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August 27, 2019

United States
The National Debt Dilemma

With the U.S. national debt already exceeding $16 trillion, President Trump’s tax reform and budget deals with Congress have added to the country’s deficits. CFR explores the origins of the national debt, the risks it presents, and the outlook for change.

US-Debt-BGR-Header-2-1160x630.jpg

August 6, 2019

United States
U.S. Gun Policy: Global Comparisons

High-profile mass shootings in the United States in recent years have rekindled the gun control debate and raised comparisons of policies around the world.

A gun enthusiast looks at a rifle scope

March 8, 2019

United States
The U.S. Trade Deficit: How Much Does It Matter?

President Trump has made reducing the U.S. trade deficit a priority, blaming trade deals like NAFTA, but economists disagree over how policymakers should respond.

Chinese steel factory

November 1, 2018

International Organizations
The IMF: The World’s Controversial Financial Firefighter

The International Monetary Fund, both criticized and lauded for its efforts to promote financial stability, continues to find itself at the forefront of global economic crisis management.

IMF Director Christine Lagarde

March 23, 2018

World Trade Organization (WTO)
What's Next for the WTO?

President Trump’s decision to levy tariffs on China highlights concern about the ongoing role of the WTO and the future of global trade rules.

WTO Meeting, Geneva Switzerland

May 28, 2015

Infrastructure
U.S. Aviation Infrastructure

The U.S. air travel system is the most heavily used in the world, but it needs a much higher rate of investment to modernize and improve efficiency.

Passengers wait in a security line, Washington Reagan airport

October 9, 2017

Sub-Saharan Africa
AGOA: The U.S.-Africa Trade Program

AGOA is the cornerstone of the U.S.-Africa trade relationship, but declining support has called the program’s value into question.

A worker at an export processing zone (EPZ) factory in Athi River, Kenya.

February 2, 2005

Iraq
Iraq: The war’s price tag

This publication is now archived. How much has the war in Iraq cost?Congress has so far appropriated about $123 billion for the war in Iraq in addition to the military’s standard operating expenses c…

July 11, 2012

Financial Markets
The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision

Controversies over too-big-to-fail financial institutions continue to mount. The Basel Accords represent the latest effort to ease risk and restore confidence, as this Backgrounder explains.

November 7, 2011

United States
Defense Spending and the Deficit Debate

Lawmakers are considering sharp cuts to defense spending as part of mandated deficit-reduction efforts. This Backgrounder discusses the effects of such major cuts and implications for U.S. military s…