Defense Chiefs of the AUKUS military-industrial alliance met at the Defense Innovation Unit Headquarters at Moffett Field in California to discuss progress for the partnership, especially Pillar II, the broad based defense industrial collaboration. The three nations are also establishing an AUKUS Industry Forum with trilateral government and industry representatives to help inform policy, technical and commercial frameworks to facilitate the development and delivery of advanced capabilities. The initial meeting of that forum will occur in the first half of 2024. In a Joint Statement, the Secretaries and Deputy Prime Minister reaffirmed the three nations' commitment to maximize the strategic and technological advantage of AUKUS . They agreed that advancing AUKUS requires continued commitment to streamlining defense trade controls and information-sharing while minimizing policy and financial barriers across public and private sectors.
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration Thea Kendler held a briefing November 6 to discuss the rules issued October 17th. She explained the new parameters, associated license requirements, the new notified advanced computing license exception, and some of the measures put into place to address possible circumvention of the controls.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of State has released a redacted report detailing its review of end-use monitoring (EUM) for U.S. security assistance in Ukraine. This follows the U.S. commitment of approximately $30 billion in aid since Russia's invasion in February 2022. Findings indicate that Embassy Kyiv conducted limited in-person EUM activities, supplemented by secondary procedures involving Ukrainian government assistance. No misuse of equipment was identified, and commitments from recipients remained unchanged post-invasion. However, challenges like security restrictions and ad-hoc reporting of battlefield losses were noted.
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.
Four individuals were arrested, and an indictment and criminal complaint were unsealed this week regarding two separate conspiracies to unlawfully export controlled, dual-use technologies to Russia. October 31, a criminal complaint was unsealed, and a Brooklyn, New York, resident and two Canadian nationals were arrested in connection with a global procurement scheme in which the defendants used two corporate entities registered in Brooklyn to unlawfully source and purchase dual-use electronics on behalf of end-users in Russia, including companies affiliated with the Russian military. Separately, a Brooklyn resident was arrested, and a four-count indictment was unsealed alleging an illegal exports scheme to procure dual-use electronic components for entities in Russia involved in the development and manufacture of drones for the Russian war effort in Ukraine.
On Tuesday 17 October, the Commerce Department tightened controls over exports of AI-specific semiconductors. This move makes it more challenging for U.S. firms like Nvidia and Intel to market their current products in China or to launch new products as workarounds. Addressing oversights: This step is designed to mend potential oversights in the export regulations declared last year. Those regulations had been met with notable resistance from the international semiconductor sector and increased strains with Beijing.
Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced a "Department-wide Safe Harbor Policy" for voluntary self-disclosures of misconduct by acquirers in the mergers and acquisition process.
The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has published new best practice guidance for industry to help prevent items that are considered the most significant to Russian weaponry requirements from being diverted for use in Russia’s war against Ukraine. The. Septermber 28 guidance recommends that exporters and reexporters of these highest priority items seek written assurances of compliance from their customers to help prevent diversion.
Under the Dodd-Frank Act, a whistleblower who exposes fraud can receive a monetary award and anti-retaliation protections through the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Whistleblower Program - as long as they blow the whistle voluntarily. A definition of “voluntary” may seem simple enough. However, some Dodd-Frank whistleblowers who, acting of their own free will and without legal obligation, report fraud are considered “involuntary” simply because they reported to the media, other government agencies, foreign law enforcement, or a U.S. embassy.
After complaining since at least 2005 that "we really need to do something about ITAR. It is really hurting U.S. industry,” and citing export controls for not hiring eligible non-citizens, South African immigrant Elon Musk's company SpaceX has been sued by the Justice Department for employment discrimination. The United States Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) for discriminating against asylees and refugees in its hiring process. The lawsuit contends that from September 2018 to May 2022, SpaceX deliberately discouraged such individuals from applying for positions within the company, violating the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Chinese printer manufacture Ninestar, parent of Lexmark International, has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other related parties of the U.S. government before the U.S. Court of International Trade. DHS added Ninestar and certain of its subsidiaries to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) Entity List, and the company "is suffering irreparable harm to its business and reputation based on the listing," according to a statement.
The Bureau of Industry & Security published an advisory opinion on the release of licensed technology to employees of the foreign subsidiary while on temporary work assignment at the home office. No additional deemed export license is required for these employees, while any new “technology” or “software” that is either “released” to those employees in the United States or created in the United States that is not authorized by the existing BIS license would require a new export license or other authorization from BIS.
Arizona-based First Solar released findings from a third party audit of their Malaysia facility, highlighting unethical practices involving foreign migrant workers. The report details the actions taken by First Solar to address the issues, emphasizing the company's commitment to transparency and responsible solar energy development.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced a combined award exceeding $104 million to seven whistleblowers, marking the fourth largest sum in the SEC’s whistleblower program's history. Several of the whistleblowers are reported to be foreign nationals, reporting misconduct in "multiple territories".
While Congress takes a Summer recess, Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and his Congressional Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party continue to badger communists and their supporters at every turn, from coastal investment elites to row crop farmers in Iowa. Thursday, Mr. Gallagher, Ranking Member Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), and Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-IA), hosted a roundtable event in Dysart, Iowa to highlight the Chinese Communist Party's agricultural technology theft.
Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) refers to software that is released with a license that grants users the freedom to use, modify, and distribute the software. FOSS provides numerous benefits for developers, including collaborative development, flexibility, and the ability to leverage existing solutions. However, it also requires careful license compliance, intellectual property considerations, security awareness, community evaluation, integration management and as you will come to understand, unique Trade Control challenges.
The Uyghur Region produces between one third and one half of the world’s solar-grade polysilicon, as well as much as 32% of global metallurgical grade silicon (MGS), polysilicon’s pre-cursor material. So if it's a solar panel, the odds are good slavery had a hand making it. Alan Crawford and Laura Murphy of Sheffield Hallam University published a review of the solar panel supply chain and its potential exposure to modern slavery, and the findings were discouraging. “Despite significant global pressure for increased transparency, information regarding solar industry sourcing is becoming less transparent over time, thwarting the world’s ability to source ethically,” the Authors write.
The State Department has published an interim measure to streamline defense trade of U.S. origin items while the administration pursues legislative changes. The AUKUS pact, a defense agreement among Australia, the United States, and Britain, was signed in 2021 and involves $368 billion worth of investments.
OFAC has released the first episode of its “Introduction to OFAC” web series, a series of short videos created to provide viewers with a high-level introduction on the fundamentals of OFAC and sanctions implementation. The first episode introduces viewers to OFAC and its place within the U.S. government, as well as its history, mission, and relationship with the public.
The Board of Directors of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) announced their approval of a 400 million dollar credit guarantee for the trading book of a Swiss commodity trader. Financial Institution Buyer Credit (FIBC) policies backstop credit lines for Geneva – based Trafigura to broker natural gas purchases from the US “primarily to European Buyers,” according to the EXIM announcement.