Transatlantic Trade Week in Rewind (Week of February 1, 2021)

In the week of February 1, 2021, here are key developments in transatlantic trade:

  • The EU’s COVID-19 vaccine export control mechanism is unable to escape ongoing criticism and a proposal was raised that would invoke Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol, increasing UK-EU tension
  • Lawmakers in the US attempt to move the “American Rescue Plan”; the Biden Administration mandates masks on public transportation nationwide and moves to approve another COVID vaccine
  • On foreign policy, Biden Administration takes steps to reassert global leadership, via alliances; the EU and US raise sanctions possibilities while condemning military coup in Myanmar and malign activities in Russia, including imprisonment of Alexei Navalny

Continue reading the full report here.

This post is published as part of a content partnership with our sister blog, Capital Thinking.


US Government Contractors Beware: Evolving Buy American Requirements Signal Complex Future Legal Landscape

US Flag

** UPDATE: On February 5, 2020, the FAR Council “corrected” the effective date of the Final Rule from January 21, 2021, to January 19, 2021. This alert has been updated accordingly. **

Recent modifications to regulations and federal government acquisition policies portend big change for contractors across the US, and their suppliers around the world. Breaking away from traditional political positions, former President Donald Trump and newly-inaugurated President Joe Biden each took steps in January 2021 to revise Buy American Act (BAA) requirements, which could have significant impacts on companies doing business with the US government. Continue Reading

This Week in Transatlantic Trade

This week in transatlantic trade:

  • Countries on both sides of the Atlantic are accelerating their efforts to stave off the spread of the COVID-19 variants by speeding up vaccination and adding travel restrictions
  • The EU intends to increase export transparency on COVID experimental vaccines produced within its boundaries; and the European Commission is going to devise sustainable food systems chapter for its existing and future trade agreements
  • The UK outlines agenda for the G7 Summit; urges the US to return to the negotiating table on their bilateral trade agreement
  • In the US, President Biden completes his first full week in office, during which he has been busy progressing his agenda by executive actions, including the latest on Buy American, among others

Continue reading the full report here.

This post is published as part of a content partnership with our sister blog, Capital Thinking.

CFIUS Filing: OMERS Infrastructure Management, FS Saguaro and First Solar

Status:  Pending

Acquirer:  OMERS Infrastructure Management Inc. (Canada)

Acquired:  FS Saguaro, LLC, certain assets, and the Development Business of First Solar, Inc. (US)

Value:  US$261 million

Industry:  Energy Continue Reading

China Bolsters Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Review Framework, Identifies New Areas of Security Concern

The People’s Republic of China (PRC or China) established a foreign investment security review in 2011 that focused exclusively on the merger and acquisition of domestic companies by foreign investors in a notice issued by the State Council (the 2011 Notice)1. On December 19, 2020, the National Development and Reform Committee (NDRC) and the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) jointly released the Measures on Foreign Investment Security Review (the Measures) that expand the scope of such reviews. The Measures have taken effect from January 18, 2021, and will be enforced by a “working mechanism” to be jointly established by NDRC and MOFCOM (the Working Mechanism). Continue Reading

US SBA Issues Interim Rule Offers Relief to Certain 8(a) BD Companies

Business Team Having Meeting In Busy OfficeMany small businesses in the US have suffered severe economic hardships due to the global pandemic, but there is now some relief available to a subset of small businesses.

The US Small Business Administration (SBA) issued an interim rule effective January 13, 2021, amending the regulations governing the 8(a) Business Development (BD) program to implement the provisions in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Appropriations Act)1 and the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (NDAA 2021).2 Section 330 of the Appropriations Act requires the SBA to ensure any small business concern participating in the 8(a) BD program on or before September 9, 2020, has the option to extend such participation for one year from the end of its program term. Continue Reading

ITC Ends 2020 with New Section 337 Complaints; A Look Ahead for 2021

Digital Gavel– This blog post is published as part of content partnership with our Global IP & Technology Law Blog –

After a slow but steady start to 2020, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) saw a flurry of new Section 337 complaints filed in the second half of the year. Eight new complaints were filed in December, resulting in a total of 57 complaints filed in 2020. Continue Reading

China MOFCOM Issues First Order of 2021 – Counteracting Unjustified Extra-Territorial Applications of Foreign Laws

Chinese flag on China map.On Saturday 9 January 2021, the PRC Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) issued MOFCOM Order No. 1 of 2021 on Rules on Counteracting Unjustified Extra-Territorial Applications of Foreign Legislation and Other Measures (the Rules). The Rules specify that they were formulated pursuant to the PRC National Security Law for the express purpose of “counteracting the impact on China caused by the unjustified extra-territorial application of foreign legislation and other measures, safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests, and protecting the legitimate rights and interests of citizens, legal persons and other organizations of China”. The Rules have immediate effect. In the context of the ongoing trade tensions between the US and China, the new Rules have caught the attention of many foreign companies with operations in China. This alert offers clarification and perspective.  Continue Reading

CFIUS Clearance: LVMH Moët Hennessy-Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co.

Status:  Clearance

Acquirer:  LVMH Moët Hennessy-Louis Vuitton SE (France)

Acquired:  Tiffany & Co. (US)

Value:  US$15.8 billion

Industry:  Retail Continue Reading

What are International Sanctions?

What are international sanctions? What are primary and secondary sanctions? What are extraterritorial effects and how will that impact multinational operations?

The changing international sanctions regulations produce dizzying regulatory landscape, and complex as well as confusing compliance environment. To help lift the curtain a bit on this topic, Trade Practitioner José María Viñals (partner, Madrid/Brussels), also Adjunct Professor of E-Commerce, Digitalization and Trade Innovation at the Instituto de Empresa (IE) business school, gives a high-level overview in eight minutes here. Continue Reading