The Brookings Institution. August 13, 2012.
When it comes to Japan’s defense, the Japanese political system and the Japan Self-Defense Force independently decide the national policies as they are ultimately responsible for the country’s safety and security. However, due to the crucial nature of the U.S.-Japan alliance to Japan’s overall security, it is impractical not to take into account American thinking. As a result, it is important to better understand where and how American thinking on Japanese security is influenced. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
U.S. State Department. Bureau of Public Affairs. July 31, 2012.
The last two decades have transformed our understanding of what it takes to achieve development. The surest path to creating more prosperous societies requires indigenous political will; responsive, effective, accountable, and transparent governance; and broad-based, inclusive economic growth. Without this enabling environment, sustained development progress often remains out of reach. But development, which along with diplomacy and defense is essential to America’s national security, requires an updated engagement model. Traditional development approaches need to be broadened to produce a strategy of influence, engagement, and reform mobilization.
http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/196186.pdf [PDF format].
Congressional Research Service. August 20, 2012.
Congress has recently demonstrated significant ongoing interest in litigation by “patent assertion entities” (PAEs), which are colloquially known as “patent trolls” and sometimes referred to as “non-practicing entities” (NPEs). The PAE business model focuses not on developing or commercializing patented inventions but on buying and asserting patents, often against firms that have already begun using the claimed technology after developing it independently, unaware of the PAE patent. PAEs include not only freestanding businesses but patent holding subsidiaries, affiliates, and shells of operating companies that want to participate in the PAE industry and/or a new means of countering competitors. This report reviews the current debate and controversy surrounding PAEs and their effect on innovation, examines the reasons for the rise in PAE litigation, and explores the legislative options available to Congress if it decides that these are issues that should be addressed.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42668.pdf [PDF format, 23 pages].
Congressional Research Service. August 17, 2012.
In 2011, more than 78 million light motor vehicles were produced around the world. The top five vehicle manufacturing countries (in order of production) were China, the United States, Japan, Germany, and South Korea, which together accounted for about 60% of global light vehicle production. Although millions of vehicles are exported and imported annually, vehicle manufacturing is still primarily regional. Most cars sold in Europe are produced there, and most cars sold in North America are produced in the United States, Canada, or Mexico. In 2011, 13 million cars and light trucks were sold in the United States, including 2.8 million imported from outside North America. Consumer preferences and vehicle regulations and standards differ from country to country and reinforce regional vehicle manufacturing. This makes vehicles distinctly different from some other consumer products, such as electronics, which are produced only in a few countries and then sold globally. The absence of global standards for vehicle fuel efficiency and emissions means that a vehicle may not be sold in certain countries if the manufacturer is not willing to make major investments to bring the vehicle into compliance with local standards.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42666.pdf [PDF format, 7 pages].