Republican leaders from the House and Senate wrote Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo urging her to repudiate negotiations with the PRC on Export Controls before her visit to the country later this month. Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) Chair of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party,  Rep Michael McCaul (R-TX) Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Ranking Member of the Senate Banking Subcommittee on National Security and International Trade and Finance, and Rep Young Kim (R-CA) Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Indo-Pacific wrote a letter to Ms. Raimondo after press reports indicated she is considering joining the Chinese government in a "working group" on the topic after her trip to China later this month. 

While staffers from the other China Committee recover from their CoDel to New Guniea, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission will hold a hearing Monday, August 21, on "China's Current Economy: Implications for Investors and Supply Chains" starting at 9:30 a.m. ET. Agenda indicates the first two hours will address China's Economy, with the trade discussion beginning at 11:20 AM.  Livestream on the commission's web page.

Despite its emphasis on control of emerging technologies and climate resilience, the Administration's National Intelligence Strategy makes no mention of the role of the Commerce Department in its formulation or execution. Director of National Intelligence Avril D. Haines last week released the 2023 National Intelligence Strategy (NIS), which provides strategic direction for the Intelligence Community (IC) over the next four years, calling for redoubled efforts in economic statecraft, industrial actions and climate analysis. “The NIS is a foundational document for the IC and reflects the input of leaders from each of the 18 intelligence elements, as it directs the operations, investments, and priorities of the collective,” said Ms. Haines.    No Commerce Department elements are included in the definition of “Intelligence Community,” according to the report.

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.

Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is taking further action related to the Government of Russia’s poisoning of Russian opposition politician Aleksey Navalny three years ago on August 20, 2020.  The State Department is also announcing related sanctions. Today, OFAC sanctioned four Russian nationals, all of whom were involved in the poisoning of Navalny. They were designated pursuant to the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012 for having acted as agents of or on behalf of a person in a matter relating to extrajudicial killings, torture, or other gross violations of internationally recognized human rights committed against individuals seeking to expose illegal activity carried out by officials of the Government of the Russian Federation.  

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (“EXIM”) has received an application for final commitment for a long-term loan or financial guarantee in excess of $100 million, for the …

Consistent with U.S. commitments as a participating country in the Nuclear Suppliers Group, this rule revises five existing Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCNs) under the Commerce Control List (CCL). These changes protect U.S. nuclear nonproliferation interests, while aligning the EAR with the control text agreed to by participating governments (PGs).

The Treasury Department targeted a major Russian business association for sanctions, along with prominent members of Russia’s financial elite, as well as a Russian business association. The Russian Association of Employers the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs is a Russia-based organization involved in the technology sector of the Russian Federation economy.

New Agriculture Department Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small will lead the first-ever US agribusiness trade mission to Luanda, Angola from November 28 through December 1. “Angola is one of the largest markets in Africa, and with imports making up more than half of its food market, Angola is a perfect location for US exporters to introduce more American-made products to African consumers.”

Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today announced a $660,594 settlement with Construction Specialties Inc, a Lebanon, New Jersey manufacturer and distributor of specialty architectural products.  CS has agreed to settle its potential civil liability for three apparent violations of OFAC sanctions on Iran that arose from its United Arab Emirates subsidiary’s, Construction Specialties, Middle East L.L.C. (“CSME”), exportation of U.S. origin goods to Iran.  

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.

Wednesday August 16, the State Department announced sanctions on a number of Russian and Russian-related individuals and entities, including: 75 individuals and 44 entities as well as identified 22 vessels as blocked property, the Deputy Minister of Justice and two others, and 24 Individuals and companies linked to Tobacco Magnate Igor Kaseyev.

For Review and Approval; Comment Request; Simple Network Application Process and Form Number(s): BIS-748P, BIS-748P-A, BIS-748P-B. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register on June 12, 2023, during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments

On August 16, 2023 the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published orders denying export privileges to the following four individuals:

Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is amending the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) by adding additional nuclear nonproliferation controls on China and Macau, effective August 11, 2023. This change specifically applies to items controlled for Nuclear Nonproliferation (NP) column 2 reasons for control. These controls enhance U.S. Government efforts to monitor the export of these items and to ensure they are only being used in peaceful activities such as commercial nuclear power generation, medical developments, production of or use in medicine, and non-military industries.

he Departments of Commerce, State and Labor have issued a Business Advisory highlighting the growing reputational and financial risks to American businesses and individuals conducting business with companies that have significant ties to South Sudan’s extended transitional government or are controlled by family members of government officials.

The government’s Trade Advisory Committees are unfairly skewed toward big business, giving short shrift to labor and environmental concerns, according to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash). “Allowing corporate interests to continue to dominate the trade advisory committee system clearly harms workers, consumers, and small businesses, the lawmakers wrote in a letter to US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.

A bad penny always turns up.  Odebrecht S.A, the perennial source of corruption settlements under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) delivered again, snaring a banking subsidiary of Grupo Aval, the holding company of the second richest man in Colombia. Corporación Financiera Colombiana S.A. (Corficolombiana), a Colombian financial services institution, has agreed to pay over $80 million to resolve parallel bribery investigations by criminal, civil, and administrative authorities in the United States and Colombia stemming from the company’s involvement in a scheme to pay millions of dollars in bribes to high-ranking government officials in Colombia. 

All transactions with two sanctioned Burmese banks must have been wound down by August 5, according to the State Department. In June, the United States designated two of Burma’s military regime-controlled banks, Myanma Foreign Trade Bank and Myanma Investment and Commercial Bank.

Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-WI) of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party continued his quest with a letter calling for the Federal Communications Commisssion to answer questions about the role of the Chinese in the market for "Cellular IoT Modules," the radio devices which connect industrial equipment and home appliances to each other and central stations through the internet. Later in the week, Mr. Gallagher led a fact-finding mission to Australia to deliver a speech on "United States and Australia's rich history united by freedom, security imperatives, economic interests, and common values," according to a statement.

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