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Focus on Regulation

Category Archives: International Trade & Investment

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USTR Requests Input on Impact of Trade Agreements on Government Procurement

On August 21, 2017, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) and the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) issued a request for public comment on the impact of government procurement provisions of U.S. trade agreements on U.S. manufacturers and suppliers. Prompted by President Trump’s “Buy American and Hire American” Executive Order (E.O.), the request seeks to understand how domestic preference laws affect participation of U.S. manufacturers and suppliers in the Federal procurement process.

Trump Administration Re-Certifies Iranian Compliance with Nuclear Agreement; Imposes Sanctions on Additional Entities for Other “Malign” Activities

On July 17, the Department of State communicated to Congress that Iran remains in compliance with its obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear agreement reached over Iran’s nuclear program by the world’s major powers that went into effect in January 2016.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin Urges Amending CFIUS Reviews

On Thursday, May 18, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin waded further publicly into efforts on Capitol Hill to amend the authorizing statute underlying the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), a U.S. Government interagency committee that conducts national security reviews.  Munchin reportedly told a gathering of business executives at the U.S. Chamber of

CFIUS Reform Turns to Food Security

Congressional efforts to reform the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a U.S. Government interagency committee that conducts national security reviews, continue apace. This week saw the introduction of bipartisan legislation in the U.S. Senate that would (i) give federal agriculture and food officials permanent representation on CFIUS and (ii) amend the statute to allow the Committee to consider agriculture and food-related criteria when reviewing transactions that could result in control of a U.S. business by a foreign person.

Seeking to Restrict Chinese Investment in the U.S., Congress Considering CFIUS Reforms

Lawmakers in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate are examining ways to restrict Chinese investment in the United States by reforming national security reviews conducted by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a U.S. Government interagency committee.

Border Adjustability Tax in Peril?

The future of the Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) proposal, a critical element of the House Republican tax reform plan, is in doubt after signs of Republican opposition in the Senate emerged last week. Senator David Perdue (R-GA) became the most prominent Republican to overtly criticize the BAT, expressed in a Dear Colleague letter to his

Commerce Department Relaxes Restrictions on Certain Defense-Related and Other Exports to India; Tightens Hong Kong Documentation Requirements

On January 19, 2017, the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) issued several amendments to the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) to implement the India-U.S. Joint Statement of June 7, 2016, recognizing the U.S. and India as Major Defense Partners, and making certain technical changes regarding Hong Kong’s Import and Export (Strategic Commodities)

How National Security Concerns Can Impact a Global Transaction: President Obama Blocks Chinese Acquisition of a German-U.S. Business

On December 2, 2016, President Obama blocked a Chinese-owned German company, Grand Chip Investment GmbH (“Grand Chip”), from acquiring the U.S. business of German company Aixtron SE (Aixtron), a semiconductor equipment manufacturer with a U.S. subsidiary headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.

Data Without Borders: Hogan Lovells Winnik Forum Addresses International Considerations for the Growth and Development of a Connected World

The Internet of Things (“IoT”) connects markets and supply chains around the world.  Industry, governments and consumers around the world are embracing IoT technologies to improve research and public policy, to accelerate service delivery and to monitor global development programs across healthcare, agriculture, natural resource management, climate, and energy sectors.  Industry experts project that between

CFIUS under the Trump Administration

The incoming Trump administration’s approach to foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States and to national security reviews conducted by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) is difficult to predict. Mr. Trump has criticized certain foreign investments in the United States, but his trade-related critiques have focused largely on U.S. free trade agreements and the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs to foreign countries.

Energy Department Revises its Part 810 Guidance on Nuclear Export Controls

The Department of Energy (DOE) recently published its revised Part 810 Guidance on compliance with the amended Part 810 Regulations on nuclear export controls (10 C.F.R. Part 810). The 2015 amendments to the Part 810 Regulations represented the first comprehensive updating of DOE nuclear export control policy since 1986.

FinCEN Designates North Korea as a Jurisdiction of Primary Money Laundering Concern, Triggering Additional Due Diligence Requirements for Financial Institutions

Pursuant to the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016’s requirement that the Secretary of the Treasury determine whether North Korea is a jurisdiction of primary money laundering concern, on May 27, 2016, the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) found that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (“DPRK” or “North Korea”)

UN Security Council Ratchets Up Sanctions on North Korea

On March 2, in the wake of recent nuclear and ballistic missile tests, the United Nations Security Council adopted a far-reaching sanctions resolution against the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea. UN Security Council Resolution 2270 targets Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs with a set of sanctions that the U.S. proclaimed the strongest imposed by the Security Council in two decades.

CFIUS Filings Jump By 50%

In 2014, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a U.S. Government interagency committee that conducts national security reviews of foreign investments, reviewed nearly 50% more transactions than it did in 2013, according to CFIUS’s recently published annual report to Congress. The dramatic increase likely reflects a combination of factors, including an increase in cross-border M&A activity, transactions involving sensitive industries or acquirers, and parties continuing to make filings with CFIUS across a broad range of industries.

BIS and DDTC Amend Regulations Fire Control, Laser, Imaging, and Guidance and Control Equipment

The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) and the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (“DDTC”) published proposed rules in the Federal Register today (BIS rules here; DDTC rules here) amending the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) and Category XII of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (“ITAR”) as part of the President’s

EU extends the suspension of Belarus sanctions

On February 15 the Council of the EU decided to extend the suspension of the EU Belarus sanctions concerning 170 persons, including President Lukashenko, and 3 entities that had already been delisted in October 2015.   Since the current suspension expires on 29 February 2016, we expect the new Council Decision to be published in the

India’s New BIT and Arbitration Law Send Mixed Signals to Foreign Investors

On December 28, 2015, the Government of India released the text for its revised model Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT). In this release, the Government of India also announced that the Department of Economic Affairs will be leading all negotiations on BITs and investment chapters of trade agreements to ensure continuity between trade and investment issues.

BIS Lifts Licensing Requirements for Crude Oil Exports

Effective immediately, pursuant to section 101 of Division O of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, signed on December 18, 2015, a Department of Commerce license is no longer required to export crude oil. Crude oil is now classified as EAR99. Most exports of crude oil may now be made as NLR (no license required). Exporters should be aware that exports to embargoed or sanctioned countries or persons, including those listed in parts 744 and 746 of the EAR and persons subject to a denial of export privileges, continue to require authorization.

BIS will shortly be taking steps to amend the Export Administration Regulations to reflect this change. Companies holding current licenses for crude oil exports should be aware of section 750.7(i) of the EAR terminating license conditions upon the termination of the requirement for the export license.

New Requirements for Exports of Civil Nuclear Technology – Exports to China and Russia Affected Immediately

President Barack Obama recently signed legislation that imposes multiple new requirements relating to the regulation of exports of civil nuclear technology. Under the new law, the U.S. Secretary of Energy must make a number of changes to the Department of Energy’s nuclear export control regulations and approval process contained in 10 C.F.R. Part 810. The new law has had an immediate impact on the transfer of U.S. civil nuclear technology to China and Russia. Until the DOE has resolved how it will comply with these new requirements, it is unlikely the DOE will issue any specific authorizations for transfers of U.S. civil nuclear technology to China and Russia.