Italy Background Note, 3/98


U.S. Department of State
Background Notes: Italy, March 1998

Released by the Bureau of European and Canadian Affairs


Official Name: Republic of Italy 

PROFILE 

Geography 

Area: 301,225 sq. km. (116,303 sq. mi.); about the size of Georgia
and Florida combined.
Cities: Capital--Rome (pop. 2.7 million). Other cities--Milan,
Naples, Turin.
Terrain: Mostly rugged and mountainous.
Climate: Generally mild Mediterranean; cold northern winters.

People

Nationality: Noun and adjective--Italian(s).
Population: 57 million.
Annual growth rate: 0.2%.
Ethnic groups: Primarily Italian, but small groups of German-,
French-, Slovene-, and Albanian-Italians.
Religion: Roman Catholic (majority).
Language: Italian (official).
Education: Years compulsory--14. Literacy--98%.
Health: Infant mortality rate--8/1,000 live births. Life 
expectancy--74
yrs.
Work force: 23 million; unemployment 12%. Services--61%. Industry
and commerce--32%. Agriculture--7%.

Government

Type: Republic since June 2, 1946. Constitution: January 1, 1948.

Branches: Executive--president (chief of state), Council of 
Ministers
(cabinet), headed by the president of the council (prime minister).
Legislative--bicameral parliament: 630-member Chamber of Deputies,
325-member Senate. Judicial--independent constitutional court
and lower magistracy.
Subdivisions: 94 provinces, 20 regions.
Political parties: Forza Italia, Northern League, National 
Alliance,
Democratic Party of the Left, Italian People's Party, Christian
Democratic Center, Socialist, La Rete, Communist Renewal, Social
Democratic, Republican, Liberal, Greens, Italian Renewal.
Suffrage: Universal over 18.

Economy

GDP (1996): $1.21 trillion.
Per capita income (1996): $21,190.
GDP growth (1996): 0.7%.
Natural resources: Fish, natural gas.
Agriculture: Products--wheat, rice, grapes, olives, citrus fruits.

Industry: Types--automobiles, machinery, chemicals, textiles,
shoes.
Trade (1996): Exports--$250 billion; partners--EU 55%, U.S. 7%,
OPEC 3%; mechanical products, textiles and apparel, transportation
equipment, metal products, chemical products, food and agricultural
products. Imports--$207 billion; partners--EU 61%, OPEC 6%, U.S.
5%; machinery and transport equipment, foodstuffs, ferrous and
nonferrous metals, wool, cotton, energy products.

PEOPLE AND HISTORY

Italy is largely homogeneous linguistically and religiously but
is diverse culturally, economically, and politically. Italy has
the fifth-highest population density in Europe--about 200 persons
per square kilometer (490/sq. mi.). Minority groups are small,
the largest being the German-speaking people of Bolzano Province
and the Slovenes around Trieste. Other groups comprise small 
communities
of Albanian, Greek, Ladino, and French origin. Although Roman
Catholicism is the majority religion--99% of the people are 
nominally
Catholic--all religious faiths are provided equal freedom before
the law by the constitution.

Greeks settled in the southern tip of the Italian peninsula in
the eighth and seventh centuries B.C.; Etruscans, Romans, and
others inhabited the central and northern mainland. The peninsula
subsequently was unified under the Roman Republic. The neighboring
islands also came under Roman control by the third century B.C.;
by the first century A.D., the Roman Empire effectively dominated
the Mediterranean world. After the collapse of the Roman Empire
in the West in the fifth century A.D., the peninsula and islands
were subjected to a series of invasions, and political unity was
lost. Italy became an oft-changing succession of small states,
principalities, and kingdoms which fought among themselves and
were subject to ambitions of foreign powers. Popes of Rome ruled
central Italy; rivalries between the popes and the Holy Roman
Emperors, who claimed Italy as their domain, often made the 
peninsula
a battleground.

Commercial prosperity of northern and central Italian cities,
beginning in the 11th century, and the influence of the Renaissance
mitigated somewhat the effects of these medieval political 
rivalries.
Although Italy declined after the 16th century, the Renaissance
had strengthened the idea of a single Italian nationality. By
the early 19th century, a nationalist movement developed and led
to the reunification of Italy--except for Rome--in the 1860s.
In 1861, Victor Emmanuel II of the House of Savoy was proclaimed
King of Italy. Rome was incorporated in 1870. From 1870 until
1922, Italy was a constitutional monarchy with a parliament elected
under limited suffrage.

