U.S. Legal Insights for French Businesses

Hiring employees does not usually call to mind international trade compliance obligations. However, together U.S. export controls and anti-discrimination laws create a web that is overlooked or misunderstood by many types of employers of all sizes across many industries. Anti-discrimination laws prohibit unlawful citizenship status restrictions when hiring, and U.S. export controls prohibit disclosing controlled information to foreign nationals without authorization. Together, these law limit acceptable job descriptions and hiring practices. The Most Recent Penalties Failing to adhere to these limitations can result in enforcement actions, civil penalties, and reputational harm. For example, in the end of July, a large…
Opening Salvos: The Proposed Tariffs On June 26, 2020, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) published a notice that it is considering new tariffs on exports such as olives, coffee, beer, gin, and trucks coming into the United States from France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom.[1] The list of potential targets also includes various types of bread, pastries, cakes, and other baked products. That new list of goods may face duties of up to 100%, potentially doubling the price of certain goods. [2] The announcement caused European stocks to fall, particularly for shares of beverage companies, luxury goods companies,…
Relief on Substantial Presence and Treaty Day-Count Tests. On May 30th, the IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2020-20 which provides non-U.S. individuals present in the U.S. some limited relief from the day-count tests for U.S. tax residency and for eligibility for certain treaty benefits.  The relief comes in the form of the “COVID-19 Medical Condition Travel Exception”.  The name of the exception is a misnomer because individuals need not have had any medical condition (including the COVID-19 virus) to claim its benefits. Travel disruptions due to COVID-19 related restrictions have meant that some non-resident individuals have been forced to stay in…
Presidential Proclamation On June 22, 2020, the White House announced an extension and expansion of Proclamation 10014, which was originally announced on April 22, 2020 and restricted the issuance of and entry on immigrant visas.  The new visa ban expands the restrictions to certain non-immigrant categories. Short Checklist Summary of the Visa Ban Goes into effect on June 24, 2020 and will last to Dec 31, 2020. Only applies to foreign nationals applying for new travel visas from overseas. Doesn’t impact those who already have a travel visa in their passport. Doesn’t immediately impact non-immigrant workers already in the U.S.…
The U.S. Congress has passed a series of laws for easing the economic suffering due to COVID-19, including the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act.  The CARES Act and other relief bills have appropriated about $3 trillion for assistance to companies.  As companies receive these funds, attention is now turning to the oversight and enforcement that is already beginning and will vastly increase over the coming months. Washington D.C. Partner Jon Meyer authored an article discussing the Enforcement of the CARES Act, published in the French leading legal review “Les Editions Legislatives.”…
The US Federal Reserve has confirmed in its Main Street Loans frequently-asked-questions-faqs about the Main Street lending program (the “FAQ”) that US subsidiaries of foreign companies can be eligible borrowers under the various loans available under the program so long as they otherwise meet the other conditions to eligibility for the loans. As a reminder, the Main Street lending program consists primarily of three separate loan programs: (i) Main Street New Loan Program – New secured or unsecured five year amortizing term loans with principal amounts ranging from US$250,000 up to the lesser of: (i) US$35 million (less any amounts…
New York Partner Valérie Demont and Associate Karl Buhler authored an article about the CARES Act and its benefits and pitfalls for French companies doing business in the United States, which was published in the French leading legal review “Les Editions Legislatives.” See the article here: https://bo.actuel-direction-juridique.fr/content/le-plan-de-relance-economique-americain-avantages-limites-et-risques-pour-les-societes As you are aware, things are changing quickly and the aid measures and interpretations described here may change.  This article represents our best understanding and interpretation based on where things currently stand. Check out Sheppard Mullin’s Coronavirus Insights Portal which now aggregates the firm’s various COVID-19 blog posts on a broad range of…
On April 14, 2020, the Sheppard Mullin French desk hosted a webinar on the impact of COVID-19 on various business sectors. The webinar was organized as a roundtable discussion with two business leaders, Christopher Mars, the U.S. COO of Marie Blanchere, a leading European traditional bakery brand, and Daniel H. Connor, the U.S. CEO of Sia Partners, a leading international independent management and AI consulting firm. The discussion was moderated by partner and Chair of the French Desk, Valérie Demont, and associate Karl Buhler and focused on the following: Each speaker emphasized their foremost concern relative to staff safety and health…
A main focus for businesses in need of capital recently has been the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which expanded the criteria under which borrowers could apply for loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), notably through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The most significant change to the PPP has been the determination that US businesses owned by foreign companies are now eligible for loans. For an overview of the terms and conditions of the program, please see our prior alert. However, the PPP is only one of the programs currently available to businesses.…