Commerce

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…)

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…)

The Commerce Department issued great news for exporters and American workers last week. According to Commerce’s report, Jobs Supported by Export Destination 2015, American jobs supported by U.S. exports to current free trade agreement partners grew 22% from 2009 to 2015. In 2015, U.S. exports to these free trade partners supported more than three million American jobs. Exports to NAFTA partners account for approximately one-fourth of these jobs. (more…)

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has issued a voluntary disclosure guidance for export violations. The guidance takes effect July 22 and its intent is to make Commerce’s enforcement more in line with that of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Specifically, the new guidance introduces the OFAC concept of a “base penalty amount.” Like OFAC base penalties, the BIS base penalties will be determined by whether the violation was egregious and whether it was voluntarily disclosed. Once a base penalty amount is determined, the amount can move downward or upward based on mitigating and aggravating factors. (more…)

Sri Lanka may not be the first market that comes to mind when thinking of opportunities to export goods and services or invest, but there is reason to at least keep the country in mind. While the Administration has been busy in its efforts to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and prepare for its implementation, it has also aimed to strengthen trade with other Asian countries. (more…)

2016 Top Export Markets for U.S. Goods

Last week the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration (ITA) released the second installment of its Top Markets Reports. The reports–nineteen different industries are highlighted in total–do an excellent job highlighting growing export markets for American businesses and provide a lot of useful insight into the United States’ position in the global economy. Top export industries include auto parts ($81 billion), aircraft parts ($56.2 billion), pharmaceuticals ($47 billion), medical devices ($43 billion), building products and sustainable construction ($35.2 billion), construction equipment ($32.6 billion), and smart grid technology ($30 billion). (more…)

Trade Agreements are political hot potatoes, which as a trade attorney I always find interesting.  The presidential candidates have been debating the pros and cons of trade agreements for years from a 60,000 foot level. Is the agreement good for us or not? Now, there is a Commerce Department tool that will help companies determine if a trade agreement will actually cut tariffs for specific export market for a particular product. This could be a real tool for the exporting community.  Currently, the tool is for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and focuses on goods going to 25 markets.  You can search by tariff code or key word – simple but really useful. (more…)

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is currently accepting comments on methods of improving the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) as well as harmonizing these regulations with the clearance requirements under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). This notice and comment period is open until July 6. (more…)