Policy Briefs

FinCEN has determined entities which will be permitted access to the new centralized register of beneficial ownership being established under the Corporate Transparency Act.    FinCEN will permit certain Federal, State, local, and Tribal officials, as well as foreign officials acting through a Federal agency, to obtain BOI, as well as financial institutions with customer due diligence requirements under applicable law to have access to BOI from the new centralized database.

Five Federal trade enforcement agencies issued a " Know Your Cargo" announcement to industry Monday, describing best practices for shippers to comply with the current enforcement regime. The Department of Justice, Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations, State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), and Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued the joint compliance note, advising entities in maritime and transportation industries to implement compliance measures against illicit practices, particularly in high-risk areas and cargo types.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and Mexico’s Secretary of Finance and Public Credit Rogelio Ramírez de la O signed a Memorandum of Intent Thursday to affirm the importance of foreign investment screening in protecting national security and express their desire to establish a bilateral working group for regular exchanges of information about how investment screening can best protect national security.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee announced the Subcommittee on Oversight and Accountability will convene a hearing entitled, “Reviewing the Bureau of Industry and Security, Part II: U.S. Export Controls in an Era of Strategic Competition” on Tuesday, December 12th.

The Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, seeks nominations for immediate consideration to fill positions on the Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness (“The Committee”).

Co-Chairs of the Digital Trade Caucus, led a bipartisan letter with 38 members of Congress urging U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to reconsider her agency’s decision to abandon important bipartisan digital trade proposals at the World Trade Organization. Suzan DelBene (D-WA) and Darin LaHood (R-IL) contend the decision to walk away from key digital trade proposals runs counter to the interests of American workers and businesses, while ceding more leverage to foreign powers, like the People's Republic of China (PRC), to write the rules that will govern the global digital economy for years to come.

 In a concerted effort to combat the import of clothing and textiles made with forced labor, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators have urged U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to intensify oversight and enforcement measures. The Senators addressed their concerns to Acting CBP Commissioner Troy Miller, highlighting the necessity of enforcing the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) and the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

The Department of State last week officially announced the Bureau of Arms Control, Deterrence, and Stability (ADS), the new name of the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance. This …

Congress should consider creating a single export licensing system to strengthen export controls on China, the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission said in its annual report to Congress released last week. In its report, the commission urged Congress to consider a number of steps to make it more difficult for China to evade US controls. First, the report recommends that Congress hold hearings to evaluate the potential for establishing a single export licensing system.

Assistant Secretary Matthew Axelrod of the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security and Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security …

The House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, sent a letter to the United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Katherine Tai, …

The Justice Department prepared an Opinion Procedure Release for an unnamed U.S. company permitting payments to foreign officials despite potential conflict with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act's anti-bribery provisions.

President Biden has continued for one year the investment restrictions placed on Chinese securities associated with the PRC's Civil-Military Fusion (CMF) industrial policy. The restrictions include tradeing is securities of Chinese firms in the defense sector, as well as entities deemed controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.

Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) are issuing a new SAR key term to support financial institutions in reporting potential efforts to evade U.S. export controls beyond the Russia-related circumstances that were the focus of prior alerts.

Artificial intelligence, or AI, has been heralded as a way to disrupt the workforce–to the chagrin of many human workers. Tesla CEO Elon Musk was hopeful about the future of AI in a meeting this week with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers has introduced legislation calling on the Biden administration to impose sanctions on 49 top Hong Kong justice officials and judges for whittling away basic rights.  The Hong Kong Sanctions Act requires the president to determine whether certain Hong Kong officials violated human rights and sanctions should be imposed in accordance with the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019, or the Hong Kong Autonomy Act.  

Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore) praised the Commerce Department for putting in place new policies to prevent the promotion of US surveillance technology to foreign governments in response to his request earlier this year. “For the first time the Department is making clear that the United States will not help companies find foreign markets for products or services that undermine democracy or enable repressive surveillance and discrimination," said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) applauding the change.

Congressional China hawks sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo Thursday, calling for the Department  to regulate the open-source collaboration model employed in modern advanced semiconductor design.   Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), along with Sen. Marco Rubio and fourteen other lawmakers call for the Commerce Department to “build a robust ecosystem for open-source collaboration among the U.S. and our allies while ensuring the PRC is unable to benefit from that work.”

Representative Chris Smtih (R-NJ) and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) of the bicameral Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) sent letters Oct. 31 inquiring about Costco and ADI's selling of banned products with ties to China.

Congressional-Executive Commission on China Chair Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and co-chair Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore) are calling on the Administration to impose export controls on technology used by China to collect biometric data in Tibet. The request follows a prior letter by CECC Commissioners to the CEO of Thermo Fisher Scientific that expressed concerns that Thermo Fisher products were used for mass biometric data collection and surveillance that “could enable further gross violations” of the human rights of Tibetans.

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