Italy's Cultural Contributions

Europe's Renaissance period began in Italy during the 14th and
15th centuries. Literary achievements--such as the poetry of 
Petrarch,
Tasso, and Ariosto and the prose of Boccaccio, Machiavelli, and
Castiglione--exerted a tremendous and lasting influence on the
subsequent development of Western civilization, as did the 
painting,
sculpture, and architecture contributed by giants such as da Vinci,
Raphael, Botticelli, Fra Angelico, and Michelangelo.

The musical influence of Italian composers Monteverdi, Palestrina,
and Vivaldi proved epochal; in the 19th century, Italian romantic
opera flourished under composers Gioacchino Rossini, Giuseppe
Verdi, and Giacomo Puccini. Contemporary Italian artists, writers,
filmmakers, architects, composers, and designers contribute 
significantly
to Western culture.

20th-Century History

During World War I, Italy renounced its standing alliance with
Germany and Austria-Hungary and, in 1915, entered the war on the
side of the Allies. Under the postwar settlement, Italy received
some former Austrian territory along the northeast frontier. In
1922, Benito Mussolini came to power and, over the next few years,
eliminated political parties, curtailed personal liberties, and
installed a fascist dictatorship termed the Corporate State. The
king, with little or no effective power, remained titular head
of state.

Italy allied with Germany and declared war on the United Kingdom
and France in 1940. In 1941, Italy--with the other Axis powers,
Germany and Japan--declared war on the United States and the Soviet
Union. Following the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943, the King
dismissed Mussolini and appointed Marshal Pietro Badoglio as 
Premier. The Badoglio government declared war on Germany, which 
quickly occupied most of the country and freed Mussolini, who led a 
brief-lived regime in the north. An anti-fascist popular resistance 
movement grew during the last two years of the war, harassing German 
forces before they were driven out in April 1945. The monarchy was 
ended by a 1946 plebiscite, and a constituent assembly was elected to
draw up plans for the republic.

Under the 1947 peace treaty, minor adjustments were made in Italy's
frontier with France, the eastern border area was transferred
to Yugoslavia, and the area around the city of Trieste was 
designated a free territory. In 1954, the free territory, which had 
remained under the administration of U.S.-U.K. forces (Zone A, 
including the city of Trieste) and Yugoslav forces (Zone B), was 
divided between Italy and Yugoslavia, principally along the zonal 
boundary. This arrangement was made permanent by the Italian-Yugoslav 
Treaty of Osimo, ratified in 1977 (currently being discussed by Italy,
Slovenia, and Croatia). Under the 1947 peace treaty, Italy also
gave up its overseas territories and certain Mediterranean islands.

The Roman Catholic Church's status in Italy has been determined,
since its temporal powers ended in 1870, by a series of accords
with the Italian Government. Under the Lateran Pacts of 1929,
which were confirmed by the present constitution, the state of
Vatican City is recognized by Italy as an independent, sovereign
entity. While preserving that recognition, in 1984, Italy and
the Vatican updated several provisions of the 1929 accords. 
Included was the end of Roman Catholicism as Italy's formal state 
religion.

GOVERNMENT

Italy has been a democratic republic since June 2, 1946, when
the monarchy was abolished by popular referendum. The constitution
was promulgated on January 1, 1948.

The Italian state is highly centralized. The prefect of each of
the provinces is appointed by and answerable to the central 
government.
In addition to the provinces, the constitution provides for 20
regions with limited governing powers. Five regions--Sardinia,
Sicily, Trentino-Alto Adige, Valle d'Aosta, and Friuli-Venezia
Giulia--function with special autonomy statutes. The other 15
regions were established in 1970 and vote for regional 
"councils". The establishment of regional governments 
throughout Italy has brought some decentralization to the national 
governmental 
machinery.

The 1948 constitution established a bicameral parliament (Chamber
of Deputies and Senate), a separate judiciary, and an executive
branch composed of a Council of Ministers (cabinet) which is headed
by the president of the council (prime minister). The president
of the republic is elected for seven years by the parliament 
sitting jointly with a small number of regional delegates. The 
president nominates the prime minister, who chooses the other 
ministers. The Council of Ministers--in practice composed mostly of 
members of parliament--must retain the confidence of both houses.

