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The White House at 5 am this morning in DC released its decision on the new section 301 tariffs. There is a 100% tariff on Chinese EVs effective this year (which is in addition to the usual 2.5% import duty on cars). 

The tariff rate on Chinese lithium-ion EV batteries will increase from 7.5% to 25% in 2024, while the tariff rate on lithium-ion non-EV batteries will increase from 7.5% to 25% in 2026. The tariff rate on Chinese battery parts will increase from 7.5% to 25% in 2024.
Continue Reading The Sky’s the Limit – Yet More Section 301 Tariffs on China

Effective April 24, the statute of limitations (“SoL”) under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”) and the Trading with the Enemy Act (“TWEA”) has been extended from five to ten years. It would have been easy to miss this change, buried within a supplemental emergency appropriation bill (H.R. 815) signed into law by President Biden on April 24, 2024, but its impacts will be profound for entities facing internal or government investigations for sanctions violations.
Continue Reading Say SoL Long to Short Limits: Doubling Down on the Sanctions Statute of Limitations

On March 29, 2024, BIS issued an interim final rule (IFR) updating and correcting its advanced computing and semiconductor regulations[1] published in October 2023 (which we discuss here in Episode III). This marks the third release of such semiconductor-related regulations since the key regulations were issued in October 2022 (which we discuss here in Episode I; and check out these posts here (Episode II) and here (Episode IV) for background).
Continue Reading China Semiconductor Export Regulations, Episode V – Updates and Corrections to the Advanced Computing and Semiconductor Regulations

Author and futurist Peter Zeihan recently asserted that President Joe Biden has presided over “the most protectionist administration the United States has had in at least a century.” And Donald Trump reportedly plans to double down on protectionism if elected in November 2024. By the way, Zeihan is also the guy who predicts that The End of the World is Just the Beginning. His theory is that the global economic and political order the United States built and maintained since WWII is collapsing.
Continue Reading The End of the World Order and the Rise of Trade Regulation

On February 29, 2024, the Biden administration issued a statement addressing the national security risks to the U.S. auto industry directing the Department of Commerce to conduct an investigation into Chinese made “connected vehicles” (CVs).
Continue Reading Department of Commerce Initiates Investigation into Chinese-Made “Connected Vehicles”: Potential Prohibitions on Certain Information and Communications Technology and Services

On Wednesday, March 6, 2024, the Department of Commerce, Department of the Treasury and Department of Justice issued another Tri-seal Compliance Note, focusing this time on the obligations of foreign based persons complying with U.S. sanctions and export control laws as well as recent enforcement actions. This may signal more scrutiny on the compliance of foreign companies which we have discussed here.
Continue Reading Guidance to Foreign Companies on Export Controls and Sanctions: Departments of Commerce, Treasury, and Justice Issue Tri-Seal Compliance Note on Foreign Based Persons’ Obligations to Comply with U.S. Sanctions and Export Control Laws

Grants and tax credits, who doesn’t love them? The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) is full of them, and recent Department of Energy (DOE) Notification of a Proposed Interpretive Rule provides guidance on who will get to benefit from those grants and tax credits. The BIL is a historic investment in U.S. infrastructure, the breadth of which is beyond the scope of this blog. However, thankfully, the DOE Proposed Rule focuses on batteries.
Continue Reading Should You Be Concerned About Foreign Entities of Concern?

On December 22, 2023, President Biden signed a new Executive Order (E.O. 14114) containing the latest round of sanctions against the Russian Federation. Shortly thereafter, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stated that the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) will take “decisive” and “surgical” action when enforcing sanctions against financial institutions involved in transactions that support Russia’s military-industrial base. Under the new sanctions, non-U.S. financial institutions may be denied access to U.S. correspondent accounts or payable-through accounts, effectively denying access to the U.S. financial system. OFAC may also block an offending institution’s property in the United States. The sanctions build on
Continue Reading New Russia Sanctions Intensify Pressure on Banks Worldwide

Export controls are the manifestation of foreign, economic, and national security policy, and the implementation of policy requires dynamic adjustment, a back-and-forth, a balance. So, on December 7, 2023[1], amid the tightening of new semiconductor regulations, BIS announced it was relaxing regulations around another set of exports. This drawing back of the controls arrives in the form of a set of three rules easing license requirements and expanding license exceptions. While seemingly disparate, each of the three areas of amendments represents a consistent push to align U.S. export policy with those of its allies and trade partners,
Continue Reading Carrot and Stick Export Controls: U.S. Export Controls Give Benefits to Allies

On November 21, 2023, the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced its largest settlement in history with the virtual currency exchange Binance. This almost-billion dollar settlement is a part of a larger comprehensive settlement with the Department of Justice, FinCEN, and the CFTC, totaling over $4 billion. OFAC found that Binance had allowed 1.6 million transactions in violation of multiple sanctions regimes while Binance’s C-Suite was complicit. Binance’s blunders that led to this enforcement action highlight the importance of management commitment to compliance programs.[1]
Continue Reading Binance’s Paper Compliance Program Crumples Under OFAC Scrutiny in Largest OFAC Settlement in History

In 1947, then President Harry Truman pledged that the United States would support any nation in its efforts to resist Communism and prevent its spread. The policy was commonly called, “Containment,” capturing the concept that countries aligned with U.S. policy would surround the Soviet Union and its allies, containing the spread of their ideologies. The policy was maintained as doctrine and a guiding principle in U.S. policy throughout the Cold War era.
Continue Reading China Semiconductor Export Regulations, Episode IV – “Technological Containment” – U.S. Semiconductor Restrictions Aim to Align Allies with U.S. Policy