Global Trade Law Blog

Timely Updates and Analysis on Key International Trade Law Issues

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It looks like the licensing restrictions on Huawei are trickling into effect.

Our sources indicate that, as early as February 27, all license applications for exports or transfers involving Huawei which were pending with the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) have been placed on Hold Without Action. Further, we understand from various industry sources that BIS has begun informing certain U.S. companies that they will not receive further licenses to export chips for end use by Huawei.
Continue Reading Breaking the Link – New Developments on U.S. Licenses for Exports to Huawei

In response to Russia’s ongoing aggression in Ukraine, both the United States and the European Union have imposed additional sanctions and further restricted exports to Russia and Iran. These new controls span many industries.
Continue Reading Friday Development: New Sanctions and Export Controls to Address Russia’s Ongoing Aggression in Ukraine (Including the use of Iranian UAVs)

The North American and global automotive sector is watching closely to see how the United States ultimately responds to the decision of December 14, 2022, made public on January 10, 2023, which upheld Canada’s and Mexico’s position on an important issue for calculation of a vehicle’s regional value content (RVC) under the USMCA. In dispute was whether a Core Part or Super Core Part that qualifies as originating under Articles 3.7 to 3.9 of the USMCA Auto Appendix can then have 100% of its value count as originating content when calculating the RVC of the fully assembled vehicle. The United States
Continue Reading A Closer Look at the Recent USMCA Automobile Disputes Panel Decision

Update and Correction: We had understood that the date for the announcement of a regulatory change would be February 13. That understanding is (pretty obviously, now, on February 14) incorrect. We still believe the change is imminent and will update as soon as we have further information.

Key takeaways

  • Soon, the U.S. government will officially issue a stricter policy of denial for providing lower-tech items to Huawei.
  • Technological containment continues as the Netherlands and Japan move to impose U.S.-style restrictions on semiconductor exports to China.


Continue Reading Tightening the Cordon – U.S. Restricts Licensing Policy and Adds Allies to Technology Controls

Key Takeaways

  • New outbound investment controls likely to focus on semiconductors, AI, and quantum computing.
  • Biotechnology and battery technology investments overseas may not be subject to the upcoming proposed controls.


Continue Reading New Year, New Development: Fewer Industries May be Affected by Proposed Outbound Investment Controls (Reverse CFIUS)

Background

On January 5, 2023, President Biden signed into law S. 1294, the “Protecting American Intellectual Property Act of 2022”. The Act requires the president to report to Congress and impose sanctions on any foreign person or entity the president identifies that has committed or “provided significant financial, material, or technological support” for the significant theft of trade secrets that are “reasonably likely to result in or has materially contributed to a significant threat to the national security, foreign policy, or economic health or financial stability of the United States.”
Continue Reading Potential Sanctions for Alleged Intellectual Property Theft on the Horizon?

Multinational businesses have always been affected by major developments in international trade, global risk and geopolitical shifts. The importance of these issues is increasing every day in light of events such as the U.S.-China trade war, the global response to the war in Ukraine, and the risks posed by rogue state actors such as Iran and North Korea.
Continue Reading Nota Bene Podcast Re-Launched to Provide International Law and Policy Insights

As you may have heard here (and here and here), in October 2022, the United States issued sweeping measures aimed at the semiconductor industry in China. The new regulations restrict the export of semiconductors and related technology, manufacturing equipment, software, and even U.S.-person support, to China. The regulations are part of a high-stakes chess match between the United States and China, as they compete for technological and economic dominance. One important result of this struggle is that the global semiconductor industry is being squeezed by the regulatory and geopolitical pressure exerted by both sides.
Continue Reading The New Containment: How the Semiconductor Industry Came to Be at the Heart of the Technological Cold War

As we close out a wild year for international trade regulation,[1] after hearing much talk about outbound investment review mechanisms, we may see a final dramatic change before the ball drops. Since the summer, we have talked here about potential outbound investment reviews (reverse CFIUS? SUIFC?). And while there have been reports of potential action by both Congress and the Biden Administration on outbound investment, it is all the more possible to see executive action before a new Congress takes seat.
Continue Reading Will We Ring in the New Year with Outbound Investment Restrictions?

Key Takeaways

  • U.S.-person personnel at Chinese chip manufacturers are in a precarious position.
  • New rules limit what activities those persons may undertake with respect to their work.
  • However, there are ways they can nevertheless contribute to their companies, maintain their citizenship status, and comply with applicable U.S. law.


Continue Reading China Semiconductor Regulations, Episode II – The Curious Case of the American in a Chinese Chip Company

On November 28, 2022, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced a $362,158.70 settlement agreement with Payward, Inc. (Kraken), an online virtual currency exchange, in connection with 826 apparent violations of the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations. This enforcement action highlights the OFAC compliance risks for virtual currency platforms and comes on the heels of the Bittrex settlement which we discussed here. Again, it is critical to assess your risks and take steps to make sure you’re addressing them with smart compliance and screening measures.
Continue Reading OFAC Continues Focus on Virtual Currency Industry with Announced Settlement with Payward, Inc.

On Monday, October 24, 2022, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced charges against two alleged Chinese intelligence officers for bribing and stealing documents to obstruct the criminal investigation of, reportedly, Huawei (while the complaint does not name Huawei, it is the company according to multiple reports).
Continue Reading Bribes, Bitcoin and Obstruction: DOJ Announces Charges Against Chinese Agents for Trying to Impede Investigation of Huawei

Today, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) officially moved Myanmar onto the agency’s blacklist, where it joins Iran and North Korea, the only other two listed countries. It is likely that the United States and other countries will take the FATF designation as grounds to impose financial sanctions on the country, likely focusing on its central bank and financial institutions.
Continue Reading Myanmar Sanctions – A Last Resort Against a Non-Cooperating Country

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has announced the next steps in its review of the Trump-era tariffs on Chinese imports. Today, on October 17, 2022, USTR published the official request for comments in the Federal Register. The tariffs were issued by then-President Donald J. Trump under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974.
Continue Reading China Tariffs: USTR Requests Comments for Review of Section 301 Tariffs

Settlement Agreement with Bittrex, Inc.

Today, on October 11, 2022, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced a $24,280,829.20 settlement agreement with Bittrex, Inc., an online virtual currency exchange and hosted wallet service provider, in connection with 116,421 apparent violations of multiple sanctions programs. This enforcement action highlights the OFAC compliance risks for virtual currency platforms. So, assess your risks and take steps to make sure you’re addressing them with smart compliance and screening measures.
Continue Reading OFAC Announces Hefty Settlement with Virtual Currency Exchange / Hosted Wallet Services Provider