On July 17, 2017, the U.S. State Department certified that Iran continues to meet the conditions of the Iran nuclear agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA. As a result, for the next 90 days, the United States will maintain significant reductions in its sanctions against Iran as provided in the JCPOA. Among other things, those provisions allow non-U.S. companies to do business in Iran. The State Department’s action signals that for now, State believes that the JCPOA is the right U.S. policy toward Iran. Continue Reading
On July 27, 2017, the U.S. Congress sent to President Trump’s desk a bill that imposes new financial sanctions against Russia, Iran, and North Korea. It appears nearly certain that the president will sign that bill, now called the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” (CAATSA). Edit: President Trump signed the bill on August 2, 2017. Continue Reading
How The EU Data Privacy Regulation Will Affect American Companies’ Data Collection and Processing Practices – and Their Revenue
For American companies who do business in Europe or who process the personal data of EU residents, the world of data privacy and security is about to get much more complicated. While U.S. privacy law is unsettled, with rapidly proliferating state and federal laws and regulations and uncertainty as to how strictly they will be enforced, the rules in the European Union are tough and about to get much tougher. The General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (GDPR), slated to take effect in May 2018, will give consumers in the EU substantially more control over how their personal data is used. The increased control includes the right to:
- access any personal data that has been collected,
- obtain confirmation about whether an individual’s data is being processed, and
- require that the data be “erased” if the consumer withdraws consent.
On June 19, Commerce Secretary Ross mentioned at a Wall Street Journal CFO dinner that the Administration is now considering launching an investigation of semiconductor imports under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. Ross said the specific concern is the threat of China to surpass U.S. semiconductor production. Continue Reading
In our last post, we made a few cocky predictions about the new Trump Administration’s Cuba policy. We correctly asserted that the President would try to chart a narrow course between the Scylla of conservative Cuban-American expectations for an outright return to the embargo and the Charybdis of U.S. interests (business, strategic, and cultural) in improving Cuban relations. But how did our more substantive predictions fare? Okay, it’s a little hard to tell from the President’s actual speech, which was not full of policy detail. Fortunately, there is the Department of Treasury, whose overworked, understaffed Office of Foreign Assets Control provided a helpful FAQ page, and the White House staff, who produced a fact sheet on the new policy. In any event, nothing is final until OFAC issues regulations to implement the new policy. Continue Reading
Ok, ok, don’t panic. Maybe not all of the millions of dedicated readers of this blog are in violation.
Nevertheless, as of June 1, if your company does business in France, it may be time to check your anticorruption compliance obligations. Continue Reading
According to reports published this week, the Trump Administration is preparing to release the results of its policy review on Cuba in the “coming weeks.” We don’t have a crystal ball (or a leaking insider). But we continue to believe that when you eliminate the impossible, what you have left (however improbable) may be the truth. That adage, from Conan Doyle, has guided our predictions of many Trump administration policies. Continue Reading
On April 3, 2017, the UK Treasury’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) announced new penalties for economic sanctions violations of £1 Million or 50% of the value of the transaction, whichever is higher. As a result, this new detective has a powerful new enforcement tool, and it may be taking notes from the aggressive U.S. sanctions enforcers. Continue Reading
Late last week, Congressional intelligence committees reportedly received some information from the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) related to investigations into Russia’s attack on the 2016 U.S. Presidential election and the allegation of collusion with members of the Trump campaign. This followed earlier reports of the Senate Intelligence Committee requesting data from FinCEN, including “information about shell companies, money laundering and the use of property transfers.” Also in the past week, Robert Mueller, Special Counsel, was appointed by the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct an independent investigation regarding Russia’s cyberattack. Taken together, that makes three sets of investigators who may be reviewing and analyzing documents from FinCEN in order to better understand financial connections among the President’s campaign, his business organizations, and Russia. Continue Reading
Who would have thought that a little-known, 1930s-era law would suddenly become a household name? Not me. Not even as an attorney who counsels clients on compliance with the law and maintains a healthy (read: nerdy) interest in it.