SmarTrade

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

On December 4, 2020, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced that it was terminating its Section 232 national security investigation into imports of mobile cranes.  The announcement notes that petitioner Manitowoc Company, Inc. requested on September 8, 2020, that its petition be withdrawn due to “a changing economic environment due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”  See Update of May 8, 2020, for details on the initiation of…
On November 30, 2020, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned and placed on the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List China National Electronics Import and Export Corporation (CEIEC). The Treasury Department indicated in a press release that this designation was due to CEIEC’s support for “the illegitimate Maduro regime’s efforts to undermine democracy in Venezuela, including its efforts to restrict internet service and conduct digital surveillance and cyber operations against…
On November 25, 2020, the State Department issued a Federal Register Notice announcing the imposition of nonproliferation measures against certain Chinese and Russian entities for the transfer of goods, services, or technology controlled under multilateral control lists (Missile Technology Control Regime, Australia Group, Chemical Weapons Convention, Nuclear Suppliers Group, Wassenaar Arrangement) or otherwise having the potential to make a material contribution to the development of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or cruise or ballistic missile…
On November 25, 2020, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) issued a Federal Register notice announcing that it will hold a virtual public hearing on December 28, 2020, in its ongoing investigation into Vietnam’s acts, policies and practices related to its import and use of illegally harvested or traded timber.  See Update of October 6, 2020.  A written request to appear at the hearing must be submitted no later than December 10,…
On November 25, 2020, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) issued a Federal Register notice announcing that it will hold a virtual public hearing on December 29, 2020, in its ongoing investigation into Vietnam’s currency valuation.  See Update of October 6, 2020.  A written request to appear at the hearing must be submitted no later than December 10, 2020, and must include a summary of the testimony.  USTR is specifically interested in…
Key Notes: Executive Order 13959 bans U.S. persons from transacting in publicly traded securities or derivatives or similar securities of any publicly traded Chinese companies designated by the U.S. Department of Defense as enabling Chinese military aims. It also authorizes the secretary of the treasury to identify subsidiaries of the named companies, which will be subject to the same restrictions. Ban takes effect on January 11, 2021. On November 12, President Donald Trump signed Executive…
In an early confidential draft of a proposed rule that BIS has shared with a technical advisory committee of industry representatives, trade press is reporting that the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) may seek to restrict export transactions with 89 Chinese and 28 Russian companies that are owned or controlled by these countries’ military branches; or at the very least, have military connections.  While the draft may change before being published…
Since April 2020, we have collaborated with our foreign law firm partners to provide a chart summarizing the economic, labor and employment, health and safety, and export and import measures taken by governments around the world in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. After a short break, we are back with version 2.0 of our chart with substantive changes to reflect the most pressing and interesting government measures concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. The new version of…
On November 17, 2020, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued Venezuela-related General License 8G, “Authorizing Transactions Involving Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA) Necessary for the Limited Maintenance of Essential Operations in Venezuela or the Wind Down of Operations in Venezuela for Certain Entities.”  This general license continues to authorize transactions and activities “ordinarily incident and necessary to the limited maintenance of essential operations, contracts, or other agreements,” that…
On November 9, 2020, the EU, pursuant to World Trade Organization (WTO) authorization, applied approximately $4 billion worth of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods in the latest chapter of the long-running dispute between the EU and the United States over government subsidies provided to both Boeing and Airbus. This retaliation follows an October 2020 WTO arbitrator ruling allowing the EU to take such countermeasures. See Update of October 15, 2020. The EU’s implementing regulation