The houses of parliament are popularly and directly elected by
a mixed majoritarian and proportional representation system. Under
1993 legislation, Italy has single-member districts for 75% of
the seats in parliament; the remaining 25% of seats are allotted
on a proportional basis. The Chamber of Deputies has 630 members.
In addition to 315 elected members, the Senate includes former
presidents and several other persons appointed for life according
to special constitutional provisions. Both houses are elected
for a maximum of five years, but either may be dissolved before
the expiration of its normal term. Legislative bills may originate
in either house and must be passed by a majority in both.

The Italian judicial system is based on Roman law modified by
the Napoleonic code and subsequent statutes. There is only partial
judicial review of legislation in the American sense. A 
constitutional court, which passes on the constitutionality of laws, is 
a post-World War II innovation. Its powers, volume, and frequency of 
decisions are not as extensive as those of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Principal Government Officials

President--Oscar Luigi Scalfaro
Prime Minister--Romano Prodi
Foreign Minister-- Lamberto Dini
Ambassador to the United States--Ferdinando Salleo

Italy maintains an embassy in the United States at 1601 Fuller
Street NW, Washington, DC 20009 (tel. 202-328-5500).

POLITICAL CONDITIONS

There have been frequent government turnovers since 1945. The
dominance of the Christian Democratic (DC) party during much of
the postwar period lent continuity and comparative stability to
Italy's political situation.

From 1992 to 1997, Italy faced significant challenges as voters--
disenchanted with past political paralysis, massive government debt, 
extensive corruption, and organized crime's considerable influence--
demanded political, economic, and ethical reforms. In 1993 referendums,
voters approved substantial changes, including moving from a 
proportional to a largely majoritarian electoral system and the 
abolishment of some ministries.

Major political parties, beset by scandal and loss of voter 
confidence, underwent far-reaching changes. New political forces 
and new alignments of power emerged in March 1994 national elections--
there was a major turnover in the new parliament, with 452 out of 630 
deputies and 213 out of 315 senators elected for the first time. The 
1994 elections also swept media magnate Silvio Berlusconi--and his
"Freedom Pole" coalition--into office as Prime Minister.
However, Berlusconi was forced to step down in January 1995 when
one member of his coalition withdrew support. The Berlusconi 
government was succeeded by a technical government headed by Prime 
Minister Lamberto Dini, which fell in early 1996.

In April 1996, national elections were again held and led to the
victory of a center-left coalition (the Olive Tree) led by Romano
Prodi. Prime Minister Prodi's coalition includes the Democratic
Party of the Left (PDS), the Italian People's Party (PPI), and
other small, center-left groups. To make up its majority in the
chamber of deputies, however, the Prodi government depends on
the Communist Renewal Party. In the April 1997 local elections,
voters split almost evenly between center-right and center-left
coalitions.

Political Parties

Italy's dramatic self-renewal transformed the political landscape
between 1992 and 1997. Scandal investigations touched thousands
of politicians, administrators, and businessmen; the shift from
a proportional to majoritarian voting system (with the requirement
to obtain a minimum of 4% of the national vote to obtain 
representation) also altered political ground rules.

Party changes were sweeping. The Christian Democratic party 
dissolved; the Italian People's Party and the Christian Democratic 
Center emerged. Other major parties, such as the Socialists, saw 
support plummet. New movements such as Forza Italia, led by former 
Prime Minister Berlusconi, gained wide support. The National Alliance
broke from the neo-fascist Italian Social Movement. A trend toward
two large coalitions--one on the center-left and the other on
the center-right--emerged from the April 1995 regional elections.
For the 1996 national elections, the center-left parties created
the Olive Tree coalition while the center right united again under
the Freedom Pole. This emerging bi-polarity represents a major
break from the fragmented, multi-party political landscape of
the postwar era. The recommendations of the bilateral commission
on reform and Parliament's subsequent decisions expected by the
end of 1997 may strengthen the promise of real bi-polarity.

The largest parties in the Chamber are: Democratic Party of the
Left -- moderate successor to the Italian Communist Party -- 
(21.1%); Forza Italia (20.6%); National Alliance (15.7%); Northern 
League (10.1%); Communist Renewal (8.6%); and Italian People's Party-
Prodi's List (6.8%). The same rankings generally apply in the Senate.

