Policy Briefs

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) published a small entity compliance guide today that provides an overview of the requirements regarding access to beneficial ownership information (BOI) by small entities. The guide includes sections summarizing the Access Rule’s requirements that pertain to small financial institutions’ access to BOI. 

Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson will travel to European capitals this week to coordinate the allied response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Nelson's schedule includes the Munich Security Conference, meetings in Brussels with EU counterparts, and in Paris the Plenary of the Financial Action Task Force.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas delivered the keynote address to the Munich Cyber Security Conference in Munich, Germany. "The world is on the cusp of a new era in the digital revolution," he said. "We must answer the question of how security and governance should be exercised on this modern digital landscape, in service of the world’s economic and social well-being."

Deputy Attorney General (AG) Lisa Monaco traveled to London this week to highlight the continued collaboration of the United States and United Kingdom to combat persistent threats to global security, including emerging challenges like the theft and misuse of disruptive technologies, especially artificial intelligence (AI). Together with Permanent Secretary Matthew Rycroft, the Deputy AG convened the second meeting of their ongoing, strategic dialogue, combining the expertise and capabilities of the Home Office and the Justice Department to identify and address emerging threats.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing Wednesday examining the importance of the trilateral AUKUS security pact among the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Scrupulously avoided during the hearing on military assistance was mention of the $95.34 billion military aid package for Ukraine and other allies being blocked by House leadership. At the hearing, Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) discussed the importance of reforming America’s foreign military sales (FMS), called for rebuilding the country’s defense industrial base, and hinted at reforms to existing arms control and nonproliferation policies. Testifying was Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Bonnie Jenkins, who defended the Biden Administration’s initiatives within her remit.

Caroline Tuckett and Kevin Rowlands discuss the prospects of Russia's continued adherence to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and other disturbing developments in the "rules-based" maritime order. An article for Britian's Royal United Services Institure notes Russian threats to the right of innocent passage, as provided for under UNCLOS Article 8 (2).   

Mexico’s Secretary of Security and Citizen Protection hosted her Canadian and U.S. counterparts for the fourth meeting of the Trilateral Fentanyl Committee. Participants agreed on greater collaboration on testing protocols and recovery initiatives, as well as enhanced reporting and participation in the U.S. ATF's e-Trace weapons tracing program.

Five US venture capital firms invested at least $3 billion in Chinese critical technology companies, many aiding the Chinese military, surveillance state or Uyghur genocide in Xinjiang, according to a new report from the House Select Committee on China.

Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-WI) of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party wrote to the Departments of Defense and Transportation, exposing critical deficiencies in the United States’ military sealift capabilities in the Indo-Pacific. Mr. Gallagher calls for an immediate expansion of U.S. sealift capacity, requesting information from the Departments about the current sealift fleet and plans for fleet expansion

The House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a markup to consider various measures regarding export controls, prohibiting US contributions to UNRWA, restricting Iran’s access to U.S. goods and technology to manufacture missiles and long-range drones, designating the Houthis as a foreign terrorist organization, and enhancing efforts to end international human trafficking on Tuesday, February 6th.

The European Commission has  issued new Guidelines on data gathering and processing on export controls.   This follows the Commission White Paper on export controls, released Thursday 25 January, which highlights the need to fully implement the EU’s dual-use regulation. The Guidelines set out in detail the process for the collection of licensing data by the European Commission and the competent authorities of the Member States. The White Paper suggests several measures, including the reinforcement of uniform controls in the EU, establishing a forum for political coordination on export controls, enhancing the coordination of new National Control Lists, and moving forward the evaluation timeline of the Dual-use Regulation.

The US Export-Import Bank signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday with the Saudi Export-Import Bank to facilitate the financing of US exports to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The MOU will encourage collaboration between the two export credit agencies as well as support exports in a variety of sectors, including climate and energy security, critical minerals projects, infrastructure, transportation and digital technology.

House Select Committee on China Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc) is once again airing his concerns about a company with ties to the Chinese military – this time Emirati artificial intelligence …

The Commerce Department plans to announce a department-wide national security strategy in the coming weekS to address major priorities and move forward on its mission to “protect, promote and preserve our national security,” according to Deputy Secretary Don Graves. Commerce is playing a greater role in protecting national security than ever before, Mr. Graves said. “New landmark legislation has made it possible for us to meet our major national security challenges head-on – from chips and semiconductors to revitalizing America's industrial base and unleashing technology innovation. And we are looking to sustain and expand that role in the days ahead.” He spoke at the launch of the National Foreign Trade Council’s Alliance for National Security and Competitiveness. The Deputy Secretary offered no details about the upcoming strategy. But he told the gathering that new methods for responding to national security are needed. “At the Department of Commerce, we are focused on national security more than ever. We are investing in our tools today to ensure we’re prepared for whatever challenges we may face in our future national security environment.” Export Controls One of the tools at Commerce’s disposal is the implementation of export controls to ensure that the US private sector’s technological innovation is not diverted to destructive ends that harm US national security while also still allowing for technological innovation to take place domestically. Another key priority is the development of defense partnerships. Mr. Graves pointed to the department’s sharp focus on weakening Russia’s war machine through aggressive export control measures and also business development campaigns to support commercial linkages with Ukraine. US supply chain resilience is a national security imperative for Commerce. The department will convene a diverse array of public and private sector leaders at a Supply Chain Data and Analytics Summit later this year, he said.

PECSEA is seeking private-sector members who are preferably senior executives with strategic authority within their companies and with significant operational control around production, supply chains, research and development activities, and/or international sales and should have an understanding of the impact of export controls on these functions and the broader marketplace.

This year, the Trade Winds Europe/Eurasia Trade Mission and Business Forum will be hosted in Istanbul, Türkiye from May 13-15, 2024.   Led by the International Trade Administration (ITA), Trade Winds is a multi-country trade mission and business development forum that provides U.S. businesses with the expertise of commercial diplomats from over 25 European and Eurasian markets, and connects them with potential business partners across the region.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative has released the Fifteenth Biennial Report on the Operation of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA). On a biennial basis, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is required to submit a report to Congress regarding the results of the general review of CBI beneficiary countries and their performance under the CBI eligibility criteria.

The leaders of the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party kicked off the new year by writing to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, asking for a Chinese wireless company to be blacklisted. Shenzhen-based Quectel manufactures "Internet of Things (IoT)" modules which connect equipment to central control and monitoring systems.   Markets include Transportation, Industrial Telematics, and Smart Metering of utilities.

The planned acquisition by Nippon Steel of what used to be America's preeminent steelmaker has stirred up a hornet's nest of jingoism and grandstanding in Washington and the Rust Belt, promising for a contentious review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS). "President Biden welcomes foreign investment that creates new US manufacturing jobs,"  National Economic Council Director Lael Brainard said.  “However, he also believes the purchase of this iconic American-owned company by a foreign entity – even one from a close ally – appears to deserve serious scrutiny in terms of its potential impact on national security and supply chain reliability,” 

The Treasury Department announced it has published public comments received on the draft Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development/G20 Inclusive Framework Multilateral Convention to Implement Amount A of Pillar One and accompanying documents. Pillar One aims to tax corporate profits to countries based on customer location, not the entity's legal domicile.

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