International Trade

New BIS Policy Cracks Down on Uncooperative Foreign Governments With Broad Implications for Parties Trading in Goods Subject to EAR

The U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) is cracking down on foreign governments that prevent the end-use checks the BIS uses to ensure compliance with Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”).

BIS’s mission is broad, explains the Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement, Mathew Axelrod: to “protect sensitive American goods from falling into the wrong hands.”[1] End-use checks are one method used in carrying out this mission, and recent policy updates announced by BIS emphasize the significance of end-use checks and the consequences exporters may face if they are not in timely completed. Read more…

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USTR Accepting Comments on China Section 301 Tariffs Beginning November 15th

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) is conducting a review of the China Section 301 tariffs that were put into place in 2018 under the Trump administration.

The USTR is required to review its tariffs every four years pursuant to Section 307(c) of the Trade Act of 1974 (“Trade Act”).[1] A notice in May of this year called for input from domestic industries that would benefit from the continuation of the tariffs.[2] Read more…

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InsightsExport Controls on Chips to China Typify the Biden Administration’s National Security Strategy for Outcompeting China

On October 7, 2022, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) announced a major new rule that restricts the ability of the People’s Republic of China (“PRC” or “China”) to obtain advanced computing chips, develop and maintain supercomputers, and manufacture advanced semiconductors.[1] That same day, BIS published a press release summarizing the updates, and, a few days later, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan commented on the strategic intent underlying BIS’s actions.[2] Read more…

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Treasury Releases First-Ever CFIUS Enforcement and Penalty Guidelines

On October 20, 2022, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, acting as Chair of the interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS” or “the Committee”), released the first-ever CFIUS Enforcement and Penalty Guidelines (“the Guidelines”). The Committee, sometimes called a “black box” for its notoriously opaque internal processes, is authorized to review certain transactions involving foreign investment in the United States and certain real estate transactions by foreign persons to determine the effect of such transactions on U.S. national security. CFIUS is tasked with identifying and mitigating certain national security risks, often by entering into agreements or imposing conditions on transaction parties. The Guidelines provide insight into how CFIUS determines whether and in what amount to impose a penalty or take some other enforcement action against a party that fails to comply with CFIUS mitigation agreements or other legal obligations.

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Think Tanks May Need to Rethink FARA Registration

When considering who must register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA” or “the Act”), one normally thinks of individuals, law firms, or marketing firms, the typical kinds of agents that must register for lobbying or image-laundering activities on behalf of foreign persons.

But two advisory opinions released earlier this year add another type of entity to the list: so-called “think tanks.” The advisory opinions, while partially redacted, provide valuable guidance on the status of “research and consulting” firms, as they are described in the opinions, with regard to FARA. Read more…

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Torres Talks Trade Podcast Episode 15 Customs Summons, Fraud Investigations, & Recommendations

In the second of a two-part series on federal investigations within the Department of Homeland Security, host Derrick Kyle continues his discussion with former DHS Deputy Chief Counsel Rob Dunikoski. Together, they discuss what a custom summons is, custom fraud investigations, and recommendations for companies facing these types of investigations. This is the summer season finale episode of the Torres Talks Trade podcast. Stay tuned because we will be back in November for our Fall/Winter Season. For any podcast recommendations or to participate as a guest, email us at operations@torrestradelaw.com.

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Torres Talks Trade Podcast Episode 14 Federal Investigations within the Department of Homeland Security

In the aftermath of 9/11, the U.S. Government created the Department of Homeland Security to carry out a broad range of national security functions. Today, DHS is widely known for overseeing both Immigrations and Customs operations. This week, nearly 21 years after that fateful day, host Derrick Kyle sits down with former DHS Deputy Chief Counsel Rob Dunikoski, in the first of a two-part series, to discuss Rob’s experience overseeing federal investigations and bringing criminal cases to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

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Torres Talks Trade Podcast Episode 13 When Government Agencies Come Knocking

In the second of a two-part series regarding the BIS Office of Export Enforcement, host Olga Torres sits down with former BIS Special Agents Don Pearce and Jim Fuller to discuss what to do when government enforcement agencies come knocking, and how to interact with the government if there’s a VSD or an ongoing investigation

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Torres Talks Trade Podcast Episode 12 on ZTE & BIS Enforcement

In this week’s episode, the first of a two-part series, host Olga Torres sits down with Jim Fuller, former special agent, with the Office of Export Enforcement (“OEE”) within the Bureau of Industry and Security, and Don Pearce, former special agent at OEE and consultant with Torres Trade Advisory. Together, they discuss the ongoing ZTE case, recent enforcement trends, and what to expect when OEE agents come knocking at your door.Be sure to tune in next week, for Part 2, where Jim & Don will discuss what to do when government agencies come knocking.

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Torres Talks Trade Podcast Episode 11 Sanctions and Export Enforcement Cases by DOJ

In this week’s episode, host Olga Torres is joined by David Laufman, former Chief of the Counterintelligence and Export Controls Section, “CES,” at the Department of Justice to discuss high-profile sanctions and export enforcement cases, DOJ voluntary self-disclosures, and C-suite compliance certifications announced by DOJ. At DOJ, David played a key role in the cases against ZTE and Huawei, and is uniquely positioned to comment on current DOJ efforts to promote corporate compliance.This is part 2 of a two-part series (episodes 10 and 11) with David Laufman where we discussed all things FARA.

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