ECONOMY

The Italian economy has changed dramatically since the end of
World War II. From an agriculturally based economy, it has 
developed into an industrial state ranked as the world's 
fifth-largest industrial economy. Italy belongs to the Group of 
Seven (G-7) industrialized nations; it is a member of the European 
Union and the OECD. 

Italy has few natural resources. With much of the land unsuited
for farming, it is a net food importer. There are no substantial
deposits of iron, coal, or oil. Proven natural gas reserves, mainly
in the Po Valley and offshore Adriatic, have grown in recent years
and constitute the country's most important mineral resource.
Most raw materials needed for manufacturing and more than 80%
of the country's energy sources are imported. Italy's economic
strength is in the processing and the manufacturing of goods,
primarily in small and medium-sized family-owned firms. Its major
industries are precision machinery, motor vehicles, chemicals,
pharmaceuticals, electric goods, and fashion and clothing.

Italy's economy slowed from 2.8% GDP growth in 1995 to 0.7% in
1996, one of the lowest growth rates among the industrialized
economies. GDP Growth is not expected to surpass 1.5% in 1997
and could be even less. Most forecasts expect it to rebound to
2% in 1998.

Continuing a positive trend of recent years, Italy's foreign 
balances improved further in 1996, with weakening export growth more 
than compensated by falling imports. Italy posted a $60-billion trade
surplus (fob/fob) in 1996, up from a $44-billion surplus in 1995.
Its current account surplus of $42 billion was also up from 1995's
$28-billion surplus. Inflation fell to 3.9% in 1996 after rising
to 5.4% in 1995 and is continuing its downward trend in 1997.
Through May of 1997, inflation was running at a 1.6% year-on-year
rate.

The biggest economic challenge facing Italy remains imbalances
in public finances. Since 1992, economic policy in Italy has 
focused primarily on reducing government budget deficits and reining 
in the national debt. Successive Italian governments have adopted
annual austerity budgets with significant cutbacks in spending,
as well as new revenue raising measures. Italy has enjoyed a 
primary budget surplus, net of interest payments, for the last five 
years, and will do so again in 1997. The deficit in public 
administration declined in 1996 to 6.7% of GDP, down from 7% in 1995. 
According to government calculations, the deficit could fall to 3% of 
GDP in 1997, in line with the Maastricht Treaty target for European
Monetary Union.

The national debt should continue to decline slowly. It stabilized
in 1995 at roughly 124% of GDP, declined slightly in 1996, and
will continue to shrink in 1997 and beyond. Given the heavy weight
of interest payments in government expenditures, public finances
remain susceptible to international capital market developments,
as well as domestic political developments.

Italy's closest trade ties are with the other countries of the
European Union, with whom it conducts about 59% of its total trade.
Italy's largest EU trade partners, in order of market share, are
Germany (18%), France (13%), and the United Kingdom (7%).

U.S.-Italy Economic Relations

The U.S.-Italian bilateral relationship is strong and growing.
The U.S. and Italy cooperate closely on major economic issues,
including within the G-7. With a large population and a high per
capita income, Italy is one of the United States' most important
trade partners. In 1996, the United States was the fifth-largest
foreign supplier of the Italian market (with a market share of
5%) and the largest supplier outside the EU. Total trade between
the United States and Italy exceeded $29 billion in 1996. The
U.S. ran more than an $8-billion deficit with Italy. 

Significant changes are occurring in the composition of this trade
which could narrow the gap. More value-added products such as
office machinery and aircraft are becoming the principal U.S.
exports to Italy. The change reveals the growing sophistication
of the Italian market, and bilateral trade should expand further.
During 1996, the United States imported about $18 billion in 
Italian goods while exporting about $10 billion in U.S. goods to 
Italy. U.S. foreign direct investment in Italy at the end of 1995 
exceeded $9.5 billion; Italian investment in the U.S. was 
roughly $8.7 billion.

Labor

Unemployment remains high (12.4% for 1996). It is especially severe
in the south where average unemployment for the year was 21.8%.
Women and youth have significantly higher rates of unemployment
than men. A rigid labor market serves as a disincentive to job
creation. There is a significant underground economy absorbing
substantial numbers of people, but they work for low wages and
without standard social benefits and protections.

