On May 14, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) in conjunction with the Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) issued newly proposed rules regarding export classifications of firearms, guns, ammunition and related articles.  BIS and DDTC determined that certain articles previously controlled by the U.S. Munitions List (USML) and regulated under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) should be transferred to the Commerce Control List (CCL) and regulated by the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).  The stated goals of the proposed rules are to reduce procedural burdens and costs of export compliance on the U.S. firearms industry, while allowing the Commerce and State Departments to more efficiently enforce their relevant export controls. (more…)

On May 8, President Trump announced that the U.S. will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and reimpose the strict economic sanctions program that was in place prior to the landmark 2015 agreement. The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control issued a Frequently Asked Questions document in coordination with the announcement to assist with the implementation of the Iran sanctions program. Here is the bottom line so far.

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The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative published a proposed list of 1,333 Chinese products under consideration for 25% tariffs on April 3 under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, which provides the President and the USTR broad authority to investigate and respond to harmful trade practices in foreign countries found to impair U.S. commerce. (more…)

If you are an exporter, you know that finding legitimate international buyers able to pay for your products can be one of the more challenging aspects of doing business.  One underutilized strategy for expanding your company’s global sales is to review the offerings of the U.S. Commercial Service, which is a service brought to you by the U.S. Department of Commerce and funded by the government. (more…)

Baker Donelson’s Trade and Compliance attorneys capped off their 2017 trade watch series with a year-end analysis of lessons learned during the first year of the Trump Administration, along with thoughtful projections of what we may expect in the coming months. With 2017 now behind us, we look ahead at what may be in store for trade after the withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), sanctions involving Iran and Cuba, and NAFTA negotiations in 2018. Read our analysis here.

On December 21, the U.S. Treasury Department announced the implementation of a new global sanctions regime under the Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act (the “Global Magnitsky Act”).  President Trump issued an Executive Order declaring a national emergency with respect to human rights abuses and global corruption, targeting individuals and entities spanning nations across the world, including Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Nicaragua, and elsewhere. (more…)

On December 12, a key deadline passed for Congress to reimpose nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran, shifting the pressure back to the executive branch and setting new deadlines that will be critical to the fate of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.  In October, President Trump refused to certify Iran’s compliance with the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), calling on Congress to set “trigger points” related to Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and setting off a 60-day window for lawmakers to reimpose secondary sanctions that have been suspended under the terms of the JCPOA.  That window closed on December 12 without any Congressional action. (more…)

As we discussed further at length here, the U.S. and nations around the world have recently sought to implement and impose harsh economic sanctions programs against  North Korea to pressure Pyongyang into ceasing its development of a nuclear weapons program.  The international community has ramped up its pressure by adopting increasingly severe measures since August, when President Trump signed into law a wide-ranging sanctions bill titled the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), and the UN Security Council followed suit by unanimously passing a US-drafted resolution targeting $1 billion worth of the DPRK’s primary exports. (more…)