Americans have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the presidency, 32% are this confident in the Supreme Court, and Congress is still well behind, at 8%.

Trend: Americans' Level of Confidence in the Three Branches of Government

While Congress has consistently received the lowest confidence rating of the three branches of government, the Supreme Court and the presidency usually track each other closely. This is apart from times when the incumbent president has been extremely popular, as in 1991 and 2002, or exceptionally unpopular, as in 2007 and 2008.

Gallup’s June 2-7 poll found confidence in the presidency rising slightly to 33% from 29% last year, which in turn was just four percentage points above the historical low of 25% in 2007. The uptick in confidence in the presidency this year is consistent with Americans’ higher job approval ratings of President Barack Obama since last fall.

Meanwhile, ratings of the Supreme Court and Congress, which had dropped to record lows in 2014, have barely moved.

Confidence in the Presidency in Obama’s Seventh Year Exceeds Bush’s

The president in office is not mentioned by name in the confidence in the presidency question, but Americans’ evaluations of the sitting president at the time are strongly related to how much confidence Americans place in the presidency as an institution.

Confidence in the presidency as an institution during each year of Obama’s presidency has generally been lower than the comparable year in the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. An exception is Obama’s first year, when Americans had greater confidence in the institution than in the first years of either Bush or Clinton. Also, in Obama’s current year in office, his seventh, confidence in the presidency is higher than the 25% found in Bush’s seventh year — the record low — but lower than the 49% in Clinton’s seventh year.

Americans' Level of Confidence in the U.S. Presidency, by Term Year

The highest confidence rating the presidency has ever received is 72%, in March 1991 during the administration of George H.W. Bush shortly after he had succeeded in pushing Iraq out of Kuwait in the Gulf War. However, by October of that same year, after the Gulf War was over, confidence in the presidency had dropped to 50%.

Average Confidence in the Three Branches Is Low, but Has Been Lower

The average confidence rating for the three branches of government combined is 24%, lower than most previous averages since 1991 and well below the high of 50% that year.

But the average of confidence ratings for the three branches of government has been lower — including in 2008 (23%) and 2014 (22%).

Trend: Average of Americans' Confidence Ratings of the Three Branches of Government

Bottom Line

Americans’ confidence in two of the three institutions that make up the U.S. government — Congress and the Supreme Court — remains near their all-time lows reached in 2014, while confidence in the presidency, although low, is up marginally compared with last year.

For Congress, low confidence in the institution is nothing new to members of the Senate and the House of Representatives, who have also seen low job approval ratings in recent years. Individual members likely aren’t as interested in Americans’ collective opinions as they are in the views of the voters they must appeal to back home. But the public’s extremely low confidence no doubt weighs on Congress at some level.

The Supreme Court, meanwhile, is not directly accountable to the public — and often defies public opinion completely. Although its unelected members serve indefinite terms, confidence in the court is not unsusceptible to a drop in confidence in government as a whole.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted June 2-7, 2015, with a random sample of 1,527 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 ±3 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/183605/confidence-branches-government-remains-low.aspx?utm_source=Politics&utm_medium=newsfeed&utm_campaign=tiles

Americans Have Lost Confidence … in Everything

It’s not just Congress and the economy that have Americans concerned these days.

Stock image of the U.S. Capitol on the back of a U.S. $20 bill.

Americans expressed a lack of confidence in banks and Congress, among other institutions.

By June 17, 2015 | 7:20 a.m. EDT+ More

Americans have little confidence in most of their major institutions including Congress, the presidency, the Supreme Court, banks and organized religion, according to the latest Gallup poll.

“Americans’ confidence in most major U.S. institutions remains below the historical average for each one,” a Gallup spokesman said in a news release. Only the military, in which 72 percent of Americans express confidence, up from a historical average of 68 percent, and small business, with 67 percent confidence, up from 63, are currently rated higher than their historical norms. This is based on the percentage expressing “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in these institutions, the Gallup spokesman said.

Only 8 percent have confidence in Congress, down by 16 points from a long-term average of 24 percent – the lowest of all institutions rated. The rating is about the same as last year’s 7 percent, the lowest Gallup has ever measured for any institution.

Kanishka Berashk currently lives in Kabul. His U.S. citizen wife asked the Supreme Court to force greater explanation for his visa denial.

Thirty-three percent have confidence in the presidency, a drop from a historical average of 43 percent.

Thirty-two percent have confidence in the Supreme Court, down from 44.

All in all, it’s a picture of a nation discouraged about its present and worried about its future, and highly doubtful that its institutions can pull America out of its trough. In a political context, the findings indicate that the growing number of presidential candidates for 2016 will have a difficult time instilling confidence in a skeptical electorate that they have the answers to the country’s problems.

“Americans’ confidence in most major institutions has been down for many years as the nation has dealt with prolonged wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a major recession and sluggish economic improvement, and partisan gridlock in Washington,” the Gallup spokesman said. “In fact, 2004 was the last year most institutions were at or above their historical average levels of confidence. Perhaps not coincidentally, 2004 was also the last year Americans’ satisfaction with the way things are going in the United States averaged better than 40 percent. Currently, 28 percent of Americans are satisfied with the state of the nation.”

