The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) reform legislation, known as the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA), attached to the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, passed both the House and Senate as of August 1 and is now awaiting the President’s signature. The new law casts a wider net over what type of transactions and investments will be subject to potential CFIUS review. Thus, dealmakers should carefully review the requirements and document their decisions if the parties decide not to file for CFIUS approval. Read on for an overview of key changes to the CFIUS legislation. (more…)

On May 8, 2018, President Donald 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.  Based on the guidance issued by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”), the reimposed sanctions will impact businesses outside of the U.S. that engage in  business with or in Iran, particularly those who do so while also seeking to maintain or establish a U.S. presence or dealings with U.S. companies. The “secondary sanctions” control who those foreign entities can do business with and restrict how foreign entities can utilize the U.S. financial system.  Foreign persons and businesses can also be held liable for causing U.S. persons to violate sanctions regulations. (more…)

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…)