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

The U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) has recently issued two new General Licenses to extend pre-existing authorizations for transactions with GAZ Group that would otherwise be prohibited under OFAC’s Ukraine- and Russia-related sanctions. General License 15H (“GL 15H”) authorizes certain activities necessary to maintenance or wind down of operations or existing contracts

U.S. International Trade Commission

Section 701/731 Proceedings

Investigations
  • Mattresses from the People’s Republic of China: On June 13, 2019, the ITC released the schedule for the final phase of the Antidumping Duty Investigation.
  • Fresh Tomatoes from Mexico: On June 14, 2019, the ITC announced the resumption of the final phase of the Antidumping Duty Investigation.
  • Stainless Steel Kegs from the People’s Republic of China, Germany, and Mexico: On June 17, 2019, the ITC released the schedule of the Final Phase of Countervailing and Antidumping Duty Investigations.
  • Glycine from the People’s Republic of China, India, Japan: On June 21, 2019, the ITC released the final determinations in the Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty investigations.
  • Aluminum Wire and Cable from the People’s Republic of China: On June 28, 2019, the ITC released the schedule for the final phase of the Countervailing Duty and Antidumping Duty Investigations.


Continue Reading June Trade Law Update: U.S. International Trade Commission and U.S. Customs & Border Protection

Investigations

  • Certain Steel Nails from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: On June 19, 2019, Commerce released a notice of its Final Scope Ruling and notice of the Amended Final Scope Ruling in the Antidumping and Countervailing duty orders of the subject merchandise.
  • Steel Propane Cylinders: On June 21, 2019, Commerce announced its final determinations in the Antidumping Duty Investigations for the People’s Republic of China and Thailand.
  • Steel Propane Cylinders from the People’s Republic of China: On June 21, 2019, Commerce released the final affirmative Countervailing Duty determination.
  • Carbon Steel Butt-Weld Pipe Fittings from the People’s Republic of China: On June 21, 2019, Commerce issued the final affirmative determination of Circumvention of the Antidumping Duty Order.
  • Glycine from India and Japan: On June 21, 2019, Commerce released the amended final affirmative Antidumping Duty determination.  


Continue Reading June Trade Law Update: U.S. Department of Commerce Decisions

On December 7, 2018, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) further extended the expiration date of certain Ukraine-related general licenses related to EN+ Group plc (EN+), United Company RUSAL PLC (RUSAL), and GAZ Group (GAZ) as the entities continue discussions with OFAC to potentially effect “significant changes in control of these sanctioned entities.”   The new  General Licenses 13H (Authorizing Certain Transactions Necessary to Divest or Transfer Debt, Equity, or Other Holdings in Certain Blocked Persons), 14D (Authorizing Certain Activities Necessary to Maintenance or Wind Down of Operations or Existing Contracts with United Company RUSAL PLC), 15C (Authorizing Certain Activities Necessary to Maintenance or Wind Down of Operations or Existing Contracts with GAZ Group), and 16D (Authorizing Certain Activities Necessary to Maintenance or Wind Down of Operations or Existing Contracts with EN+ Group PLC or JSC EuroSibEnergo) supersede their previous versions by extending the expiration date from from January 7, 2019, to January 21, 2019.
Continue Reading OFAC Extends Expiration Date of Certain Ukraine-Related General Licenses by Two Weeks

globe AsiaCAATSA Overview

Congress enacted the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” (CAATSA) on August 2, 2017 in response to Russia’s continuing occupation of the Crimea region of Ukraine and cyber-interference in the 2018 United States Presidential elections. We previously covered CAATSA in blog posts here and here. CAATSA was notable because it passed the House of Representatives with a 419-3 approval margin and passed the Senate with a 98-2 approval margin. Among other things, CAATSA required President Donald Trump to take certain actions on the 180-day anniversary of CAATSA’s adoption, which included (but were not limited to): (i) imposing sanctions (commonly referred to as the “CAATSA Section 231 sanctions”) against persons engaged in “significant transactions” with Russia’s defense or intelligence sectors; and (ii) preparing and submitting a report (commonly referred to as the “CAATSA Section 241 report”) to various congressional committees identifying senior political figures and oligarchs within Russia. January 29, 2018 marked CAATSA’s 180-day anniversary and, as a result, it sparked a flurry of activity related to the CAATSA Section 231 sanctions and the CAATSA Section 241 report.
Continue Reading Russia Sanctions Developments Incite Controversy and Signal Possible Future Changes

White HouseToday, President Trump officially signed H.R. 3364, the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” (CAATSA) into law. CAATSA originated as a bill which was focused on only Iran. However, partially in response to Russian cyber-interference with the 2016 election, the Senate expanded CAATSA to impose additional sanctions against Russia and also codify into law various sanctions imposed by the Obama Administration in the form of Executive Orders. The House of Representatives then approved these additions and added further sanctions against North Korea. Eventually, the House and Senate approved the final version of CAATSA by a margin of 419-3 and 98-2, respectively. For additional detail on CAATSA’s legislative history, please see our previous alerts here, here and here.

Continue Reading President Signs Russian, Iran and North Korea Sanctions Legislation into Law

Congress ChamberYesterday, July 25th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” by a vote of 419-3. The bill originated as an act in the Senate which was focused on Iran. In response to Russian meddling in the U.S. election, the Senate expanded that bill to include additional sanctions against Russia, codify various Russia-Ukraine sanctions promulgated by the Obama Administration into law and add procedural provisions to delay or prevent any efforts by the Trump Administration to relax those codified Obama Administration sanctions. The Senate passed their revised version of this legislation last month by a vote of 98-2. For more information on the Senate’s earlier approval, please see our post on June 16th.

Continue Reading Congress Passes Russian Sanctions Bill with New Sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea

Treasury DepartmentToday, the Trump Administration announced that the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has updated the U.S. sanctions list of designated individuals and entities involved in the Ukrainian conflict. The announcement was made while Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was meeting with President Trump and other officials at the White House.

This action designates 38 individuals and entities under Ukraine-related authorities, thereby blocking access to property these individuals may have in the United States and prohibiting all transactions by U.S. persons involving these individuals.


Continue Reading OFAC Updates List of Blocked Individuals and Entities Connected to Ukraine Conflict

Shipping containersOn March 28, 2017, Petitioners Charter Steel, Gerdau Ameristeel US Inc., Keystone Consolidated Industries, Inc., and Nucor Corporation filed a petition for the imposition of antidumping duties and countervailing duties on imports of Carbon and Alloy Steel Wire Rod from Belarus, Italy, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, the Republic of South Africa, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.

SCOPE OF THE INVESTIGATION

The merchandise covered by these investigations are certain hot-rolled products of carbon steel and alloy steel, in coils, of approximately round cross section, less than 19.00 mm in actual solid cross-sectional diameter. Specifically excluded are steel products possessing the above-noted physical characteristics and meeting the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) definitions for (a) stainless steel; (b) tool steel; (c) high-nickel steel; (d) ball bearing steel; or (e) concrete reinforcing bars and rods. Also excluded are free cutting steel (also known as free machining steel) products (i.e., products that contain by weight one or more of the following elements: 0.1 percent or more of lead, 0.05 percent or more of bismuth, 0.08 percent or more of sulfur, more than 0.04 percent of phosphorous, more than 0.05 percent of selenium, or more than 0.01 percent of tellurium). All products meeting the physical description of subject merchandise that are not specifically excluded are included in this scope.


Continue Reading Petition Summary: Carbon and Alloy Steel Wire Rod from Belarus, Italy, Korea, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, the UAE and the UK