The Gallup spokesman added: “From a broad perspective, Americans’ confidence in all institutions over the last two years has been the lowest since Gallup began systematic updates of a larger set of institutions in 1993.”

Twenty-eight percent have confidence in banks, down from 40 percent.

Twenty-one percent have confidence in big business, down from 24 percent.

Twenty-four percent have confidence in organized labor, down from 26.

Twenty-four percent have confidence in newspapers, down from 32 percent. Twenty-one percent have confidence in television news, down from 30 percent.

The police also have experienced a drop in public esteem, with 52 percent of Americans saying they are confident in the police compared with 57 percent who have been confident in the police historically. Police have been widely criticized in recent months for abusive tactics toward African-Americans, which resulted in the deaths of several black men.

Forty-two percent express confidence in organized religion, down from 55.

“Americans continue to show lower levels of confidence in most of the major institutions central to U.S. society, with only the military and small business getting ratings in 2015 that are above their historical averages,” the Gallup spokesman said. “That speaks to the broader dissatisfaction Americans have with the state of the nation more generally over the past decade as the U.S. has faced serious economic, international and political challenges. Americans have tended to be more confident in U.S. institutions when the economy has been strong, such as in the mid-1980s and the late 1990s and early 2000s. Although Americans are now more upbeat about the economy than they were in 2008-2013, they are not yet convinced that the economy is good, given that their assessments of national economic conditions remain more negative than positive.”

AMERICANS LOSE CONFIDENCE IN EVERYTHING

Poll shows views turning negative on banks, government, religion, police, media

An explosive new Gallup poll shows Americans have lost confidence in almost every major institution – from the U.S. presidency, Congress and the Supreme Court to banks and organized religion.

“Americans’ confidence in most major U.S. institutions remains below the historical average for each one,” a Gallup spokesman said.

Only the military (72 percent) and small business (67 percent) have Americans’ increasing confidence, both of which are now rated 4 percentage points higher than their historical norms, according to the poll.

Congress – which plunged 16 points from its average of 24 points – is the lowest ranking institution at just 8 percent.

Just as numerous presidential candidates attempt to convince America that they have the answers to the nation’s problems, the poll shows only one-third, or 33 percent, of Americans have confidence in the presidency, a nosedive from the historical average of 43 percent.

Likewise, just 32 percent said they have confidence in the Supreme Court, which is down from an average of 44 just before the court announces its decisions on landmark issues such as same-sex marriage and Obamacare subsidies to states without insurance-exchange websites.

image: http://www.wnd.com/files/2015/06/gallup_2015.jpg

gallup_2015

“Americans’ confidence in most major institutions has been down for many years as the nation has dealt with prolonged wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a major recession and sluggish economic improvement, and partisan gridlock in Washington,” a Gallup spokesman said. “In fact, 2004 was the last year most institutions were at or above their historical average levels of confidence. Perhaps not coincidentally, 2004 was also the last year Americans’ satisfaction with the way things are going in the United States averaged better than 40 percent. Currently, 28 percent of Americans are satisfied with the state of the nation.”

In 2004, President George W. Bush was re-elected and the U.S. transferred sovereignty and control of Iraq back to the Iraqi people.

At the beginning of 2004, the U.S. economy was booming. Four middle-class tax cuts were extended, including a $1,000-per-couple child tax credit, expansion of the lowest (10 percent) tax bracket, exceptions for the alternative minimum tax, and relief from the “marriage penalty” for two-income families. Another $140 billion in tax relief was granted to U.S. business. Unemployment dropped from 5.7 percent to 5.4 percent.

Regarding the latest poll numbers, the Gallup spokesman added, “From a broad perspective, Americans’ confidence in all institutions over the last two years has been the lowest since Gallup began systematic updates of a larger set of institutions in 1993.”

In the last two years, Americans have seen President Obama begin his second term of office. Amid an explosion of legalized same-sex marriage in numerous U.S. states, the Supreme Court declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

Americans witnessed the debt-ceiling crisis in October 2013, which resulted in the shutdown of the federal government and furlough of federal workers.

By 2014, the Obama administration had announced its plan to shrink the military budget to $522 billion and slash the Army to a size unseen since before World War II. The nation also saw Americans impacted by a West African Ebola outbreak and revelations that the Veterans Administration had covered up exceedingly long wait times for veterans seeking medical attention.

The year 2014 also saw the rise of terrorist group ISIS and racial riots in Ferguson, Missouri, and St. Louis after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in August. By 2015, riots had broken out in Baltimore, Maryland, over the shooting of Freddie Gray.

image: http://www.wnd.com/files/2015/06/Gallup_2015b.jpg

Gallup_2015b

According to the Gallup poll, 28 percent of Americans now have confidence in banks, compared to the historical average of 40 percent.

Twenty-one percent said they have confidence in big business, down from 24 percent.

Twenty-four percent have confidence in organized labor, down from 26 percent.

