The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (UST) has issued determinations in the investigations of digital services taxes (DSTs) adopted or considered by India, Italy, and Turkey, finding that “each of the DSTs discriminates against U.S. companies, is inconsistent with prevailing principles of international taxation, and burden {sic} or restricts U.S. commerce.”  Notably,

On November 30, the United States sanctioned China National Electronics Import and Export Corporation (CEIEC) by adding the Chinese technology company to the Specially Designated National (SDN) List.  Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated the company under Executive Order 13692 for providing goods and services to the Venezuelan government that were used to

On November 12, 2020, the President issued Executive Order 13959 (the Order) to prohibit U.S. persons from purchasing the publicly traded securities of certain companies that are affiliated with China’s military.  While the Order does not come into force until January 11, 2021, U.S. financial services companies and U.S. investors will need to carefully review

Last week, the United States expanded sanctions on Iran’s financial sector by designating 18 major Iranian banks as Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs) and authorizing additional future sanctions on the Iranian financial sector.  Non-U.S. companies and banks could be subject to serious U.S. secondary sanctions penalties for significant continued dealings with the designated Iranian financial institutions,

Late yesterday evening, President Trump declared a national emergency concerning the United States reliance on imports of certain “critical minerals.” The Executive Order directs a number of federal agencies, to take certain actions in the coming weeks and months to address what the order describes as “undue reliance on critical minerals” imported from “foreign adversaries.”

Yesterday, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) amended the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) to further limit the ability of U.S. persons to book lodging in Cuba, import certain goods from Cuba, and participate in professional meetings or artistic and athletic events in Cuba.  The changes include the following:

  • The new rules prohibit U.S.

Post Update:

Over the weekend, the WeChat and TikTok bans were temporarily suspended.  On Saturday, the Commerce Department delayed implementation of the TikTok ban until September 28, 2020 after it was announced that Oracle would acquire TikTok’s U.S. operations.  On Sunday, a federal court separately issued a preliminary injunction against the implementation of the WeChat

Today the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) added 24 Chinese state-owned companies to the Entity List for their role in the construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea.  The Entity List prohibits the export, re-export, and transfer (in-country) of items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to these companies without a

Last Thursday, the President issued two executive orders (“E.O.s”) targeting social media applications TikTok (and its parent company, ByteDance) and WeChat (and its parent company, Tencent Holdings).  The E.O.s direct the Department of Commerce (“DOC”) to prohibit transactions involving the applications.  Companies that deal directly with TikTok or WeChat in the United States and abroad or use their services need to evaluate the scope of those activities and determine if they will be affected by the E.O.s.

The E.O.s were issued pursuant to the national emergency declared in E.O. 13873 regarding information and communication services in the United States that are controlled by persons within the jurisdiction of a “foreign adversary.”  In issuing the E.O.s, the President cited concerns that the Chinese government could gain access to Americans’ personal information collected by the applications, among other policy considerations.  The President has the power to issue the directives under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA,” 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), which provides the President with the authority to declare national emergencies and implement sweeping trade controls based on national security concerns.

The intended scope of the E.O.s is not clear due to ambiguous language used in Section 1, which contain the E.O.s’ primary prohibitions.  Here is an excerpt of that section from the TikTok order:
Continue Reading President Issues Executive Orders Targeting TikTok and WeChat