Unions claim to represent 40% of the workforce. Most Italian unions
are grouped in three major confederations: the Italian General
Confederation of Labor (CGIL), the Italian Confederation of Labor
Unions (CISL) and the Union of Italian Labor (UIL). These 
confederations formerly were associated with important political 
parties or currents, but they have formally terminated such ties. 
Nowadays, the three often coordinate their positions before 
confronting management or lobbying the government. The three major 
confederations have an important consultative role on national social 
and economic issues. Among their major agreements are a four-year wage 
moderation agreement signed in 1993, a reform of the pension system in 
1995, and an employment pact, introducing steps for labor market 
flexibility in economically depressed areas, in 1996. The CGIL, CISL, 
and UIL are affiliates of the International Confederation of Free
Trade Unions.

Agriculture

Italy's agriculture is typical of the division between the 
agricultures of the northern and southern countries of the European 
Union. The northern part of Italy produces primarily grains, sugar 
beets, soybeans, meat, and dairy products, while the south specializes
in producing fruits, vegetables, olive oil, wine, and durum wheat.

Even though much of its mountainous terrain is unsuitable for
farming, Italy has a large work force (1.4 million) employed in
farming. Most farms are small, with the average farm only seven
hectares.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Italy was a founding member of the European Community--now the
European Union (EU). Italy was admitted to the United Nations
in 1955 and is a member and strong supporter of the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization (NATO); the Organization for Economic 
Cooperation and Development (OECD); the General Agreement on Tariffs 
and Trade/World Trade Organization (GATT/WTO); the Organization for 
Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Western European Union 
(WEU); and the Council of Europe. It chaired the CSCE and the G-7 in
1994 and the EU in 1996.

Italy firmly supports the United Nations and its international
security activities. Italy actively participated in and deployed
troops in support of UN peacekeeping missions in Somalia, 
Mozambique, and Cambodia and provides critical support for NATO 
and UN operations in Bosnia. Italy is currently leading a 6,000-member 
multi-national protection force seeking to provide emergency and 
humanitarian assistance in Albania following the collapse of state 
authority and the economy in that country in early 1997.

The Italian Government seeks to obtain consensus with other 
European countries on various defense and security issues within the 
WEU as well as NATO. European integration and the development of common
defense and security policies will continue to be of primary interest
to Italy.

DEFENSE

A strong NATO ally, Italy occupies an important strategic position
in the Mediterranean, critical to regional security and for 
enhancing stability in the Balkans, North Africa, and the Middle East. 
To meet challenges of the post-Cold War era, Italy has proposed a
"New Defense Model" that calls for the creation of more
mobile and highly trained units staffed by career professionals.
The Italian military is subordinate to civilian authority, which
is vested in the Ministry of Defense. Under the authority of the
Defense Minister, the armed forces have also been used in Italy
for emergency relief and combating organized crime. For 1995,
Italy's defense budget will equal 1% to 2% of GDP.

U.S.-ITALY RELATIONS

The United States enjoys warm and friendly relations with Italy.
The two are NATO allies and cooperate in the United Nations, in
various regional organizations, and bilaterally for peace, 
prosperity, and defense. Italy has worked closely with the 
United States and others on such issues as NATO and UN operation 
in Bosnia, sanctions against the former Yugoslavia, assistance to 
Russia and the New Independent States (NIS), Middle East peace 
process multilateral talks, Somalia and Mozambique peacekeeping, 
and combating drug trafficking and terrorism.

Under long-standing bilateral agreements flowing from NATO 
membership, Italy hosts important U.S. military forces at Vincenza 
and Livorno (Army); Aviano (Air Force); and Sigonella, Gaeta, and 
Naples--home port for the U.S. Navy Sixth Fleet. The United States 
has about  17,000 military personnel stationed in Italy. Italy hosts 
the NATO War College in Rome.

Italy remains a strong and active trans-Atlantic partner which,
along with the United States, has sought to foster democratic
ideals and international cooperation in areas of strife and civil
conflict. Toward this end, the Italian Government has cooperated
with the U.S. in the formulation of defense, security, and 
peacekeeping policies.