Twenty-four percent have confidence in newspapers, down from 32 percent.

Twenty-one percent have confidence in TV news, down from 30 percent.

Fifty-two percent have confidence in police, down from 57 percent.

Forty-two percent have confidence in organized religion, down from 55.

“Americans continue to show lower levels of confidence in most of the major institutions central to U.S. society, with only the military and small business getting ratings in 2015 that are above their historical averages,” the Gallup spokesman said.

“That speaks to the broader dissatisfaction Americans have with the state of the nation more generally over the past decade as the U.S. has faced serious economic, international and political challenges. Americans have tended to be more confident in U.S. institutions when the economy has been strong, such as in the mid-1980s and the late 1990s and early 2000s.”

While Americans are more confident in the economy than they were from 2008 to 2013, the Gallup spokesman said, “[T]hey are not yet convinced that the economy is good, given that their assessments of national economic conditions remain more negative than positive.”

http://www.wnd.com/2015/06/poll-americans-lose-confidence-in-everything/

List of political parties in the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a list of political parties in the United States, both past and present.

Parties with federal representation

Current United States Congressional seats

Political Parties House of Representatives Senate
Republican Party 245 54
Democratic Party 188 44
Independent 0 2
Vacant 2 0

Congressional leadership of the House of Representatives

Position Representative
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R)
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R)
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D)

Congressional leadership of the Senate

Position Senator
President of the Senate Joe Biden (D)
President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch (R)
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R)
Minority Leader Harry Reid (D)

The Vice President of the United States has the additional duty of President of the Senate. Because the number of seats in the United States Senate is an even number (two senators per state), it is the Vice President’s duty as President of the Senate to cast a tie-breaking vote in the event that “they be equally divided”—an equal number of Senators voting both for and against a motion.

Parties with state representation

Political Parties State Lower Chamber Seats State Upper Chamber Seats
Republican Party 3,044 1,134
Democratic Party 2,344 832
Vermont Progressive Party 6 3
Working Families Party 1 1
Conservative Party of New York State 1 0
Independence Party of New York 1 0
Independent 13 3
Vacant 4 3
Total 5,411 1,972

Major political parties

A party that has “an independent state organization… in a majority of the states”[1] is listed as a major party. An “independent state organization” is not to be confused with the organization of an Independent Democrat or Independent Republican.

Political Party States* Founded in Former Titles International Affiliations
Democratic Party 50 + DC 1828 Progressive Alliance[2]
Republican Party 50 + DC 1854 International Democrat Union
Libertarian Party 48 + DC[3] 1971 Interlibertarians[4]
Green Party 36 + DC[5] 1991 Global Greens
Constitution Party 26[5] 1992 U.S. Taxpayers’ Party

Minor political parties

This listing of minor parties does not include independents.

Political Party Founded in Former Titles International Affiliations
America First Party 2002
American Conservative Party 2008
American Freedom Party 2010 American Third Position Party
American Populist Party 2009
America’s Party 2008 America’s Independent Party
Christian Liberty Party* 1996 American Heritage Party
Citizens Party of the United States 2004 New American Independent Party
Communist Party USA 1919 International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties
Freedom Socialist Party 1966
Independent American Party 1998
Justice Party 2011
Modern Whig Party 2008
National Socialist Movement 1974 National Socialist American Workers Freedom Movement World Union of National Socialists
Objectivist Party 2008
Party for Socialism and Liberation 2004
Peace and Freedom Party 1967
Pirate Party 2006 Pirate Party International (observer)
Prohibition Party 1869
Reform Party of the United States of America 1995 United We Stand America
Socialist Action 1983 Fourth International
Socialist Alternative 1986 Labor Militant Committee for a Workers’ International
Socialist Equality Party 1966 Workers League International Committee of the Fourth International
Socialist Party USA 1973
Socialist Workers Party 1938 Pathfinder tendency (unofficial)
United States Marijuana Party 2002
United States Pacifist Party 1983
Unity Party of America 2004
Workers World Party 1959

Regional parties

These parties are based only in states or certain regions and rarely, if ever, offer candidates for national offices. These are all parties that are unaffiliated with national parties. Each state has official state chapters of the major parties as well as some of the minor parties.

Alaska

Connecticut

Delaware

Hawaii

Michigan

Minnesota

New York

Northern Mariana Islands[edit]

Ohio

Oregon

Puerto Rico

Rhode Island

U.S. Virgin Islands

Vermont

Wisconsin

Historical parties

The following parties are no longer functioning; they are listed in order of founding.

Non-electoral organizations

These organizations do not nominate candidates for election but otherwise function similarly to political parties. Some of them have nominated candidates in the past.

