The leaders of the House Select Committee on China are warning that a Chinese military company, BGI, is attempting to set up a new firm, Innomics, in Massachusetts and Kentucky, to avoid US regulatory scrutiny. In a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Committee Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc) and ranking Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi (Ill) urged the Pentagon to label Chinese companies that aid the Chinese Communist Party in military biotech research as “Chinese Military Companies.”

The EU, the US, and other Minerals Security Partnership (MSP) partners, joined by Kazakhstan, Namibia, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan, announced the launch of the Minerals Security Partnership Forum – or “MSP Forum”. The forum will serve as a new platform for cooperation in the area of critical raw materials (CRMs) vital for the global green and digital transitions.

The EU and the United States held the sixth meeting of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC) in Leuven, Belgium.  Building on prior gatherings, the ministerial continued to polish areas of common interest, while softpedaling longstanding areas of disagreement. Responding to a question about the effectiveness of the TTC, Ms. Raimondo pushed back: “Look at where the US and the EU were three years ago with respect to our collaboration on issues of technology and trade. It's it's nearly night and day."

Commerce's BIS extended the Temporary Denial Order for Russian air cargo operator Aviastar-TU initially imposed in April 2022. Aviastar has continued to engage in conduct prohibited by the TDO and Regulations, including, but not limited to, on flights into and out of Russia from/to Hangzhou, China as well as domestically within Russia. 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is launching an enhanced strategy to combat illicit trade and support the American textile industry, with collaborative efforts between U.S. Customs and …

Wednesday, the United States has asked Mexico to review whether workers at Minera Tizapa S.A. de C.V., a zinc mine  Zacazonapan, Mexico, are being denied the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining.  The US has suspended liquidation of tariffs on goods from the facility, a venture of of Industrias Peñoles and Japan's Sumitomo Corp. and Dowa Metals & Mining. Zinc concentrates produced at Tizapa are sent to Japan for processing. Earlier in the week the US asked Mexico to review whether workers at the Servicios Industriales González, S.A. de C.V. facility, a major metal fabricatorand supplier for Caterpillar, John Deere and Komatsu are being denied the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining.  The United States has suspended liquidation on unliquidated entries of goods from the facility.  

United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai today released the 2024 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (NTE Report), which provides a comprehensive review of significant foreign barriers to U.S. exports of goods and services, U.S. foreign direct investment, and U.S. electronic commerce in key export markets for the United States. Some controversy arose as the list of offending countries has been pared. “The NTE Report has received unprecedented attention this year because we are taking steps to return it to its stated statutory purpose," said Ambassador Tai in explaining the changes.

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) has opened the application period for the following 2024-2025 committees and councils:  Advisory Committee, Sub-Saharan Africa Advisory …

Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security has published an updated version of “Don’t Let This Happen to You ,"  a compendium of case examples highlighting their criminal and administrative enforcement efforts.

On March 26, the United States hosted the inaugural meeting of the U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) bilateral Enhanced Disruption Task Force (EDTF), which is being established to counter illicit efforts by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to circumvent sanctions concerning the procurement of refined petroleum.   Through EDTF, the United States and ROK are pursuing a wide range of joint actions to disrupt DPRK refined oil procurement networks, including by exposing DPRK sanctions evasion activities, reviewing options for autonomous sanctions designations, and engaging private sector and third-party actors throughout the region who facilitate – either knowingly or unwittingly – the DPRK’s oil procurement networks.

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is issuing a request for information (RFI) related to existing requirements for banks under the Customer Identification Program (CIP) Rule to collect a taxpayer identification number (TIN) from a customer prior to opening an account.  

Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is sanctioning six entities, one individual and two tankers that are based or registered in Liberia, India, Vietnam, Lebanon, and Kuwait that have engaged in facilitating commodity shipments and financial transactions for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), the Houthis, and Hizballah.

Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned 11 individuals and entities supporting the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad through the facilitation of illicit financial transfers and trafficking of illegal drugs, as well as the extraction and export of Syrian commodities.  

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF)—the global standard-setting body for anti-money laundering, countering the financing of terrorism, and countering proliferation financing (AML/CFT/CPF)—announced that the United States has been upgraded to “largely compliant” with FATF Recommendation 24, which relates to beneficial ownership transparency for legal persons.

Speaker Mike Johnson  named Michigan representative John Molnar to take over the Chairmanship of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party being vacated by Rep. Mike Gallagher(R-WI). The Midland Michigan lawmaker can be expected to continue Mr. Gallagher's efforts to cultivate bipartisan consensus on commercial relations with our greatest adversary.

A California man was sentanced for attempting to ship firearms and night-vision equipment to the Sultanate of Oman.  He attempted to conceal the firearms by disassembling them, wrapping them in aluminum foil, and then secreting them within automobiles inside the shipping container.

United States’ second National Action Plan (NAP) on Responsible Business Conduct was released Monday. "reflecting a commitment to strengthen and improve respect for human rights and labor rights, expand use of green energy, counter corruption, protect human rights defenders, advance gender equity and equality, and promote rights-respecting use of technology," according to a statement. One element of the plan calls for suspension or debarment of federal contractors repeatedly cited by CBP for violations.

The United States will publish a list of advanced Chinese chipmaking factories barred from receiving key tools, Reuters reported Thursday, citing three separate sources. The list could be released in the next couple of months, according to the report..

The U.S. Department of State will partner with the Government of Mexico to explore opportunities to grow and diversify the global semiconductor ecosystem under the International Technology Security and Innovation (ITSI) Fund, created by the CHIPS Act of 2022.   The initial phase includes a comprehensive assessment of Mexico’s existing semiconductor ecosystem and regulatory framework, as well as workforce and infrastructure needs.  Key stakeholders in the Mexican ecosystem, such as state governments, educational institutions, research centers and companies will participate in this analysis in conjunction with Mexico’s Secretariat of Economy.  

BIS has published corrections and amendments to the October 25 2023 Semicinductor and Advanced Computing Rules. This rule corrects inadvertent errors in those rules and makes additional clarifications for the two rules. China has expressed strong opposition to the latest U.S. revised rules on semiconductor export rules, saying that it will disrupt the global semiconductor market as well as cooperation between enterprises.

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