Doreen Edelman

The Trump Administration has implemented regulatory changes to continue its predecessors’ decade-long efforts to streamline requirements for exporters and importers. One such project, dubbed the International Trade Data System or ITDS, seeks to modernize and streamline procedures and required government paperwork for exporters and importers while eliminating redundant requirements. This process began in 2006 under George W. Bush when legislation was passed calling for the creation of a single electronic system that would serve as a one stop shop for the government agencies and businesses involved in international trade to exchange necessary documentation. (more…)

We are 100 days into the Trump Administration and  the question is not what did President Trump promise and what did he do, the question is how should business prepare for the future?    Let’s begin with a “State of the Union” so we can evaluate our next steps. On some policy issues President Trump did follow the lead of the last Administration.  The Trump Administration has implemented regulatory changes to continue its predecessors’ decade-long efforts to streamline regulatory requirements for exporters and importers.   One such project will modernize and streamline procedures and paperwork that must be filed with government agencies and eliminate redundant requirements for exporters and importers. His willingness to stay the course on this practical initiative as well as on more controversial issues like relations with Cuba, Iran, and China, suggests that President Trump may develop into a more cautious chief executive. (more…)

You may not have heard of the Office of Export Enforcement (OEE), but if you or your subsidiary are doing business abroad, you should take note. Last month, the OEE, which is part of the Department of Commerce’s Bureau for Industry and Security (BIS), raided the U.S. headquarters of a company whose European subsidiary is suspected of violating U.S. export control and sanctions laws. (more…)

On March 7, we learned that Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation (ZTE) concluded 3 settlement agreements that could result in penalties as high as $1.2 billion for its violations of U.S. sanctions and export controls laws. Although the amount of the fines results from particularly egregious conduct on the part of ZTE to conceal its violations even during the period of investigation,  the case highlights three valuable lessons for all exporters. This is especially true given Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross’s pronouncement that the case signals the new Administration will be “aggressively enforcing strong trade policies with the dual purpose of protecting American national security and protecting American workers.” (more…)

I was fortunate enough to be on a panel last week with four foreign government representatives to discuss trade. The meeting was informative and I thought I would share my take-aways. My conclusion is that Trump’s trade policy is headed towards a more balanced trade agenda. Although there are some anti-free traders in the inner circle, there are also proven free traders who are simply looking to make trade more fair. (more…)

If you are a foreign company that wants access to the U.S. financial markets, make sure you  understand the U.S. Iran Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (ITSR). Administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the ITSR, unlike other sanctions programs, contain secondary sanctions that apply to non-U.S. persons for wholly non-U.S. conduct that may occur entirely outside U.S. jurisdiction. Even if you are not doing business with Iran, several companies and individuals, many of whom are not Iranian, have been listed under the sanctions program, including 25 more added earlier this month. (more…)

The Commerce Department’s Bureau for Industry and Security (BIS) has issued a new rule that requires exporters to Hong Kong of items subject to certain controls under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to obtain either an import license or a written statement from the Hong Kong government as to why an import license is not required. The rule will be effective on April 19, 2017. (more…)