Global Trade Law Blog

Timely Updates and Analysis on Key International Trade Law Issues

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U.S. Customs halts the import of silica-based products from made by Hoshine Silicon Industry Co. because the products are suspected of being produced using forced labor. For future imports of solar energy equipment sourced from Xinjiang, China, the United States may use Withhold Release Orders (WROs) to block entry into the United States if there is reasonable suspicion of forced labor in the supply chain. The renewables industry is working together and with regulators to find ways to certify its supply chains are free of forced labor.…
New law could penalize companies for complying with U.S. sanctions. Penalties include designation to China’s new “Unreliable Entity” list. Statements against the new laws could also be penalized, restricting the capacity of counsel to advise freely on compliance with U.S. sanctions and Chinese countermeasures. On June 10, 2021, China enacted the Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law (“AFSL”), aimed at punishing countries that impose anti-China sanctions and the companies that comply with those sanctions. The law is effective immediately, and applies to any sanctions imposed against China, Chinese entities, or Chinese individuals by any third country (excluding sanctions adopted by the United Nations).…
On June 9, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order (“EO”) revoking Trump’s orders on TikTok and WeChat. In their stead, President Biden’s EO subjects software applications controlled or owned by “foreign adversaries” (i.e., China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, and Nicolas Maduro) to a review process led by the Commerce Department to evaluate whether an app presents U.S. national security concerns. This EO fits within the broader confrontation between the United States and China when it comes to emerging technologies, sensitive personal data, and the threats we see from cyberattacks that exploit vulnerabilities in U.S. IT systems.…
Key Takeaways: U.S. prohibits investments in 59 Chinese Military Industrial Companies (NS-CMIC) The prohibition forms part of a larger U.S.-China confrontation that has implications across finance, industry, and even academia. Companies need to understand the geopolitical forces behind trade relations in order to act ahead of regulations rather than being caught in a reactive position. The question for every company, whether an investment fund holding securities in Chinese companies, a startup looking for finance from overseas, or a manufacturer securing its supply chain, is: Where will the U.S.-China confrontation go next, and how do we prepare? A June 3, 2021…
Last week, on June 3, 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order (“E.O.”) prohibiting U.S. investments in designated Chinese companies deemed to undermine “the security or democratic values of the United States and [its] allies” (see here). The E.O. is the most recent in a long list of foreign policy actions seeking to put pressure on China using economic tools to curtail China’s surveillance and intelligence activities against the United States. The E.O. amends and supersedes Trump’s Executive Order 13959 (“E.O. 13959”), as amended by Executive Order 13974 (“E.O. 13974”), which similarly prohibited U.S. persons from engaging in certain…
A new framework for foreign direct investments in the United Kingdom Takeaways The United Kingdom Government has adopted a CFIUS-style National Security and Investment Act (“the Act”). The new law takes effect in later in 2021, but UK Government may look back at deals from November 2020 onward. The Act is considered one of the most far-reaching systems in the world, carrying civil and criminal penalties for a failure to notify. A notifiable acquisition completed without the approval of the Secretary of State is void (of no legal effect). The UK Government has stated that it will work closely with…
In August 2020, we wrote a blog post about the adoption by the European Commission (“Commission”) of a White Paper on Foreign Subsidies. On 5 May 2021, the Commission adopted a proposal for a Regulation on foreign subsidies distorting the internal market after an extensive consultation process with stakeholders. This post updates our previous entry and considers the implications of the newly proposed regulation.…
On May 10, 2021, the EU adopted its new, revised version of Regulation (EC) No 428/2009 (the “Regulation”).  It is widely acknowledged to be the first major reform to the structure of the EU’s export control regime since 2009. The text of the Regulation was approved by the European Parliament on March 26, 2021. In November 2020, the Council and European Parliament representatives reached a provisional political agreement on the Regulation. The reform of EU export controls had initially been proposed by the European Commission in September 2016.…
This week has been a week of significant foreign policy action. Today, President Biden issued a new Executive Order imposing tough sanctions on Russia for its interference in the U.S. 2020 presidential election, as well as the SolarWinds cyber-attack that impacted multiple U.S. government agencies. This action was taken a day after Secretary of State Blinken stated strong concerns about the increase in Russian troops along the Ukrainian border. Earlier this week, the 2021 Threat Assessment report published by the Office of DNI (Director of National Intelligence) also cited Russia as presenting “one of the most serious intelligence threats to…
The United States is taking increasingly aggressive actions to prohibit imports from China that may have been produced by forced labor. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, China has arbitrarily detained more than one million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China’s far western Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (“XUAR”). Muslim minorities there are reportedly subjected to forced labor, torture, and political indoctrination. In response, the United States issued Withhold Release Orders (“WROs”) on certain goods produced by specific companies in the region. In January 2021, however, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) increased its pressure on goods from…