SmarTrade

Timely news and analysis of the latest developments in international trade law

On July 22 and again on July 30, 2021, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned several Cuban individuals and entities in connection with actions to suppress peaceful, pro-democratic protests in Cuba that began on July 11, 2021.   According to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, “The Cuban people are protesting for the fundamental and universal rights they deserve from their government. Treasury will continue to enforce its Cuba-related sanctions ……
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS or the “Committee”), an inter-agency committee headed by the Department of the Treasury, has released its 2020 Annual Report to Congress (Report). CFIUS is authorized to review transactions that could result in the control of U.S. businesses by foreign persons or companies, as well as non-controlling investments by foreign persons or companies in certain U.S. businesses which are involved in critical technology, critical infrastructure, or…
Key Notes: On July 13, the U.S. government released an updated version of the Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory advising U.S. companies of the widespread, PRC-government sponsored forced labor and intrusive surveillance practices targeting ethnic and religious minorities in Xinjiang. The Advisory urges U.S. companies with supply chains, ventures or investments connected to Xinjiang to undertake heightened due diligence efforts. S. companies that do not exit supply chains or ventures connected to Xinjiang are at…
On July 23, 2021, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced a settlement agreement with Payoneer Inc. (“Payoneer”), a publicly traded New York-based online money transmitter and provider of prepaid access.  Payoneer agreed to pay a civil penalty of approximately $1.4 million to settle its potential liability for 2,260 apparent violations of multiple sanctions programs.   According to OFAC, Payoneer “processed payments for parties located in the Crimea region of Ukraine,…
On July 20, 2021,  the U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) issued an order revising certain deadlines established in its July 6 decision and order granting the plaintiff group’s motion for a preliminary injunction in the ongoing Section 301 tariff refund litigation involving imports of certain Chinese products. The preliminary injunction suspended liquidation of unliquidated entries subject to List 3 and List 4A Section 301 duties, which, the plaintiff group alleges, are not authorized under…
On July 20, 2021, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced that it has issued General License (GL) 5G, “Authorizing Certain Transactions Related to the Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. 2020 8.5 Percent Bond on or After October 21, 2021,” which continues to delay U.S. persons’ ability to enforce bondholder rights to the CITGO shares serving as collateral for the Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA) 2020 8.5% bond until on…
On July 14, 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published in the Federal Register (86 Fed. Reg. 37022-35) its final rule for “Made in USA” and other “unqualified U.S.-origin claims” on product labels. The final rule is effective on August 13, 2021. The final rule codifies a longstanding FTC policy and practice that a product or service with an unqualified U.S.-origin claim, whether express or implied, on its label cannot contain more than a de…
On July 19, 2021, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) reached an agreement to address concerns raised by the United States about Vietnam’s currency practices that were found actionable in an investigation under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). See Update of January 15, 2021. Under the agreement, the USTR stated that the SBV has agreed…
On July 16, 2021, the U.S. Departments of State, Commerce, Homeland Security and the Treasury issued a Hong Kong Business Advisory highlighting growing risks for U.S. companies operating in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) due to ongoing actions taken by the Government of the People’s Republic of China (China). The advisory states that these risks fall into four categories: (1) risks for businesses following the imposition of the Law of the People’s Republic of…
On July 19, 2021, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published a final rule adding six Russian entities to the Entity List after having been determined to be “acting contrary to the foreign policy interests of the United States.” The entities are: Aktsionernoe Obshchestvo AST; Aktsionernoe Obshchestvo Pasit; Aktsionernoe Obshchestvo Pozitiv Teknolodzhiz; Federal State Autonomous Institution Military Innovative Technopolis Era; Federal State Autonomous Scientific Establishment Scientific Research Institute Specialized Security Computing…