Political Party Founded in Former Titles International Affiliations
American Falangist Party 1985
American Nazi Party 1959 World Union of Free Enterprise National Socialists
American Reform Party 1997
Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism 1991 Committees of Correspondence
Communist Voice Organization 1995
Democratic Socialists of America 1982 Socialist International
Freedom Road Socialist Organization (freedomroad.org group) 1985
Freedom Road Socialist Organization (frso.org group) 1985 International Communist Seminar
Fourth International Caucus(faction of Solidarity) 1995 Fourth International (USFI)
Greens/Green Party USA 1991
International Socialist Organization 1977
Internationalism 1970 International Communist Current
Internationalist Group 1996 League for the Fourth International
Internationalist Workers’ Group 2002 International Communist Tendency
League for the Revolutionary Party 1976 Communist Organization for the Fourth International
League of Revolutionaries for a New America 1993
News and Letters Committees 1955
Progressive Labor Party 1961 Progressive Labor Movement *
Refoundation and Revolution(faction of Solidarity) 2002 Trotskyist League Coordinating Committee for the Refoundation of the Fourth International
Revolutionary Communist Party, USA 1975 Revolutionary Union
Revolutionary Organization of Labor 1961 Ray O. Light International Communist Seminar, International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations (International Newsletter), International Coordination of Revolutionary Parties and Organizations
Social Democrats, USA 1972
Socialist Organizer 1991 Fourth International (International Center of Reconstruction)
Socialist Workers Organization 2001
Solidarity 1986
Spartacist League 1966 International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist)
The Spark 1971 International Communist Union
U.S. Marxist–Leninist Organization 1981
Workers Party 2003
World Socialist Party of the United States 1916 Socialist Party of the UnitedStatesSocialist Educational SocietyWorkers’ Socialist Party World Socialist Movement

See also

References

Further reading

External links

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

Ambassador Terry Miller and Anthony B. Kim

Since its inception in 1995, the Index of Economic Freedom has chronicled hundreds of examples of government policy changes that have enhanced economic freedom, thereby promoting human progress and greater prosperity. As the Index has catalogued, nations with higher degrees of economic freedom prosper because they capitalize more fully on the ability of the free-market system not only to generate, but also to reinforce dynamic growth through efficient resource allocation, value creation, and innovation. Policies that promote freedom, whether through improvements in the rule of law, the promotion of competition and openness, or suitable restraints on the size and economic reach of government, turn out in practice to offer and advance practical solutions to a wide range of economic and social challenges that face the world’s societies.

The findings of the 2015 Index once again demonstrate the strongly positive linkages between economic freedom and various dimensions of human development. Many of the linkages are straightforward: Higher taxes, for example, reduce investment and hurt job growth. Others, such as the impact on economic growth from the promotion of property rights or the maintenance of a stable monetary system, are more intricate, multidimensional, and nonlinear.

Even in these cases, however, the evidence is strong that adherence to the principles of economic freedom is an unmatched strategy for promoting solutions to human problems and advancing overall well-being. No alternative systems—and many have been tried—come close to the record of free-market capitalism in promoting growth and improving the human condition.

Economic Freedom: Advancing Opportunity

Today’s successful economies are not necessarily geographically large or richly blessed with natural resources. Many economies have managed to expand opportunities for their citizens by enhancing their economic dynamism. In general, the overarching objective of economic policies must be to create an environment that provides the most opportunity for the widest range of activities that can lead to increased prosperity.

The Index results have shown that sustaining such economic dynamism is achievable only when governments adopt economic policies that empower individuals and firms with more choices, encouraging greater entrepreneurship.

It is noteworthy that despite recent policy missteps by many countries in responding to the global economic slowdown, which amounted to a political assault on capitalism in some places, the free-market system is not on the verge of breakdown. In fact, as the negative impact of regulatory and spending mistakes has become apparent, a greater number of people around the world seem to be realizing that the economic damage inflicted by the heavy hand of government—subpar growth, deteriorating entrepreneurial environments, and lower employment growth—is not inevitable, but rather the result of bad policy choices.

Even as the free market has been under challenge in countries such as Venezuela, Bolivia, Russia, and even the United States, many other governments around the world have acknowledged its superiority. Decades of evidence, some presented in the pages of this Index, are hard for even the most ideological governments to ignore. Not only does the free-market system remain viable, but many of its core features, such as private property rights, openness to trade and investment, and fiscal discipline, have entrenched themselves as the policy standard, any deviation from which requires strong justification.

Economic Freedom: Promoting Prosperity

In many respects, economic freedom is merely shorthand for an openness to entrepreneurial activity that increases opportunity for individuals to succeed in their endeavors. Chart 1 shows the close correspondence between economic freedom and entrepreneurial opportunity as measured by the Entrepreneurship and Opportunity sub-index of the Legatum Prosperity Index, which “measures a country’s entrepreneurial environment, its promotion of innovative activity, and the evenness ofopportunity.”

Given such a strong relationship, it should be apparent that a government’s most effective stimulus activity will not be to increase its own spending or increase layers of regulation, both of which reduce economic freedom. The best results are likely to be achieved instead through policy reforms that improve the incentives that drive entrepreneurial activity, creating more opportunities for greater economicdynamism.

Equally notable are the fundamental benefits that stem from the strong positive relationship between economic freedom and levels of per capita income. For countries achieving scores in the Index that reflect even moderate levels of economic freedom (60 or above), the relationship between economic freedom and per capita GDP is highly significant.

