Trade and Manufacturing Monitor

News and Insight from our International Trade Practice Group

After months of negotiation, Congress recently passed, and the president is expected to sign, the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (“FIRRMA”).[1]  FIRRMA updates the national security review of inbound investments undertaken by the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (“CFIUS” or “the Committee”), an interagency body located within the Treasury Department.   The bill is broad, expanding and clarifying the Committee’s jurisdiction, codifying CFIUS practices, amending the Committee’s administrative…
Yesterday the U.S. government announced that it would implement new sanctions against Russia mandated under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Act of 1991 (the CBW Act) following the apparent deployment of a chemical weapon on British soil by Russia. The first round of sanctions, which are expected to come into force on or around August 22, will prohibit many exports and reexports of goods, software, or technology to Russia controlled for national security reasons under…
A set of changes to the U.S. dual use export control rules makes exporting sensitive goods, software, and technology to India less burdensome. Over the last several years, India has joined three of the four major multilateral export control regimes – the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Wassenaar Arrangement, and the Australia Group.  In response to India’s ascension to these agreements, the United States has amended the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to ease export…
Tomorrow the United States will re-impose a set of secondary sanctions on Iran as the newly amended EU blocking statute comes into force. Following the U.S. withdrawal from the multilateral Iran nuclear deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA), the United States is set to re-impose a raft of secondary sanctions targeting Iran.  The secondary sanctions are designed to penalize non-U.S. companies for conducting certain types of business involving Iran, even in cases…
The European Union (EU) is preparing to treat the United Kingdom (UK) as a third country after its withdrawal from the bloc, commonly known as Brexit.  Unless a deal is agreed before 29 March 2019, the UK’s trade with the EU will be heavily impacted by regulatory restrictions, increased costs, and lengthier procedures applicable to the movements of people, goods and services.  Less obvious is the impact on trade of the “no deal” scenario from…
On Wednesday, July 18, the Department of Commerce announced that it would begin investigating the effects of uranium imports on the national security interests of the United States.  The investigation will be conducted under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.  Two U.S. uranium producers – Ur-Energy and Energy Fuels Resources Inc. – petitioned Commerce in January 2018 to open the investigation. According to the petitioners, a domestic supply of uranium is essential…
Today the U.S. Department of Commerce lifted its denial order on Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE Corp., allowing THE U.S. and other companies to resume most business with ZTE. The Commerce Department imposed the denial order in April after ZTE made false statements to the Commerce Department in connection with an earlier settlement agreement regarding violations of the U.S. embargoes on Iran and North Korea.  The denial order broadly barred U.S. companies from selling goods, software,…
Targets $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for additional tariffs at a rate of 10 percent On July 10, 2018, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced it was initiating the process of imposing a 10% tariff on Chinese imports as a supplemental action under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974.  USTR’s proposed list covers more than 6,000 products, including seafood and agriculture, chemicals, textiles, metals, electronics, and a host of consumer goods…
Background: On Friday, July 6, 2018, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced a process for U.S. interests to obtain product-specific exclusions from tariffs on Chinese imports as a result of the U.S. investigation into, and response to, China’s IP practices (see attached Federal Register notice).  The duties, applied under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, took effect on July 6 and cover an annual trade value of approximately $34 billion.…
Last week, a WTO dispute settlement panel ruled that Australia’s plain packaging rules for tobacco products do not violate WTO rules.  In April 2012, Honduras requested consultations with Australia at the WTO over Australia’s 2011 law banning logos, trademarks, and other distinctive packaging for tobacco products in favor of uniform-color packages with health-related warnings and images across the front of the packages and brand names printed in small, standardized fonts.  Honduras challenged the law under…