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Curt Dombek is a partner in the Government Contracts, Investigations and International Trade Practice Group. Curt divides his time between the firm's Brussels and Los Angeles offices.

In recent weeks we saw Canada, Mexico and the United States present their respective positions and legal arguments, often in sharply worded exchanges, about how the Auto Core Parts rules of origin under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) should be interpreted. It is a high-stakes issue because assembly operations for vehicles and their “Core Parts” (engine, transmission, etc.) inevitably involve lengthy bills of materials with components from many countries, and what is being disputed is whether Core Parts once found to meet the USMCA requirements to be “originating” can then have their value counted as originating value (i.e., “rolled up”) in the calculation of the regional value content (RVC) of the vehicle as a whole. 

Continue Reading Does the USMCA Mean What It Says? The Disputes Panel Hearing on the Auto Core Parts Rules of Origin

The U.S. photovoltaic (PV) industry, solar module suppliers, manufacturers, and renewable energy developers are facing new regulatory challenges with the implementation of new legislation which has a significant impact on such imports. Among the most significant is the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, Pub. L. No. 117-78, 135 Stat. 1525 (2021) (“UFLPA”), whose provisions became fully effective on June 21, 2022.

Continue Reading Is the U.S. solar industry ready to prove its panels aren’t made with Uyghur forced labor?

In recent years, a wide array of trade actions pursued by the United States, foreign and domestic policies of the United States and China, reputational risks, and supply chain breakdowns are driving a trend of more and more manufacturing moving from Asia to Mexico. The Biden Administration has made no secret of its desire to encourage U.S. manufacturers and their component suppliers to move production from China to Mexico.[i]

Continue Reading The Trend of Production Moving from China to Mexico – Regulatory and Practical Considerations: Zai Jian Zhongguo, Bienvenidos a México

Internet platform providers rely upon developers of applications to populate their application stores.  Some platform providers mandate app developers to use the platform’s in-app purchasing system as a condition to sell the apps on the platform.  There have also been commission charges as high as 30% imposed on digital goods or services sold through their stores.  The temptation to use their enormous leverage to gain further economic advantage is understandable, but governments, not to mention app developers, have taken an increasingly dim view of this behavior.  A number of countries are considering legislation to prohibit such mandates by Internet platform providers.  A leading example is the Republic of Korea, where its legislature has just voted to enact such a prohibition.

Continue Reading Legislatures Can Free App Developers from Platform Providers’ Mandates to Use Their In-App Purchasing Systems Without Violating WTO Principles

In August 2020, we wrote a blog post about the adoption by the European Commission (“Commission”) of a White Paper on Foreign Subsidies. On 5 May 2021, the Commission adopted a proposal for a Regulation on foreign subsidies distorting the internal market after an extensive consultation process with stakeholders. This post updates our previous entry and considers the implications of the newly proposed regulation.
Continue Reading The European Commission Adopts a Proposal for a Regulation on Foreign Subsidies Distorting the Internal Market

On May 10, 2021, the EU adopted its new, revised version of Regulation (EC) No 428/2009 (the “Regulation”).  It is widely acknowledged to be the first major reform to the structure of the EU’s export control regime since 2009.

The text of the Regulation was approved by the European Parliament on March 26, 2021. In November 2020, the Council and European Parliament representatives reached a provisional political agreement on the Regulation. The reform of EU export controls had initially been proposed by the European Commission in September 2016.
Continue Reading A New Era of Export Controls Begins in the EU: The Revised EU Dual-Use Export Controls to Promote Human Rights

On Tuesday, May 19, the U.S. Commerce Department published a regulation (effective May 15, 2020) that prohibits sale to Huawei of a microchip made to a Huawei specification, made outside the United States with non-U.S. materials, sent from a foreign country, by a foreign person.

To quote the philosopher, hol’ up.

How is that even possible?
Continue Reading Huawei Whack-A-Mole: The U.S. Takes Another Swing at the Chinese Semiconductor Industry

Taking a break from reporting on COVID-19 legal developments, we turn for a moment to what is happening now on export control of autonomous vehicle technology.

The autonomous vehicle R&D sector is booming, largely in the last three years. Companies are investing in sensor technology and machine learning, and creating pilot programs to test self-driving cars both for individuals and ride-sharing purposes.

Continue Reading The Emerging Landscape for Export Controls on Autonomous Vehicle Technology

*This is an updated version of the December 10th blog post.

Key Takeaways:

  • Emerging technology sectors are being reviewed now for new export controls that could take effect in 2019 (list below).
  • You may submit comments on the criteria the U.S. government will use to determine what technologies are subject to export controls.
  • The deadline for comments has been extended to January 10, 2019.
  • We can help.


Continue Reading Comment Deadline Extended: Export Controls on Emerging Technologies