As indicated in Chart 2, countries moving up the economic freedom scale show increasingly high levels of average income. Economies rated “free” or “mostly free” in the 2015 Index enjoy incomes that are over twice the average levels in all other countries and more than five times higher than the incomes of “repressed” economies.

Economic Freedom: Antidote to Poverty

By a great many measures, the past two decades during which the Index has been charting the advance of economic freedom have been the most prosperous in the history of humankind. Those countries that have adopted some version of free-market capitalism, with economies supported by efficient regulations and open to the free flow of goods, services, and capital, have participated in an era of globalization and economic integration in which solutions to many of the world’s development problems have taken hold and generated real improvements in living standards.

The free-market system that is rooted in the principles of economic freedom has fueled unprecedented economic growth around the world. As Chart 3 illustrates, as the global economy has moved toward greater economic freedom over the past two decades, real world GDP has increased by about 70 percent, and the global poverty rate has been cut in half, lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.

Greater economic freedom has had a positive impact not just on the number of people in poverty, but also on the intensity of the poverty still experienced by some. Poverty intensity as measured by the United Nations Development Programme’s Multidimensional Poverty Index, which assesses the nature and intensity of deprivation at the individual level in education, health outcomes, and standard of living, is much lower on average in countries with higher levels of economic freedom. Chart 5 shows that the intensity of poverty in countries whose economies are considered mostly free or moderately free is only about one-fourth the level in countries that are rated less free.

The key driver of poverty reduction is dynamic and resilient economic growth that creates jobs. Not surprisingly, one of the most important goals of economic policy in almost every country in the world has thus been to increase the rate of economic growth.

As Chart 4 demonstrates, there is a robust relationship between improving economic freedom and achieving higher per capita economic growth. Whether long-term (20 years), medium-term (10 years), or short-term (five years), the relationship between changes in economic freedom and changes in economic growth is consistently positive.

Undeniably, countries moving toward greater economic freedom tend to achieve higher rates of per capita GDP growth over time. Whether in the short term or over the long run, the average annual per capita economic growth rates of countries that have grown economic freedom the most are at least 50 percent higher than those of countries where freedom has stagnated or slowed.

Economic Freedom: Societal Development and Democratic Progress

Growing economic freedom is unequivocally about more than financial success. Achieving greater overall prosperity that goes beyond materialistic and monetary dimensions of well-being is equally important. The societal benefits of economic freedom extend far beyond higher incomes or reductions in poverty. Countries with higher levels of economic freedom enjoy higher levels of overall human development as measured by the United Nations Human Development Index, which measures life expectancy, literacy, education, and the standard of living in countries worldwide. As Chart 6 shows, governments that choose policies that increase economic freedom are placing their societies on the pathway to more education opportunities, better health care, and higher standards of living for their citizens.

In some countries, government policies and actions concerning the environment have become more intrusive and economically distortionary. Many governments have pushed programs to tax carbon emissions and increase taxes on gasoline, organized non-transparent and sometimes corrupt exchanges for the buying and selling of carbon emissions, and provided subsidies for “clean” energy to politically favored firms. Such policies impose a huge direct cost on society, and they also retard economic growth—and all for uncertain environmental benefits.

Interestingly, the same free-market principles that have proven to be the key to economic success have also proven to deliver environmental success. Around the world, economic freedom has been shown to increase countries’ capacity for innovation and thus to improve overall environmental performance.

The positive link between economic freedom and higher levels of innovation ensures greater economic dynamism in coping with various developmental challenges, and the most remarkable improvements in clean energy use and energy efficiency over the past decades have occurred not as a result of government regulation, but rather because of advances in technology and trade. A virtuous cycle of investment, innovation (including in greener technologies), and dynamic economic growth has flourished where governments have trusted market forces and competition to spur efficiency. (See Chart 7.)

Greater economic freedom can also provide more fertile ground for effective and democratic governance. Debate over the direction of causality between economic freedom and democracy has become more controversial in recent years because of the multifaceted interaction between the two. Undoubtedly, achieving greater political freedom through well-functioning democracy is a messy and often excruciatingprocess.

However, the positive relationship between economic freedom and democratic governance is undeniable. (See Chart 8.) By empowering people to exercise greater control of their daily lives, economic freedom ultimately nurtures political reform by making it possible for individuals to gain the economic resources necessary to challenge entrenched interests and compete for political power, thereby encouraging the creation of more pluralistic societies.

Pursuit of greater economic freedom is thus an important stepping-stone to democracy. It empowers the poor and builds the middle class. It is a philosophy that encourages entrepreneurship and disperses economic power and decision-making throughout society.

Economic Freedom: The Key to Upward Mobility and Greater Social Progress

The massive improvements in global indicators of income and quality of life largely reflect a paradigm shift in the debate over how societies should be structured to achieve the most optimal outcome. Over the past two decades, this debate has largely been won by capitalism. However, fears that the immediate benefits of capitalism are fading has brought to the forefront concerns about economic mobility and economicfreedom.