Principal U.S. Officials

Ambassador--Thomas Foglietta
Deputy Chief of Mission--James B. Cunningham
Political Affairs--Shaun Byrnes
Economic Affairs--Robert Smolik
Public Affairs--Cynthia Miller
Commercial Affairs-Robert Connan
Agricultural Section--Elizabeth Berry
Defense Attache--Capt. Vincent P. Mocini, USN

Consular Posts

Consul General, Florence-Louis A. McCall
Consul General, Milan--George Griffin
Consul General, Naples--Marianne Myles

The U.S. embassy in Italy is located at Via Veneto 119, Rome (tel.
(39)(6) 46741


TRAVEL AND BUSINESS INFORMATION 

The U.S. Department of State's Consular Information Program 
provides Travel Warnings and Consular Information Sheets. Travel
Warnings are issued when the State Department recommends
that Americans avoid travel to a certain country. Consular
Information Sheets exist for all countries and include information on 
immigration practices, currency regulations, health conditions, 
areas of instability, crime and security, political
disturbances, and the addresses of the U.S. posts in the country.
Public Announcements are issued as a means to
disseminate information quickly about terrorist threats and other
relatively short-term conditions overseas which pose significant
risks to the security of American travelers. Free copies of this
information are available by calling the Bureau of Consular Affairs
at 202-647-5225 or via the fax-on-demand system: 202-647-3000.
Travel Warnings and Consular Information Sheets also are available
on the Consular Affairs Internet home page: http://travel.state.gov
and the Consular Affairs Bulletin Board (CABB).
To access CABB, dial the modem number: (301-946-4400 (it will
accommodate up to 33,600 bps), set terminal communications program
to N-8-1 (no parity, 8 bits, 1 stop bit); and terminal emulation
to VT100. The login is travel and the password is info (Note: Lower 
case is required).
The CABB also carries international security information from
the Overseas Security Advisory Council and Department's Bureau
of Diplomatic Security. Consular Affairs Trips for Travelers 
publication series, which contain information on obtaining 
passports and planning a safe trip abroad, can be purchased from the 
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, 
P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954; telephone: 202-512-1800; 
fax 202-512-2250. 

Emergency information concerning Americans traveling
abroad may be obtained from the Office of Overseas Citizens 
Services at (202) 647-5225. For after-hours emergencies, Sundays 
and holidays, call 202-647-4000. 

Passport Services information can be obtained
by calling the 24-hour, 7-day a week automated system ($.35 per
minute) or live operators 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (EST) Monday-Friday
($1.05 per minute). The number is 1-900-225-5674 (TDD: 1-900-225-
7778).
Major credit card users (for a flat rate of $4.95) may call 1-888-
362-8668 (TDD: 1-888-498-3648) 

Travelers can check the latest health information with
the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta,
Georgia. A hotline at (404) 332-4559 gives the most recent health
advisories, immunization recommendations or requirements, and
advice on food and drinking water safety for regions and countries.
A booklet entitled Health Information for International Travel
(HHS publication number CDC-95-8280) is available from the U.S.
Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402, tel. (202) 512-
1800.

Information on travel conditions, visa requirements, currency
and customs regulations, legal holidays, and other items of 
interest to travelers also may be obtained before your departure
from a country's embassy and/or consulates in the U.S. (for this
country, see "Principal Government Officials" listing
in this publication). 

U.S. citizens who are long-term visitors or traveling
in dangerous areas, are encouraged to register at the U.S. embassy
upon arrival in a country (see "Principal U.S. Embassy
Officials" listing in this publication). This may help family
members contact you in case of an emergency. 

Further Electronic Information: 

Department of State Foreign Affairs Network.
Available on the Internet, DOSFAN provides timely, global access
to official U.S. foreign policy information. Updated daily, DOSFAN
includes Background Notes; Dispatch, the official
magazine of U.S. foreign policy; daily press briefings; directories
of key officers of foreign service posts; etc. DOSFAN's World
Wide Web site is at U.S. State Department Home Page;
this site has a link to the DOSFAN Gopher Research Collection,
which also is accessible at gopher://gopher.state.gov.

U.S. Foreign Affairs on CD-ROM (USFAC). Published
on a semi-annual basis by the U.S. Department of State, USFAC
archives information on the Department of State Foreign Affairs
Network, and includes an array of official foreign policy 
information from 1990 to the present. Contact the Superintendent of 
Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh,
PA 15250-7954. To order, call (202) 512-1800 or fax (202) 512-2250.

National Trade Data Bank (NTDB). Operated by
the U.S. Department of Commerce, the NTDB contains a wealth of
trade-related information, including Country Commercial Guides.
It is available on the Internet (www.stat-usa.gov)
and on CD-ROM. Call the NTDB Help-Line at (202) 482-1986 for more
information. 

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