Global Trade Law Blog

Timely Updates and Analysis on Key International Trade Law Issues

On January 19, 2021, the U.S. Department of Commerce (“DOC”) issued an interim final rule governing transactions in Information and Communication Technology or Services (“ICTS”) involving “foreign adversaries.” Although the rule takes effect on March 22, 2021, it allows DOC to review covered transactions initiated, pending, or completed on or after January 19, 2021.…
On January 13, 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a Withhold Release Order (WRO) on cotton and tomato products produced by entities operating in Xinjiang, China. The order is based on information that indicates the use of forced labor in the production of the goods. If you are sourcing these products from the Xinjiang region, you may want to consider proactive compliance steps to mitigate your risk and prevent disruption in your supply chain.  …
Key Takeaways: Threatened 25% tariffs on French luxury goods are suspended. USTR is still looking at tariffs in retaliation for taxes on U.S. global tech companies. Biden’s new USTR will face immense pressure to negotiate the digital taxation issue in the first few weeks of her tenure. In the last few weeks of former President Trump’s term in office, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) suspended its previous plans to impose tariffs on certain French luxury goods, as we discussed here and here.…
Most of you already know Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 because of the Trump Administration’s massive China tariffs under Section 301.[1] Now it’s time to get acquainted with a separate process that may result in tariffs on Vietnamese products too. Section 301 authorizes the Office of the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) to investigate certain foreign trade practices.[2] USTR has initiated a probe into Vietnam’s currency practices, which could lead to tariffs on Vietnamese products, similar to the China tariffs. The Biden transition team has not indicated whether it will follow through with the investigation.…
**This is an update to our December 23, 2020 post** On December 29, 2020, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) posted a notice granting new Section 301 product exclusions and extending existing exclusions for COVID-19 medical care products. This action is in response to USTR’s March 25, 2020 proceeding soliciting public comments on whether to remove the duties in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The exclusions from Section 301 duties took effect on January 1, and will expire March 31, 2021. The exclusions are available for any product that meets the description in the notice’s Annexes. The scope of each…
While many of us anxiously await putting 2020 behind us, the start of the new year may have significant import duty implications for many U.S. companies. On December 31, two significant U.S. import duty relief programs are set to expire: the Section 301 exclusions and the Generalized Systems of Preference (“GSP”). That will cause U.S. customs duties to rise on certain products. Importers should be prepared for these changes.…
Key takeaways → The new National Security and Investment Bill expands the UK government’s powers to intercede in acquisitions of UK companies where it determines there is a potential national security threat. → The Bill creates a new government agency, the Investment Security Unit (ISU) to oversee foreign direct investment review, removing the power from the competition/antitrust regulator, the CMA. → Regulators will be able to “call in” transactions that were not notified but that the Secretary of State determines may pose a national security risk. → A mandatory notification will be introduced for certain sectors, including penalties for failure…
Over the past few weeks, we have been speculating on the international trends and tides we expect to see in the next four years under a new U.S. presidential administration. So that you can enjoy our prognostications (before our program gets greenlighted as a Netflix special) we provide here: A recording of our webinar, entitled “The Four Years in International Business Webinar” (for those playing along at home, see if you can spot the part where Scott’s power goes out while we’re discussing tariff reductions!) A bulleted summary of the key takeaways of our webinar.…
On December 2, 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued an order preventing certain imported cotton products from China from being released to the importer. The products were made by Xinjian Production and Construction Corp. (XPCC). The order is based on information that indicates the use of forced labor in the production of the goods.…
Contrary to some expectations, the Trump Administration Department of Justice imposed record penalties under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act from 2017 through 2020. But in each of those years, fewer and fewer new FCPA investigations were initiated. We expect the Biden Administration to continue the trend of increasing FCPA enforcement settlement values, while also increasing the pace of initiating new FCPA investigations. Anticorruption matters present some of the most severe threats to a company’s organizational integrity. Understanding the changing enforcement culture is an important component to addressing those threats.…
One point all can likely agree on in these divisive times is that the Trump Administration’s international trade policy has been aggressive. Over the past four years, we have been clinging to our seats on the rollercoaster ride with some pretty challenging peaks and valleys: Section 301 tariffs on over $370 billion worth of imports from China, under which over $68 billion in total duties have been assessed;[1] Replacement of NAFTA with the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA); Withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP); and Imposition of Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs, under which over $9 billion…
On October 15, 2020, CFIUS will officially tie mandatory filings to U.S. export control regimes, including the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).  While that change may draw a clearer line of what constitutes a mandatory filing, it also pulls your CFIUS review into the complex (and somewhat nerdy) world of export regulations.…
The UK government has now made a show of force in its foreign direct investment (FDI) reviews. For the first time, the UK Secretary of State issued an order to prevent a transaction for raising public interest considerations. Specifically, the UK Government blocked the prospective deal on national security grounds. In the September 5, 2020 notice, the UK Government accepted commitments from Gardner Aerospace Holdings Limited (Gardner) to not proceed with its proposed acquisition of Impcross Limited (Impcross), a UK-based manufacturer of components for the aerospace and military aircraft industry.…
On September 19, 2020, China took a new strategic position in its ongoing trade confrontation with the United States. The Ministry of Commerce of the PRC (“MOFCOM”) issued Regulations on Unreliable Entity List (“UEL”) and drew wide public attention to the beginning of the PRC government’s retaliation against the Trump Administration’s recent restrictions on Chinese entities including Huawei, TikTok and WeChat. It is notable that MOFCOM deliberated with more than a year of internal discussion before implementing the UEL.…
On August 28, 2020, China took its own swing in the fight over TikTok. The blow, however, may land right in the middle of U.S.-China technology research, collaboration, and innovation. New export regulations may require licenses from the Chinese government before researchers in China may share their technological advances with colleagues, counterparts, or customers in the United States.…