Policy Briefs

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) is seeking stakeholder input to integrate climate adaptation and resilience into its programming across priority sectors. The agency's goal is to support …

The Biden administration's trade policies, such as the proposed Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), have drawn criticism from progressive trade advocates for containing measures reminiscent of the neoliberal free-trade era, despite the “worker-centric” verbiage.   A dynamic of “regulatory capture” has been identified, with tech lobbyists influencing trade negotiators to prioritize industry interests.

A group of lawmakers has written to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Ambassador Katherine Tai, expressing concerns over the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system present in the United States' trade and investment agreements with foreign nations. The letter, signed by several senators and members of Congress, highlights the potential exploitation of this dispute settlement regime by large corporations, which they argue undermines democracy and favors corporate interests over those of workers, consumers, and small businesses worldwide.

The G7 Enforcement Coordination Mechanism met on Wednesday to discuss ways to tighten the sanctions and export controls against Russia.  Action items were prepared for consideration by G7 Leadership during next mont's summit in Canada.

The Timber Interdiction Membership Board and Enforcement Resource (TIMBER) Working Group, a new interagency collaboration, was announced at the TIMBER Trafficking Enforcement Roundtable April 19.

World military spending grew for the eighth consecutive year in 2022, reaching a new high of $2240 billion, according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The top three spenders, the United States, China, and Russia, accounted for 56% of the global total.

The Justice Department has secured a settlement agreement with Micron Technology Inc. a manufacturer of semiconductor memory and storage products based in Boise, Idaho. The settlement resolves the department’s determination that Micron violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by discriminating against a U.S. citizen when it failed to hire him for a position and instead hired a temporary visa worker.

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has released the 2023 Special 301 Report on the adequacy and effectiveness of U.S. trading partners’ intellectual property (IP) rights protection …

Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement Matt Axelrod issued an update to prior guidance on voluntary self-disclosure of possible violations of Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and disclosures about possible EAR violations by others.    The most significant change is that while self-disclosure continues to be considered a mitigating factor, the policy now clarifies that deliberate non-disclosure of significant violations will be considered an aggravating factor, increasing potential penalties.

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected Turkey's state-owned Halkbank's claim that it is protected under the 1976 Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), which limits the jurisdiction of American courts over lawsuits against foreign countries. The court ruled that the FSIA does not provide foreign states and their instrumentalities with immunity from criminal proceedings, according to conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Four US citizens and three Russian nationals have been charged with conspiracy to use US citizens as illegal agents of the Russian government, including a conspiracy to recruit US citizens from academic and research institutions to participate in a public diplomacy program.

A bipartisan group of senators have reintroduced the National Manufacturing Advisory Council for the 21st Century Act to establish a National Manufacturing Advisory Council within the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The United States and European Union need to produce more results on trade through the bilateral Trade and Technology Council, European Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said Wednesday.

The lead sponsors of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA),  have written a letter to the Department of Homeland Security Under Secretary, Robert P. Silvers, expressing concerns about the transparency and effectiveness of the law's enforcement.

China is moving ahead with plans to develop a $500 million undersea fiber-optic internet cable network, linking Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, according reporting from Reuters. This ambitious effort, spearheaded by state-owned Chinese telecom firms, is seen as a direct rival to a similar U.S.-backed project and threatens to deepen the ongoing tech war between Washington and Beijing.

The tenth EU-US Energy Council met in Brussels, attended by key representatives from the European Union and the United States. The Council serves as the primary forum for transatlantic coordination on strategic energy issues, aiming to enhance energy security, promote energy efficiency, develop technologies for net-zero emissions, and support research, innovation, and business cooperation.

The Treasury has  published the 2023 DeFi Illicit Finance Risk Assessment, the first illicit finance risk assessment conducted on decentralized finance (DeFi) in the world.

U.S. agro-businesses, participating in a trade tour in Cuba, expressed frustration over the slow progress in boosting commerce with Cuban farmers and called on the Biden administration to ease restrictions, allowing them to invest in the island's private agriculture sector.

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) published its first set of guidance materials to aid the public, and in particular the small business community, in understanding upcoming beneficial ownership information (BOI) reporting requirements taking effect on January 1, 2024.

Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service released a notice of proposed rulemaking for the Advanced Manufacturing Investment Credit (CHIPS ITC) established by the CHIPS Act of 2022.

“By providing detailed eligibility guidance for this tax credit, we’re equipping taxpayers with the clarity and certainty they need to make investments that will increase semiconductor manufacturing and strengthen America’s semiconductor supply chain,” said Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. 

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