Policy Briefs

Members of the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) sent DHS Secretary Mayorkas a stern letter Friday, asserting that a Chinese firm is committing "blatant trade fraud that is having a catastrophic impact on American manufacturers."

FinCEN, a part of the Treasury Department focusing on financial crimes, recently proposed a revision to the beneficial ownership information (BOI) reporting rule. The aim of this amendment is to provide an extended deadline for certain newly registered companies to file their initial BOI reports.

FinCEN intends to require individuals to use to obtain a FinCEN identifier, consistent with the final Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Requirements Rule. Obtaining a FinCEN identifier is voluntary, but the rule requires those seeking to obtain a FinCEN identifier to complete an application and submit it to FinCEN and to update the information provided on the application. Public are invited to comment on: (1) the FinCEN Identifier Application that FinCEN intends to require individuals to use; and (2) FinCEN’s estimate of the burden involved in completing the application.

A government shutdown is set to severely impact the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and other trade enforcement bureaus, leaving over 185,000 frontline personnel, spanning from law enforcement, security analysts, to disaster response officials, working without remuneration. Key trade operations – exporters, importers, transportation entities, customs brokers, and all linked to U.S. global trade – are bracing for interruptions. This is especially true if agencies pivotal for trade, such as the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, and Department of Commerce are affected.

Four Republican House Committee Chairs sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas criticizing the implementation and enforcement of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), complaining that not enough has been done to penalize violators, and calling for more resources to be dedicated to enforcement.   

While Ford Motor Company announced on September 25 that it has paused its partnership with world’s leading EV battery maker, Republican lawmakers complain that Ford will not release confidential business information pertaining to its agreement to license Chinese technology.

On July 3, 2023, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued a recent actions notice, reminding holders of property blocked pursuant to OFAC sanctions regulations published in Chapter V of Title 31 of the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) of the requirement to provide OFAC with an Annual Report of Blocked Property (ARBP).  

The Defense Trade Advisory Group (DTAG) will meet in open session from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 12, 2023. This will be a hybrid meeting

The United States, the European Union and other proponents on Monday apparently failed to provide any convincing reasons as to why the World Trade Organization’s 1998 moratorium on customs duties on electronic transmissions should be continued beyond the 13th ministerial conference, which is going to be held in Abu Dhabi in February 2024, our correspondent writes.

House Ways and Means Committee members are calling on the Administration and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to fight Canada’s unilateral imposition of a digital service tax. The members noted that almost all 140 economies participating in the OECD work to reach agreement on updated international tax rules approved a one-year extension of the moratorium on DSTs through December 31, 2024. “We are disappointed that Canada is unfortunately moving against this global consensus with a punitive DST scheduled to take effect next year.”

Reacting to news reports of espionage activities linked to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on American soil, Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-IA), along with other members of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, have called for an urgent classified briefing from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and FBI Director Christopher Wray.

In a stern letter, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08) warned Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen that regulations must be immediately issued to prevent taxpayer funded subsidies for electric vehicles and batteries in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) from flowing to adversarial nations such as China.

House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc) and Rep. John Moolenaar (R-Mich) are calling on Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to withhold any federal support for Chinese battery companies in the United States.    The lawmakers – in a letter to Ms. Yellen – specifically scrutinized Treasury for greenlighting new plans for a Michigan battery factory owned and operated by China based Gotion High-Tech Company.  

President Biden announced yesterday he has tapped former Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker for the newly-created position of US Special Representative for Ukraine’s Economic Recovery.  In her new position, Ms. Pritzker will work with the Ukrainian government, US allies and partners, international financial institutions and the private sector to drive US efforts to help rebuild the Ukrainian economy following Russia’s invasion, according to a White House statement.

Congress, through various means, has shown sustained interest in the export policy, emphasizing the balance between maintaining U.S. technological leadership and preventing adversaries from accessing advanced technologies. Christopher Casey of the Congressional Research Service penned a report released September 8 that frames this topic for policymakers and practicioners alike.

Jerry Horner, Chief of the Trade Regulations Branch at the US Census Bureau, is responsible for formulating regulations governing the requirements for filing the Automated Export System data elements. This morning, I've been asked to provide updates on two Notices of Proposed Rulemaking: one being the Routed Export Transaction rule, published prior to 2019, and the other, the Country of Origin data element, released in December 2021.

A group of Congressional Democrats are raising questions with Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo over her department’s failure to release data on its approvals of assault weapons exports. …

Huawei's release of a phone called the Mate 60 Pro has the industrial security community atwitter, if we can still use that word.   The device boasts a processor fabricated at seven nanometers, a threshold of precision the allied export controls of chipmaking equipment were meant to thwart.   

Representatives Gregory Meeks, Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Andy Barr (R-KY), Vice Chair of the House India Caucus,introduced legislation to loosen export restrictions of high-performance computing equipment to India.

The House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party will hold a hearing on September 12th at 8:30 a.m., at Peterson Hall at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, NY. The committee is also expected to host a tabletop war game for Wall Street executives to illustrate a PRC invation of Taiwan.   

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