At the heart of ensuring upward economic mobility is the task of advancing economic freedom so that dynamic and inclusive growth can meaningfully occur for ordinary people in a free society. Milton and Rose Friedman made a keen observation on the critically intertwined relationship between freedom andmobility:

[S]o long as freedom is maintained, it prevents … positions of privilege from becoming institutionalized. Freedom means diversity, but also mobility. It preserves the opportunity for today’s disadvantaged to become tomorrow’s privileged and, in the process enables almost everyone, from top to bottom, to enjoy a fuller and richer life.1

Economic freedom is critical to generating the broader-based economic growth that brings more opportunities for a greater number of people to work, produce, and save. In other words, ensuring greater economic freedom is directly related to preserving and enhancing dynamic upward mobility.

Also notable is that although some naysayers claim that economic and social progress has been limited in recent years as incomes in some countries have become more unequal as a result of economic freedom, the evidence does not support this contention. Instead, societies based on economic freedom are the ones that have demonstrated the strongest social progress.

As shown in Chart 9, countries that largely embrace economic freedom provide the environments that are most conducive to social progress.2 Countries that improve their competitiveness and open their societies to new ideas, products, and innovations have largely achieved the high levels of social progress that their citizens demand. It is not massive redistributions of wealth or government dictates on income levels that produce the most positive social outcomes. Instead, mobility and progress require lower barriers to entry, freedom to engage with the world, and less government intrusion.

Staying on Course

The 21st edition of the Index of Economic Freedom shows economic freedom once again on the rise, reaching the highest point in the Index’s 21-year history. Behind this record are stories of human progress and the achievements of countries and their citizens—literally billions of people around the world whose lives have measurably improved.

It is no coincidence that the increase of economic liberty over the past decades has coincided with a massive reduction in worldwide poverty, disease, and hunger. The link between economic freedom and development is clear and strong. People in economically free societies live longer. They have better health. They are able to be better stewards of the environment, and they push forward the frontiers of human achievement in science and technology through greater innovation.

A recurring theme of human history has been resilience and revival. The country profiles in the 2015 Index of Economic Freedom include many examples of countries that have accelerated their economic and social progress in the face of difficult challenges and a sometimes harsh international environment. Their successes can be emulated by others. The Index of Economic Freedom charts not just one path to development, but as many as the ingenuity of humans can produce when they are free to experiment andinnovate.

The principles of economic freedom are a sure guide, but only a guide. What truly will matter are the creative solutions to pressing world problems that are certain to flow from people who are, in the words of Milton and Rose Friedman, “free to choose.”

1. Milton Friedman and Rose D. Friedman, Free to Choose: A Personal Statement (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1979).

2. The Social Progress Index defines social progress as the capacity of a society to meet the basic human needs of its citizens, establish the building blocks that allow citizens and communities to enhance and sustain the quality of their lives, and create the conditions for all individuals to reach their full potential.

http://www.heritage.org/index/book/chapter-2

Country Rankings

Free

rank country overall change rank country overall change
1 Hong Kong 89.6 -0.5 4 Australia 81.4 -0.6
2 Singapore 89.4 0.0 5 Switzerland 80.5 -1.1
3 New Zealand 82.1 +0.9

Mostly Free

rank country overall change rank country overall change
6 Canada 79.1 -1.1 21 Luxembourg 73.2 -1.0
7 Chile 78.5 -0.2 22 Georgia 73.0 +0.4
8 Estonia 76.8 +0.9 23 Sweden 72.7 -0.4
9 Ireland 76.6 +0.4 24 Czech Republic 72.5 +0.3
10 Mauritius 76.4 -0.1 25 United Arab Emirates 72.4 +1.0
11 Denmark 76.3 +0.2 26 Iceland 72.0 -0.4
12 United States 76.2 +0.7 27 Norway 71.8 +0.9
13 United Kingdom 75.8 +0.9 28 Colombia 71.7 +1.0
14 Taiwan 75.1 +1.2 29 South Korea 71.5 +0.3
15 Lithuania 74.7 +1.7 30 Austria 71.2 -1.2
16 Germany 73.8 +0.4 31 Malaysia 70.8 +1.2
17 The Netherlands 73.7 -0.5 32 Qatar 70.8 -0.4
18 Bahrain 73.4 -1.7 33 Israel 70.5 +2.1
19 Finland 73.4 0.0 34 Macau 70.3 -1.0
20 Japan 73.3 +0.9 35 Saint Lucia 70.2 -0.5

