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OFAC Advises on Key Elements of Sanctions Compliance Program*

The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) administers and enforces U.S. economic and trade sanctions programs against targeted foreign governments, individuals, groups, and entities in accordance with national security and foreign policy goals and objectives. OFAC recently issued guidance strongly encouraging domestic and foreign entities that conduct business with the US, US persons, …

OFAC Advises on Key Elements of Sanctions Compliance Program* Read More »

Colorado Opportunity Zone Program

The Opportunity Zone (OZ) program was enactedas part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in order to incentivize investment and development in designated low-income communities across the country. Over the next ten years, investors can reinvest in these distressed and underdeveloped properties and land parcels for significant tax breaks on capital gains.

OFAC to De-List Certain Sanctioned Russian Entities*

On December 19, the U.S. Treasury Department, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced their intention to remove three Russian entities from their List of Specially Designated and Blocked Persons List (SDN List) within 30 days. The SDN’s that were de-listed are En+ Group plc (“En+), UC Rusal plc (“Rusal”), and JSC EuroSibEnergo (“ESE”).

NAFTA Update*

Negotiations with Canada to redraw the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) concluded on Friday, August 31 with no agreement in place due to lingering divisions and President Trump’s unwillingness to offer any concessions. However, earlier this week Mexico and the US came to an agreement regarding two provisions that will impact the automobile industry.   

Steel and Aluminum Update: Section 232*

Following recommendations from the U.S. Department of Commerce, President Trump announced on March 8, 2018, that the U.S. would impose 25 percent tariffs on all steel imports and 10 percent tariffs on aluminum imports. The only countries exempted from these tariff hikes are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, EU Member States, Mexico, and South Korea. which are currently working alongside the U.S. to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement. Countries exporting into the U.S. can negotiate exemptions with the Commerce Department, and as of March 19th, companies that rely on imported steel and aluminum can file exclusion requests to exempt imported products from these tariffs.

The Foreign Corrupt Practice Act and Cross-Border M&A*

The United States Foreign Corrupt Practice Act (FCPA) was passed in 1977 and is now the most widely enforced anti-corruption law. The FCPA contains two main elements: (1) the anti-bribery provision, which prohibits U.S. firms, companies, and individuals from paying bribes to foreign officials for the advancement of a business deal; and (2) the accounting provision, which requires U.S. and foreign public companies to create, implement, and maintain accurate books, records, and internal accounting systems.

NAFTA Update*

The renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) began with a rocky start when President Trump threatened to withdraw from the Agreement unless it was renegotiated on terms more favorable to the United States. The renegotiations began on August 16, 2017, and have proceeded at an unexpectedly slow pace, due in large part to the steel and aluminum tariffs that have overshadowed NAFTA-specific trade issues.

To Sanction or Not to Sanction–That Is the Question: How Congressional Action Could Affect Your Business*

On April 6, 2018, the Trump Administration imposed additional sanctions on seven Russian oligarchs and twelve companies they own and/or control. The Administration also imposed sanctions on senior Russian government officials and a state-owned Russian weapons trading company and a Russian bank, a subsidiary of the weapons company. The sanctions are a response to the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and target public officials and some of Russia’s most influential businesspeople. These actions are pursuant to the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017 (CAATSA), a bipartisan law enacted last August, which reinforces existing sanctions, limits the President’s ability to lift or waive certain sanctions, and authorizes the Administration to continue to impose sanctions.

Solar Tariffs and Section 201 Update*

On January 22, 2018, the Trump Administration imposed 30 percent tariffs on foreign-made solar cells and modules. The decision follows a unanimous decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) recommending trade remedies, including tariff-rate quotas and ad valorem tariffs of up to 35% on solar goods. 

The Trump Administration’s solar tariffs were implemented in response to a Section 201 petition filed jointly by Suniva, a Chinese-owned, U.S.-based solar company, and SolarWorld Americas, Inc., an American subsidiary of a German