Export controls are the manifestation of foreign, economic, and national security policy, and the implementation of policy requires dynamic adjustment, a back-and-forth, a balance. So, on December 7, 2023[1], amid the tightening of new semiconductor regulations, BIS announced it was relaxing regulations around another set of exports. This drawing back of the controls arrives in the form of a set of three rules easing license requirements and expanding license exceptions. While seemingly disparate, each of the three areas of amendments represents a consistent push to align U.S. export policy with those of its allies and trade partners, as well as to reward those allies with (slightly) less burdensome controls.Continue Reading Carrot and Stick Export Controls: U.S. Export Controls Give Benefits to Allies

The U.S. antiboycott laws and regulations have been around since the era of disco. In stark contrast to fast-moving sanctions and export controls, we rarely see updates to the antiboycott regulations or enforcement strategies. Last October, however, the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced enhancements to its antiboycott enforcement strategy. As part of its implementation of this updated enforcement strategy, BIS has both expanded the scope of required antiboycott reports and flagged antiboycott compliance specifically for government contractors. These moves demonstrate how BIS plans to focus its enforcement efforts on Federal contractors.Continue Reading Antiboycott Update for Government Contractors and More

The United States and its allies are aiming to choke off the supplies that support the last vestiges of Russian industry. On May 19, 2023, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) released new regulations implementing additional restrictions under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) as well as corrections and clarifications on existing controls for Russia and Belarus.[1] Those additions build on recent export control regulations issued on February 24, 2023 (which we discuss here) and significantly expand controls over items that can be used in even basic electronics and manufacturing. The new regulations continue BIS’s push to leave very little that may be sent into Russia from the United States.Continue Reading Everything but the Kitchen Sink (and Maybe That Too!): New Export Controls on Russia Cover Whole Categories of Low-Level Commercial Electronic and Mechanical Equipment

Between Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and growing U.S. tensions with China, U.S. export controls are in the spotlight like never before. As if regulators have not already made it clear enough, recent statements and actions indicate that the enforcement crosshairs are squarely on the semiconductor industry.Continue Reading Watching the Detectives: Export Control Enforcement Trends Upward

Recently, the Department of Commerce issued a memo, emphasizing that “technology protection is a core national security priority” and how companies that choose not to disclose significant violations of export regulations may have to bear concrete costs for non-disclosure. This memo highlights the continued focus to control U.S. technology security breaches, especially in the semiconductor and advanced computing industries.Continue Reading Technology Protection is a Core National Security Priority: BIS Strengthens Its Policy on Disclosures

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

Update and Correction: We had understood that the date for the announcement of a regulatory change would be February 13. That understanding is (pretty obviously, now, on February 14) incorrect. We still believe the change is imminent and will update as soon as we have further information.

Key takeaways

  • Soon, the U.S. government will officially issue a stricter policy of denial for providing lower-tech items to Huawei.
  • Technological containment continues as the Netherlands and Japan move to impose U.S.-style restrictions on semiconductor exports to China.

Continue Reading Tightening the Cordon – U.S. Restricts Licensing Policy and Adds Allies to Technology Controls

Background

On January 5, 2023, President Biden signed into law S. 1294, the “Protecting American Intellectual Property Act of 2022”. The Act requires the president to report to Congress and impose sanctions on any foreign person or entity the president identifies that has committed or “provided significant financial, material, or technological support” for the significant theft of trade secrets that are “reasonably likely to result in or has materially contributed to a significant threat to the national security, foreign policy, or economic health or financial stability of the United States.”Continue Reading Potential Sanctions for Alleged Intellectual Property Theft on the Horizon?

As you may have heard here (and here and here), in October 2022, the United States issued sweeping measures aimed at the semiconductor industry in China. The new regulations restrict the export of semiconductors and related technology, manufacturing equipment, software, and even U.S.-person support, to China. The regulations are part of a high-stakes chess match between the United States and China, as they compete for technological and economic dominance. One important result of this struggle is that the global semiconductor industry is being squeezed by the regulatory and geopolitical pressure exerted by both sides.Continue Reading The New Containment: How the Semiconductor Industry Came to Be at the Heart of the Technological Cold War