Moderately Free

rank country overall change rank country overall change
36 Botswana 69.8 -2.2 64 Portugal 65.3 +1.8
37 Latvia 69.7 +1.0 65 Rwanda 64.8 +0.1
38 Jordan 69.3 +0.1 66 Montenegro 64.7 +1.1
39 Brunei Darussalam 68.9 -0.1 67 Trinidad and Tobago 64.1 +1.4
40 Belgium 68.8 -1.1 68 Panama 64.1 +0.7
41 The Bahamas 68.7 -1.1 69 Kazakhstan 63.3 -0.4
42 Poland 68.6 +1.6 70 Turkey 63.2 -1.7
43 Uruguay 68.6 -0.7 71 Ghana 63.0 -1.2
44 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 68.0 +1.0 72 South Africa 62.6 +0.1
45 Cyprus 67.9 +0.3 73 France 62.5 -1.0
46 Barbados 67.9 -0.4 74 Kuwait 62.5 +0.2
47 Peru 67.7 +0.3 75 Thailand 62.4 -0.9
48 Jamaica 67.7 +1.0 76 Philippines 62.2 +2.1
49 Spain 67.6 +0.4 77 Saudi Arabia 62.1 -0.1
50 Slovakia 67.2 +0.8 78 Samoa 61.9 +0.8
51 Costa Rica 67.2 +0.3 79 Madagascar 61.7 0.0
52 Armenia 67.1 -1.8 80 Italy 61.7 +0.8
53 Macedonia 67.1 -1.5 81 Croatia 61.5 +1.1
54 Hungary 66.8 -0.2 82 Kyrgyz Republic 61.3 +0.2
55 Bulgaria 66.8 +1.1 83 Paraguay 61.1 -0.9
56 Oman 66.7 -0.7 84 Vanuatu 61.1 +1.6
57 Romania 66.6 +1.1 85 Azerbaijan 61.0 -0.3
58 Malta 66.5 +0.1 86 Dominican Republic 61.0 -0.3
59 Mexico 66.4 -0.4 87 Guatemala 60.4 -0.8
60 Cabo Verde 66.4 +0.3 88 Slovenia 60.3 -2.4
61 Dominica 66.1 +0.9 89 Morocco 60.1 +1.8
62 El Salvador 65.7 -0.5 90 Serbia 60.0 +0.6
63 Albania 65.7 -1.2

Mostly Unfree

rank country overall change rank country overall change
91 Swaziland 59.9 -1.3 122 Kenya 55.6 -1.5
92 Uganda 59.7 -0.2 123 Guyana 55.5 -0.2
93 Namibia 59.6 +0.2 124 Egypt 55.2 +2.3
94 Lebanon 59.3 -0.1 125 Mozambique 54.8 -0.2
95 Tonga 59.3 +1.1 126 Malawi 54.8 -0.6
96 Mongolia 59.2 +0.3 127 Niger 54.6 -0.5
97 Bosnia and Herzegovina 59.0 +0.6 128 India 54.6 -1.1
98 Fiji 59.0 +0.3 129 Suriname 54.2 0.0
99 Benin 58.8 +1.7 130 Greece 54.0 -1.7
100 Zambia 58.7 -1.7 131 Bangladesh 53.9 -0.2
101 Sri Lanka 58.6 -1.4 132 Burundi 53.7 +2.3
102 Burkina Faso 58.6 -0.3 133 Yemen 53.7 -1.8
103 Côte d’Ivoire 58.5 +0.8 134 Maldives 53.4 +2.4
104 Gabon 58.3 +0.5 135 Mauritania 53.3 +0.1
105 Indonesia 58.1 -0.4 136 São Tomé and Príncipe 53.3 +4.5
106 Senegal 57.8 +2.4 137 Papua New Guinea 53.1 -0.8
107 Tunisia 57.7 +0.4 138 Togo 53.0 +3.1
108 Nicaragua 57.6 -0.8 139 China 52.7 +0.2
109 Tanzania 57.5 -0.3 140 Tajikistan 52.7 +0.7
110 Cambodia 57.5 +0.1 141 Liberia 52.7 +0.3
111 Moldova 57.5 +0.2 142 Comoros 52.1 +0.7
112 Djibouti 57.5 +1.6 143 Russia 52.1 +0.2
113 The Gambia 57.5 -2.0 144 Guinea 52.1 -1.4
114 Seychelles 57.5 +1.3 145 Guinea-Bissau 52.0 +0.7
115 Bhutan 57.4 +0.7 146 Cameroon 51.9 -0.7
116 Honduras 57.4 +0.3 147 Sierra Leone 51.7 +1.2
117 Belize 56.8 +0.1 148 Vietnam 51.7 +0.9
118 Brazil 56.6 -0.3 149 Ethiopia 51.5 +1.5
119 Mali 56.4 +0.9 150 Laos 51.4 +0.2
120 Nigeria 55.6 +1.3 151 Haiti 51.3 +2.4
121 Pakistan 55.6 +0.4 152 Nepal 51.3 +1.2

