Export Controls & Economic Sanctions

A federal judge from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted TikTok’s motion for preliminary injunction, resulting in a nationwide temporary suspension of an order from the U.S. Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) for Apple and Google to remove TikTok from its U.S. app stores.  Last week, Chinese social media app WeChat was separately granted a similar injunction by a federal judge from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.  The two China-based smartphone apps are facing impending bans pursuant to Executive Orders (“E.O.”) 13942 (for TikTok) and 13943 (for WeChat), issued by the President on August 6, 2020.
Continue Reading D.C. District Court Judge Blocks Commerce’s TikTok Ban

President Trump issued an Executive Order on September 21, 2020 which, effective immediately, imposes secondary sanctions on the transfer and sale of certain conventional arms shipments and the supply of related services to Iran by non-U.S. persons.  This Executive Order follows the current administration’s failed effort to reinstate sanctions and a conventional arms embargo by the U.N. Security Council.  The Executive Order, titled “Blocking Property of Certain Persons with Respect to the Conventional Arms Activities of Iran”, attempts to enforce such sanctions unilaterally by authorizing the U.S. Secretary of State to impose blocking sanctions on any non-U.S. person who transfers conventional arms to Iran or otherwise performs activities to support such transfers. 
Continue Reading U.S. Moves to Block Conventional Arms Sales to Iran

China-based smartphone apps, TikTok and WeChat, have each received a reprieve from the respective bans, which were originally ordered by President Trump on August 6, 2020 against both parties and were scheduled to take effect on September 21, 2020.  Please see our previous post covering the Executive Orders.  Pursuant to the Executive Orders banning the

A federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed FedEx Corporation’s challenge to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (Commerce) Export Administration Regulations (EAR). Specifically, FedEx challenged the EAR requirements for global couriers to either verify the contents of its packages or to cease business with certain foreign entities, such as

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) recently published an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“ANPRM”) regarding the identification and review of controls for certain “foundational technologies.”  This ANPRM represents another step toward implementation of the “emerging and foundational technology” provisions set forth in the Export Control Reform Act (“ECRA”) of

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) has announced that it is further restricting access by Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and its designated non-U.S. affiliates (“Huawei”) to U.S.-produced technology and software.  As we have previously discussed, BIS first added Huawei to its Entity List on May 15, 2019 and has continued to impose additional export restrictions on Huawei under the U.S. Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”).  Most recently, BIS published a Federal Register notice to implement the following enhancements.  Although BIS published this Federal Register notice on August 20, 2020, the following rule changes took effect retroactively as of August 17, 2020:
Continue Reading U.S. Adds 38 New Huawei Affiliates to Entity List While Again Expanding Foreign-Produced Direct Product Rule

The United States is formally demanding that the United Nations (U.N.) reimpose sanctions on Iran for its failure to meet commitments to limit its nuclear program set forth under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).  U.N. sanctions on Iran were lifted in 2015 as part of the terms of the JCPOA, which included the United States, European Union, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia, and China as signatories.  The U.S. formally withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018 and reinstated sanctions on Iran.
Continue Reading U.S. Seeks Snapback of U.N. Sanctions on Iran Despite Departure from Nuclear Deal

On August 6, 2020, the White House issued two (2) Executive Orders (“EO”) banning the popular China-based social media app TikTok and the messaging and electronic payments app WeChat.  Both orders are scheduled to take effect in 45 days (approximately September 21, 2020). While a U.S. ban on TikTok, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd., had been anticipated, especially after India banned the app earlier this year, the EO on Tencent Holding Ltd.’s (“Tencent”) WeChat was not anticipated and has significant potential business ramifications.
Continue Reading U.S. Moves to Ban TikTok and WeChat Apps Amid U.S.-China Tensions

The U.S. Department of State recently published updated guidance pertaining to Section 232 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (“CAATSA”). The revised guidelines subject energy export pipelines originating from Russia, particularly the Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream pipelines, to secondary Section 232 sanctions (not to be confused with Section 232 of the Trade