We must distinguish between the unlikely and the impossible.

– P.G. Wodehouse

President Trump’s successive executive orders restricting immigration caught many people off guard, and many businesses had to scramble to react. But we propose that predicting the future is not as challenging under the new Administration as it may sometimes seem. For example, if you wished to know whether there would be an immigration ban (whether you favor or oppose immigration restrictions), you could do worse than to take the President at his word about what he is going to do: Candidate Trump promised immigration restrictions targeting, variously, Muslim people, Muslim majority countries, and countries listed as state sponsors of terrorism. Which countries would Mr. Trump target? Several of those listed could have been predicted in advance based on campaign promises. More broadly, a suspension of immigration from Syria and Libya was an explicit campaign promise, so certainly that much was predictable.


Continue Reading Predicting the Unpredictable: Practical Steps for International Business Under the Trump Administration

Sheppard Mullin’s EU team has created a list of major legal shifts that await General Counsel and Compliance Officers in the areas of competition, EU regulatory and trade in 2017. These challenges may have an impact on your corporate and commercial strategies.

Our predictions include:


Continue Reading Top 12 EU Legal Developments to Watch in 2017

The ongoing presidential election in the United States has underscored a move against free trade by both of the main political parties.  This article briefly summarizes some of the proven benefits of free trade and juxtaposes these with the stated positions of the Democratic and Republican parties in the pending presidential election.  The article also examines, and disposes of, several of the key criticisms of the legal framework underpinning further trade integration.  The article ends hopefully—historically, U.S. Presidents have abandoned anti-trade campaign rhetoric once in the Oval Office.
Continue Reading A Surge In Populism: Dangers To Transnational Trade In The Americas And Reasons For Hope

The U.S. Treasury Department has signaled the latest focus of its enforcement: real estate ventures with ties to money laundering schemes. Individual real estate investors and companies involved in luxury real estate, real estate development or investment, property management, and escrow or mortgage services around the globe should heed Treasury’s warnings.
Continue Reading Are You Within Reach of Anti-Money Laundering Enforcement? The Tentacles of Money Laundering Schemes Affect Real Estate Investors Worldwide

In a news conference today President Obama addressed rules and proposed regulations announced Thursday intended to help the U.S. fight tax evasion and other crimes connected to anonymous offshore companies and accounts.  The announcements come after a month of intense review by the administration following the first release of the so-called Panama Papers, millions of documents stolen or leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack, Fonseca.  The papers have revealed a who’s who of international politicians, business leaders, sports figures and celebrities involved with financial transactions accomplished through anonymous shell corporations.
Continue Reading In Wake of Panama Papers Scandal Obama Calls for Stricter Bank Regulations, Tax Rules

On June 5, new EU’s anti-money laundering (AML) rules, namely the Fourth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (“4AMLD”) and a new Regulation on the information accompanying transfer of funds were published in the Official Journal of the European Union.  Together, this legislation represents the revised EU framework on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing. Member States have until June 26, 2017 to transpose the requirements of the 4AMLD into national law. 
Continue Reading New EU Rules on Disclosure of Ultimate Beneficial Owners

Overview

The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has reinstated the mandatory reporting requirements of the BE–13, Survey of New Foreign Direct Investment in the United States, which was discontinued in 2009 due to budget restrictions.  It is expected to result in the filings of reports from approximately 1,350 U.S. affiliates of foreign companies each year.  The survey collects information on the acquisition or establishment of U.S. business enterprises by foreign investors, which was collected on the previous BE–13 survey, and information on expansions by existing U.S. affiliates of foreign companies, which was not previously collected.  The statistical data will be used to measure the amount of new foreign direct investment in the United States, assess the impact on the U.S. economy and any potential implications for national security, and based on this assessment, inform future policy decisions.


Continue Reading Mandatory Reporting of Foreign Direct Investments in the U.S.

The European Union (EU) put into effect on Friday (September 12, 2014) a new round of economic sanctions against Russia over its role in Ukraine.  The new measures include further restrictions on (i) dual-use goods and technology to specified entities; (ii) the provision of services in relation to projects regarding deep water oil exploration and production, arctic oil exploration and production, or shale oil projects in Russia; (iii) services related to goods and technology listed in the EU’s Common Military List (CML); and, (iv) access to capital markets.  They also introduce a new prohibition on certain types of loans and credit to specific Russian entities.  Finally, 24 individuals (but not entities) have been added to the EU’s list of those subject to a travel ban and an asset freeze. A brief summary of the main changes implemented by Council Regulation No. 960/2014 (amending Council Regulation 833/2014) follows below.
Continue Reading EU Strengthens Economic Sanctions Against Russia

In the aftermath of disclosures of the extent of U.S. government monitoring of private communications, the European Commission is currently considering changes in the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor framework. The EU and its member states already have some of the strictest data privacy laws in the world. Under current EU law transfer of personal data the United States is generally prohibited because the United States fails to meet the EU “adequacy” standard for privacy protection. Current law provides a “Safe Harbor” in cases where the U.S. recipient of data can certify to the U.S. Department of Commerce that it meets the privacy requirements set up under the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework. Such certification now allows the transfer of personal data.But in light of newly-disclosed privacy threats such as the surveillance program of the U.S. National Security Agency, (NSA),the European Commission has proposed several changes to the US-EU Safe Harbor program, including the following:
Continue Reading Data Privacy Alert: Prepare for Changes to the US-EU Safe Harbor