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Proposed Bill to Assess Chinese Acquisitions of US Financial Services Company and Temporarily Halt Pending Acquisitions

On November 2, 2017, Representative Christopher Smith (R-NJ), introduced a bill that would “authorize a review of financial services industry requirements of the People’s Republic of China and the implications of such requirements on national security interests of the United States.” (H.R. 4235, 115th Congress, Nov. 2, 2017).  The bill would require the Secretary of … Continue Reading

Changes to the US’ Iran Policy and Additional Non-Nuclear Iran-related Designations

On 13 October, President Trump announced the results of his administration’s review of the US’ Iran policy, indicating at the same time that he would not “certify” to Iran’s compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement. Since President Trump took office, he has “certified” to Iran’s compliance twice, so this is the first time that he did … Continue Reading

President Imposes New Economic Sanctions Against North Korea

On 20 September, President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) authorising broad new economic sanctions against North Korea, by targeting those dealing with the country. The Order, EO 13810, adds to the existing US embargo of North Korea by authorising the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to impose blocking sanctions against any person found to be participating … Continue Reading

Trump Administration Permanently Lifts Sudan Sanctions

On 6 October, the Trump administration announced that it would permanently revoke economic sanctions against Sudan, effective 12 October 2017. The State Department published this decision in the Federal Register, 82 Fed. Reg. 47287, on 11 October 2017. This decision means that US companies can invest in Sudan and export their products and services to Sudan, subject to compliance with … Continue Reading

Trump Administration Permanently Lifts Sudan Sanctions

  Sudan Sanctions In 1997, the US imposed a comprehensive trade and investment embargo against Sudan. In January 2017, i.e., in the closing days of the Obama Administration, President Obama announced a six-month suspension of US economic sanctions, citing ongoing dialogue with the Sudanese government and the government’s progress in achieving milestones agreed upon in those negotiations. Specifically, the Obama Administration … Continue Reading

Defaulters Beware: ITC Exclusion Order Survives District Court Non-Infringement Ruling

In the investigation of Certain Beverage Brewing Capsules, Components, Thereof, and Products Containing Same, Inv. No. 337-TA-929, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) recently issued a decision in which it declined to rescind an exclusion order issued against a defaulted party despite a district court’s summary judgment ruling that the party did not infringe the … Continue Reading

BIS Updates Encryption Controls Guidance

The US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has posted long-awaited updates to parts of its website dedicated to guidance on the Export Administration Regulations’ (EAR) encryption controls. The updates implement changes to encryption controls adopted in September 2016, under the Wassenaar Arrangement. Among other things, the new web pages include updated flow … Continue Reading

US Sanctions Persons Connected to Iran’s Ballistic Missile Programme

On 17 May 2017, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated for sanctions seven persons connected to Iran’s ballistic missile programme. Among those targeted by the sanctions are two senior Iranian defense officials, including the Deputy Director for Commerce of Iran’s Defense Industries Organization, Morteza Farasatpour. Farasatpour was responsible for coordinating … Continue Reading

Trump Orders “Buy American and Hire American”

Following through on his promise to put “America first,” President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) on April 18 titled “Buy American and Hire American,” a two-part document addressing both US federal procurement and immigration programs. Our international trade and public policy teams together analyzed the provisions contained in the EO and offer explanations … Continue Reading

US Senate Introduces New CFIUS Legislation

On March 14, 2017, U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) introduced new legislation to “give top U.S. agriculture and food officials permanent representation on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).”  (Senator Grassley Press Release, Grassley, Stabenow Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Protect American Agricultural Interests in Foreign Acquisitions, Mar. … Continue Reading

More Power to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)

The media has reported on various potential plans and ideas being discussed by lawmakers to further expand or improve the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States’s (CFIUS) scope and authorities. To date, no legislation has been introduced in Congress, and only few details about what has been proposed is publicly known.  Based on … Continue Reading

OFAC Targets Venezuelan Executive Vice President and Others Under Drug Trafficking Sanctions

On 13 February, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published the names of two individuals and 13 entities designated for blocking sanction under the Kingpin Act for involvement in narcotics trafficking. These included Venezuelan Vice President Tareck Zaidan El Aissami Maddah, and his business partner Samark Jose Lopez Bello, and a network of US and … Continue Reading

EU Adds New Information Regarding People Listed on EU Sanctions Against Egypt

The EU Council has issued a notification for the attention of all the individuals listed on the EU’s sanctions who are said to have misappropriated Egyptian state funds, stating that the council holds on its file new elements concerning them and that they may submit a request to the council to obtain the information that … Continue Reading

Trump Administration Imposes New Iran Sanctions

In response to recent ballistic missile testing activities by the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Trump administration, on 3 February 2017, issued its first economic sanctions, adding 13 individuals and 12 entities to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) list of specially designated nationals and blocked persons. The designations were made under counter-proliferation and … Continue Reading

BIS Issues New Rules for Exports and Re-exports to Hong Kong

Effective 19 April 2017, a new rule issued by the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) will require exporters or re-exporters of certain items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to obtain and maintain proof of import or export authorization issued by the government of Hong Kong. Under the rule, persons … Continue Reading

BIS Postpones Implementation of AT Controls on Software for Certain 3D992 Oscilloscopes and Transient Recorders

In accordance with the 20 January 2017 executive memorandum entitled ‘‘Regulatory Freeze Pending Review,’’ the US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has delayed the implementation of changes to the export control classification of software specially designed for the development, production or use of certain oscilloscopes and transient recorders controlled under 3A992.d … Continue Reading

What Does a Trump Trade Agenda Look Like? Here is Our Take

Likely Major Policy Developments   President-Elect Trump will enter the White House facing a dramatic decline in global trade growth. A recent World Trade Organization (WTO) report notes that 2016 marks the slowest pace of trade and output growth since the 2008 financial crisis. WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo called slowing trade growth “a wake-up call,” … Continue Reading

Preventing the Next Snowden – Insider Threat Program Deadline Looming

Government contractors that hold a facility security clearance (FCL) must have a written program in place no later than November 30, 2016 to begin implementing insider threat requirements published by the Department of Defense (DoD) in Change 2 to DoD 5220.22-M, National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (NISPOM). In particular, on May 18, 2016, the … Continue Reading

Government Accountability Office Review of CFIUS

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a letter to Representative Robert Pittenger (R-NC) stating that the GAO has accepted the request to review Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States’s (CFIUS) “statutory and administrative authorities” to ensure that it has “kept pace with the growing scope of foreign acquisitions in important economic sectors … Continue Reading
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