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Enforcement & Investigations

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On January 15, 2020, President Trump and China’s Vice Premier Liu He signed “Phase One” of the “Economic and Trade Agreement Between the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China.” The Agreement provides for the purchase by China of $200 billion worth of agricultural (including beef and poultry), energy and manufactured goods over the next two years as well as provide market access for US financial services (like banks, insurance companies and…

The Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom (the “E3 Foreign Ministers“) have today released a statement that they are triggering the dispute resolution mechanism in relation to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA“), following Iran’s decision to no longer abide by the uranium enrichment limits of the JCPOA (see our earlier blog post on this here). In their statement, the E3 Foreign Ministers highlighted that they have triggered the dispute resolution mechanism in…

On 15 January 2020, the Federal Council opened a public consultation on the introduction of a simplified procedure for the Federal Customs Administration (FCA) to destroy fake products in small consignments. A new procedure aims to reduce the administrative effort by giving the authorities more leeway for their checks. These checks are essential – the importation of small consignments from Asia into Switzerland increased six-fold between 2014 and 2018. Swiss companies are particularly affected by…

On January 15, 2020, the US Trade Representative (USTR) posted an advance copy of a Federal Register notice of modification of action reducing the rate of additional duty on certain products of China (List 4A) from 15 percent to 7.5 percent. The reduction will be applicable as of 12:01 am Eastern Standard Time on February 14, 2020, for products covered by Annex A of the August 20, 2019 notice (84 Fed. Reg. 43304). On August…

On January 13, 2020, the US Department of the Treasury announced that it had delivered to Congress the semiannual Report on Macroeconomic and Foreign Exchange Policies of Major Trading Partners of the United States. In this Report, Treasury reviewed and assessed the policies of 20 major US trading partners. Treasury also assessed developments over the last several months with China and its currency practices. The announcement said: The Report concluded that while the currency practices…

The 8 senior Iranian government officials were targeted for their involvement and complicity in Iran’s ballistic missile strikes on US bases in Iraq on January 7, 2019 and include the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian armed forces, and the head of the Basij militia of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. In addition, in an effort to constrain Iranian sources of revenue used to fund and…

On 28 December 2019, the National People’s Congress (NPC) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) released a new draft of the Export Control Law (ECL) (“2019 Draft”), an update from the 2017 version circulated by the Ministry of Commerce. Click here to refer to our client alert on the 2017 Draft. The 2019 Draft is now open for public comment until 26 January 2020. If enacted, the ECL will be China’s first comprehensive and…

On January 6, 2020, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published in the Federal Register an interim final rule (with request for comments) [Docket No. 191217-0116] that amends the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to make certain items subject to the EAR and to impose a license requirement for the export and reexport of those items to all destinations, except Canada. Specifically, this rule classifies software specially designed to automate the analysis of geospatial imagery,…

On December 31, 2019, the US Trade Representative (USTR) posted on its website an advance copy of a Federal Register notice that announces USTR’s determination to grant certain exclusion requests, as specified in the Annex to this notice, and corrects a ministerial error in a previously announced exclusion. The product exclusions announced in the notice will apply as of the September 24, 2018, effective date of the $200 billion action, to August 7, 2020. The…

On December 30, 2019, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice and request for comments [Docket Number USTR-2019-0024] regarding the possible extension for up to 12 months of particular exclusions granted in March 2019. Effective July 6, 2018, the USTR imposed additional duties on goods of China with an annual trade value of approximately $34 billion as part of the action in the Section 301 investigation of…