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Curt Dombek is a partner in the Governmental Practice. Curt divides his time between the firm's Brussels and Los Angeles offices.

In an era where technological prowess and economic security are more entangled than ever, the United States has refined its approach towards restricting outbound investments. As we have been blogging since 2022, the past two years have seen efforts to restrict outbound investments for national security reasons. Those efforts come both from Congress through legislation and the White House through Executive Order.Continue Reading Proposed Outbound Investment Regulations: Understanding the New Restrictions on U.S. Outbound Investments in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Semiconductors, and Quantum Computing

The White House at 5 am this morning in DC released its decision on the new section 301 tariffs. There is a 100% tariff on Chinese EVs effective this year (which is in addition to the usual 2.5% import duty on cars). 

The tariff rate on Chinese lithium-ion EV batteries will increase from 7.5% to 25% in 2024, while the tariff rate on lithium-ion non-EV batteries will increase from 7.5% to 25% in 2026. The tariff rate on Chinese battery parts will increase from 7.5% to 25% in 2024.Continue Reading The Sky’s the Limit – Yet More Section 301 Tariffs on China

Key Takeaways

Continue Reading China Semiconductor Export Regulations, Episode III – What a Difference a Year Makes

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) may have been replaced effective July 1, 2020 by the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), but the rules of NAFTA remain alive and well in the halls of the enforcement agencies on both sides of the border.Continue Reading Gone but Not Forgotten: The Continuing Importance of NAFTA Compliance

On March 31, 2023, the U.S. Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released proposed guidance clarifying how manufacturers may meet the critical minerals and battery sourcing requirements for the clean vehicle tax credit under the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (“IRA”). The IRA substantially modified the tax credit incentive structure of the Internal Revenue Code as it relates to electric vehicles (“EV”). As the demand for lithium and critical minerals is higher than ever, taxpayers and EV manufacturers alike have been eagerly anticipating this guidance.Continue Reading Tax Credits for Electric Vehicle Batteries Under the Inflation Reduction Act: Free Trade Agreement Edition

It looks like the licensing restrictions on Huawei are trickling into effect.

Our sources indicate that, as early as February 27, all license applications for exports or transfers involving Huawei which were pending with the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) have been placed on Hold Without Action. Further, we understand from various industry sources that BIS has begun informing certain U.S. companies that they will not receive further licenses to export chips for end use by Huawei.Continue Reading Breaking the Link – New Developments on U.S. Licenses for Exports to Huawei

In response to Russia’s ongoing aggression in Ukraine, both the United States and the European Union have imposed additional sanctions and further restricted exports to Russia and Iran. These new controls span many industries.Continue Reading Friday Development: New Sanctions and Export Controls to Address Russia’s Ongoing Aggression in Ukraine (Including the use of Iranian UAVs)

The North American and global automotive sector is watching closely to see how the United States ultimately responds to the decision of December 14, 2022, made public on January 10, 2023, which upheld Canada’s and Mexico’s position on an important issue for calculation of a vehicle’s regional value content (RVC) under the USMCA. In dispute was whether a Core Part or Super Core Part that qualifies as originating under Articles 3.7 to 3.9 of the USMCA Auto Appendix can then have 100% of its value count as originating content when calculating the RVC of the fully assembled vehicle. The United States had argued that there was a separate “origination requirement” for Core Parts and Super Core Parts which, once satisfied, had no input into the vehicle RVC calculation. Instead, the United States argued, the vehicle RVC calculation would need to proceed from scratch, without the “roll-up” represented by the 100% value of originating Core Parts and Super Core Parts entering the vehicle RVC calculation. One consequence of the U.S. approach would have been on producers’ use of Chapter 4, Article 4.8, which limits them to just one layer of intermediate material roll-up on self-produced intermediate materials.Continue Reading A Closer Look at the Recent USMCA Automobile Disputes Panel Decision

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