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In a recent speech, Marshall Miller, principal associate deputy attorney general, emphasized consistency, predictability, and transparency in the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) approach to corporate enforcement, particularly in relation to national security.  "National security laws must rise to the top of your compliance risk chart, with the recognition that even the most innocuous-looking transaction or activity could implicate our collective security."

The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) released updates to its list of controlled “common high priority” items identified as critical to Russia’s war effort following meetings with key members of the Global Export Control Coalition. In coordination with partners, BIS has added seven new Harmonized System (HS) codes to the list, including bearings needed for heavy vehicles or other machinery and antennae used for navigation systems. Additionally, Tier 3 has been divided into mechanical and non- mechanical items to provide greater clarity.

Assistant Secretary for Investment Security Paul Rosen gave attendees of the Second Annual CFIUS Conference an update on enforcement and pending regulatory change. His remarks follow, well worth the read. For those without the time, here's the gist: "“We are on track to have more civil monetary penalties issued this year than we have in our entire history.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chair of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI), issued a subpoena to the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund’s (PIF) wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary, USSA International LLC, for documents related to PIF’s takeover of American golf and other investments throughout the United States. “The Saudi’s Public Investment Fund cannot have it both ways: if it wants to engage with the United States commercially, it must be subject to United States law and oversight,” Blumenthal said. “That oversight includes this Subcommittee’s inquiry.”

The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security Regulations and Procedures Technical Advisory Committee met September 12th, with little news, but steady progress on the rulemaking front.

Huawei's release of a phone called the Mate 60 Pro has the industrial security community atwitter, if we can still use that word.   The device boasts a processor fabricated at seven nanometers, a threshold of precision the allied export controls of chipmaking equipment were meant to thwart.   

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo concluded a four-day visit to China this week, meeting with her counterpart, Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao. The trip aimed to revive economic dialogue between the world's two largest economies, despite persistent tensions over trade issues and national security. According to a statement from the Chinese Commerce Ministry on Thursday, China has urged the U.S. to extend "equal treatment" to Chinese companies investing in the United States. "China demands the U.S. give equal treatment to Chinese enterprises investing in the U.S. in terms of market access, regulatory enforcement, public procurement, and policy support," said Shu Jueting, a commerce ministry spokesperson. China also raised "serious concerns" over the U.S. imposition of Section 301 tariffs, describing them as "discriminatory."

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.

  Based on a BIS review of the existing Section 232 exclusion process for areas of improvement and public comments on the current process for submissions to BIS, BIS is publishing this proposed rule to propose revisions to the Section 232 exclusions process, including to the Section 232 Exclusions Portal. The proposed rule to amend the Section 232 exclusions process comprises four salient modifications designed to refine efficiency, fairness, and transparency.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has accepted an Offer of Settlement from Minnesota's 3M Company, closing its investigation into violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by 3M's …

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.

On August 9 President Biden issued an Executive Order focused on national security threats stemming from U.S. investments in the People's Republic of China (PRC), specifically those related to technologies critical for military and intelligence capabilities. The E.O. aims to protect U.S. national security while maintaining open investment. It sets forth a new program, focusing on prohibiting certain U.S. transactions and requiring notifications to Treasury regarding others, specifically related to the following technology areas: Semiconductors and microelectronics Quantum information technologies Certain artificial intelligence systems

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.

House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08) led a bipartisan delegation of House members to Seoul, South Korea where they participated in bilateral meetings held by South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and other prominent Korean government officials focused on U.S.-Korea economic relations.   The twenty-person delegation visited Korea on the first leg of its trip to four East Asian countries. In Cambodia Pan Sorasak, Minister of Commerce, met on August 2 with the lawmakers.

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.

The Department of the Treasury, as Chair of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), released its Annual Report to Congress for calendar year 2022. The Committee’s workload remained high with a record number of filed transactions based on the expanded jurisdiction provided by the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA), mandatory filings in certain instances, and more sophisticated processes for identifying non-notified transactions.

By an overwhelming vote of 91 to 6 the Senate approved an amendment to the defense reauthorization bill that for the first time would impose notification requirements on US cutting edge technology outbound investments to China and other “countries of concern.” The notification requirement would apply to artificial intelligence, quantum industries, advanced semiconductors and micro-electronics, hypersonics, satellite-based communications and networked laser scanning systems with dual-use applications.

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