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.
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.
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.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently issued a proposed civil penalty of $28,000 to a watch seller for apparent violations of requirements related to importing and distributing watches containing radioactive material. The watches contain a small amount of tritium encapsulated in glass vials, which enables the markers on the watch face and hands to glow and be seen in low light.
G2 LNG, LLC (G2) has awarded a contract for Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Front End Engineering Design (FEED) engineering and FERC report pre-filing services to KBR Inc. for G2’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal on the Calcasieu Ship Channel in Louisiana.
On 23 November 2015, President Obama issued an executive order imposing targeted sanctions against certain persons or entities contributing to the insecurity and violence in Burundi.
On Tuesday, the House of Representatives voted 313-118 to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank or Bank), which expired June 30.
On October 4, 2015, trade ministers from 12 Pacific Rim countries announced the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP). TPP, a foreign policy legacy item for the president, represents nearly 40% of the world’s GDP. The agreement now requires congressional approval, using the “fast-track” process in the trade promotion authority bill (TPA) signed by President Obama in June.
On 8 July 2015, the European Parliament voted favorably on a non-binding resolution that approves of the negotiation of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), an international trade and investment agreement between the United States and the European Union. Importantly, however, the resolution also supports the removal of investor-state arbitration from the TTIP. The European Parliament
With cybersecurity dominating the headlines, the U.S. government has taken several recent steps to target the national security threat posed by cybercriminals and hackers with new regulations aimed at curbing malicious actors online.
Capping two weeks of debate, the Senate voted 62-37 just before Memorial Day recess to restore trade promotion authority, sending the bill to the House of Representatives. Read More: Trade Promotion Authority Debate Heads to House
On April 8, 2015, the DGAC issued a new mandatory circular CO AV-23/10 R2 that “establishes the requirements to operate RPAS” to be more in line with the regulatory regimes of other countries that have developed such regulations.
The WTO Appellate Body on May 18, 2015, publicly released a report upholding earlier findings that the United States has violated WTO rules in applying country of origin labeling (COOL) to beef, pork, and other meat products. This latest ruling may result in repeal of the U.S. COOL requirements.
The California Attorney General’s (AG) office recently issued letters to more than 1,700 companies listed as manufacturers or retailers on their California state tax returns requiring them to notify the AG’s office that they are, or are not, in compliance with the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act (the Act). These letters appear to be
As part of a package headlined by the Hatch-Wyden-Ryan bill to restore trade promotion authority, the Senate Finance Committee held an April 22, 2015 mark-up of an original customs and enforcement bill containing the Enforcing Orders and Reducing Customs Evasion (ENFORCE) Act. The ENFORCE Act creates procedures for a federal agency or interested party to
Certain U.S. companies and their foreign affiliates should be aware that responses to a mandatory Commerce Department outbound investment survey are due as soon as May 29, 2015. The survey is the BE-10 Benchmark Survey of U.S. Direct Investment Abroad, a broad statistical survey conducted every five years by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic
After months of behind-the-scenes negotiations, on April 16, 2015, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) introduced legislation, S. 995 and H.R. 1890, to restore trade promotion authority (TPA). The TPA bill provides the administration with negotiating objectives
As part of the historic shift in U.S. policy toward Cuba announced on 17 December 2014, President Obama instructed the Secretary of State to launch a review of Cuba’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism (SSOT), and to prepare a report within six months regarding Cuba’s support for international terrorism.
On 1 April 2015, President Obama signed an Executive Order authorizing the imposition of sanctions on individuals and entities determined to be responsible for or complicit in malicious cyber-enabled activities constituting a significant threat to the national security, foreign policy, or economic health or financial stability of the United States.
On 8 March 2015, President Obama signed Executive Order 13692 (the Order) imposing targeted sanctions against persons in Venezuela.
The recently published annual report to Congress by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a U.S. government interagency committee that conducts national security reviews of transactions that could result in control of a U.S. business by a foreign person, suggests that the committee’s reviews are becoming increasingly stringent. Read More: CFIUS
On 25 February 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published its final rule, effective 26 May 2015, extending eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident (LPR) status, who meet certain conditions related to that LPR process. This is
The recently published annual report to Congress of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a U.S. Government interagency committee that conducts national security reviews of foreign acquisitions, suggests that the Committee’s reviews are becoming increasingly stringent. Sweeping conclusions cannot be drawn from a report that covers only the Committee’s work in
On 23 February 2015 the Department of Energy (DOE) published a Final Rule in the Federal Register (80 Fed. Reg. 9359) (Final Rule) to amend the Part 810 Regulations (10 C.F.R. Part 810), which govern the export and re-export of unclassified nuclear technology and assistance. This Final Rule is the first comprehensive updating of the