Repressed

rank country overall change rank country overall change
153 Belarus 49.8 -0.3 166 Central African Republic 45.9 -0.8
154 Micronesia 49.6 -0.2 167 Timor-Leste 45.5 +2.3
155 Lesotho 49.6 +0.1 168 Democratic Republic of Congo 45.0 +4.4
156 Ecuador 49.2 +1.2 169 Argentina 44.1 -0.5
157 Algeria 48.9 -1.9 170 Republic of Congo 42.7 -1.0
158 Angola 47.9 +0.2 171 Iran 41.8 +1.5
159 Solomon Islands 47.0 +0.8 172 Turkmenistan 41.4 -0.8
160 Uzbekistan 47.0 +0.5 173 Equatorial Guinea 40.4 -4.0
161 Burma 46.9 +0.4 174 Eritrea 38.9 +0.4
162 Ukraine 46.9 -2.4 175 Zimbabwe 37.6 +2.1
163 Bolivia 46.8 -1.6 176 Venezuela 34.3 -2.0
164 Kiribati 46.4 +0.1 177 Cuba 29.6 +0.9
165 Chad 45.9 +1.4 178 North Korea 1.3 +0.3

Not Ranked

rank country overall change rank country overall change
N/A Afghanistan N/A N/A N/A Liechtenstein N/A N/A
N/A Iraq N/A N/A N/A Somalia N/A N/A
N/A Kosovo N/A N/A N/A Sudan N/A N/A
N/A Libya N/A N/A N/A Syria N/A N/A

http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking

United States

overall score76.2
world rank12
RULE OF LAW

Property Rights80.0

Freedom From Corruption73.0

LIMITED GOVERNMENT

Government Spending51.8

Fiscal Freedom66.2

REGULATORY EFFICIENCY

Business Freedom88.8

Labor Freedom98.5

Monetary Freedom76.6

OPEN MARKETS

Trade Freedom87.0

Investment Freedom70.0

Financial Freedom70.0

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QUICK FACTS
  • Population:
    • 316.4 million
  • GDP (PPP):
    • $16.8 trillion
    • 1.9% growth
    • 1.2% 5-year compound annual growth
    • $53,101 per capita
  • Unemployment:
    • 7.5%
  • Inflation (CPI):
    • 1.5%
  • FDI Inflow:
    • $187.5 billion

Embed This Data

The United States’ economic freedom score is 76.2, making its economy the 12th freest in the 2015 Index. Its score is 0.7 point higher than last year, with modest gains in six of the 10 economic freedoms, including control of government spending, outweighing a slight decline in business freedom.

Although the precipitous downward spiral in U.S. economic freedom since 2008 has come to a halt in the 2015 Index, a 1.6-point decline in overall economic freedom over the past five years reflects broad-based deteriorations in key policy areas, particularly those related to upholding the rule of law and limited government. Continuing to trail such comparable economies as Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, and Canada, America has been ranked “mostly free” since 2010.

The anemic post-recession recovery has been characterized by slow growth, high unemployment, a decrease in the number of Americans seeking work, and great uncertainty that has held back investment. Increased tax and regulatory burdens, aggravated by favoritism toward entrenched interests, have undercut America’s historically dynamic entrepreneurial growth.

BACKGROUND

President Barack Obama’s second-term efforts to expand government spending and regulation have been thwarted to some extent by Republican Party opposition in Congress. Economic policy leadership has devolved by default to the Federal Reserve, whose attempts to use monetary policy to stimulate economic activity have not restored robust growth. Implementation of the 2010 health care law, which has reduced competition in most health insurance markets, remains a drag on job creation and full-time employment. Overall, the U.S. economy continues to underperform, despite a private sector–led energy boom that has made the U.S. the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas. The weak economic recovery and uncertain responses to foreign policy challenges, particularly in the Middle East, in Ukraine, and along the southern U.S. border, have contributed to a loss of support for the President and his party and Republican majorities in both chambers of Congress as a result of 2014 midterm elections.

RULE OF LAWVIEW METHODOLOGY

Corruption in government and the political process remains a concern. High levels of government spending and the expansion and complexity of the government’s regulatory agenda have increased opportunities for political favoritism and cronyism. The judiciary functions independently. Protection of property rights has been uneven, with instances of regulatory overreach by the executive branch requiring court adjudication.

LIMITED GOVERNMENTVIEW METHODOLOGY

The top individual income tax rate is 39.6 percent, and the top corporate tax rate remains among the world’s highest at 35 percent. Other taxes include a capital gains tax and excise taxes. Tax revenue is equal to 24.3 percent of gross domestic product, and government spending is well over one-third of GDP. Public debt exceeds the value of the economy’s annual production.

REGULATORY EFFICIENCYVIEW METHODOLOGY

The regulatory burden has been mounting. Since 2009, over 150 new major regulations have been imposed at an annual cost of more than $70 billion. As of 2014, 125 new regulations were in the pipeline. The labor market, primarily regulated at the state level, remains flexible. Subsidies for agriculture, health care, and renewable energy have bred economic distortions.

OPEN MARKETSVIEW METHODOLOGY

The average tariff rate is 1.5 percent. Tariffs on clothing are high, sugar imports face tariff-rate quotas, and petroleum and liquefied natural gas exports are restricted. Foreign investment in some sectors is capped. The financial market is well developed, but the 2010 Dodd–Frank Act has instituted more federal regulation, socializing the cost of financial risk-taking and increasing the likelihood of future financial crises and bailouts

http://www.heritage.org/index/country/unitedstates

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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