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FEMA Seeks All Comers to Supply Government with COVID-19 Supplies

Through its website, the Federal Emergency Management Association (“FEMA”) is encouraging the private sector to step up and support the agency in its response to COVID-19 in a variety of ways. In pertinent part, the website solicits donations of medical supplies and equipment, refers businesses with nonmedical good and/or services that can help the response to the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) Procurement Action Response team, and provides guidance to hospitals and healthcare providers in need of medical supplies.


Continue Reading FEMA Opens a Door and Closes a Window: A Primer on FEMA’s Broad Efforts to Obtain and Retain Medical Supplies to Combat COVID-19

For several years, we have witnessed the emergence of a statutory and regulatory framework to tighten controls on the export of emerging and critical technology, as well as the review of inward foreign investment into said technology. As was evident in the listing of Huawei and other Chinese technology giants, the United States has demonstrated a willingness to use alternative punitive measures against China. Whether the desired impact of this approach has been achieved is difficult to determine. We have, nevertheless, no reason to believe that the tide will ebb in 2020.

Continue Reading Export Controls and Global Trade: A Forecast and the Year in Review

In a rule published and effective October 9, 2019, China’s key manufacturers of video surveillance products have been added to the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Entity List by an interagency End-User Review Committee (ERC) comprised of representatives of the Departments of Commerce State, Defense, Energy and, where appropriate, Treasury. The Entity List (15 CFR, Subchapter C, part 744, Supplement No. 4) identifies entities believed to be involved, or to pose a significant risk of being or becoming involved, in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.

Continue Reading Hikvision, Dahua Technology Among 28 Added to Entity List, Resulting in Broad Impact on Chinese Surveillance, Artificial Intelligence and Facial Recognition Firms

As we stated last month, further restrictions are afoot on the use of Chinese technology in federal acquisitions. An Interim Rule issued by the Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (collectively, the “FAR Council”) implements the first phase of Section 889 of the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The Interim Rule, effective August 13, 2019, broadly prohibits federal agencies, federal contractors, and grant or loan recipients from procuring “covered telecommunications equipment or services” produced by Huawei Technologies Company and ZTE Corporation and, with respect to certain public safety or surveillance applications, Hytera Communications Corporation, Dahua Technology Company, and Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Company. In particular, federal suppliers are prohibited from sourcing “substantial or essential component of any system, or as critical technology as part of any system” from the foregoing companies.

Continue Reading Know Your Supplier: Effective August 13, 2019, Certain Chinese Telecoms Banned From Federal Procurement

Effective Date of Increase and Customs Reporting Guidance

On May 9, 2019, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced an increase in duties pursuant to Section 301(b) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (Section 301), from 10% to 25%, on over 5,700 Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) products imported from China. The increase, covering $200 billion in products that were subject to 10% additional duties since September 24, 2018, was set to rise to 25% at the beginning of this year, only having to be postponed twice to allow U.S.–China trade negotiations to bear fruit. They did not.


Continue Reading International Trade Update: U.S. Heightens Tariffs on Chinese Goods; China Reciprocates

E-Verify, the online system used by enrolled employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of newly hired employees against records available to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is temporarily suspended. It’s a barely noticed consequence of the government shutdown, unless, of course, you happen to be one of the more than 800,000 employers enrolled in the program and are in a position to hire new employees.

Continue Reading Government Shutdown Irony: Battle Over Immigration Impacts E-Verify Employment Eligibility Checks

Week three of the U.S. Government shutdown has begun, and agencies responsible for administering export controls, sanctions, and other trade-related functions have been affected by the lapse in federal appropriations.  This means that companies need to be prepared for extended licensing and processing wait times, along with increased wait times for any communications with the agencies, including advisory opinions. Accordingly, companies must operate — and continue to operate — in accordance with law and regulation. The shutdown requires increased vigilance on the part of those regulated by or working with the government (see here for advice for federal contractors). With that in mind, see below for the key international trade-related agencies impacted by the shutdown and suggestions on how industry should properly respond.

Continue Reading 2019 Government Shutdown: The Export Controls, International Trade, and CFIUS Edition

In a highly unusual move, the federal Bureau of Industry and Security is asking U.S. industry to help identify emerging technologies that are essential to national security but currently escape the tangle of laws and regulations that govern — and in some cases restrict or prohibit — the sale or transfer of commodities, technology, and technical data to foreign businesses, research institutions, government and private organizations, and individuals who are neither U.S. citizens nor lawful permanent residents.


Continue Reading The U.S. Government Is Asking Industry to Help Identify ‘Emerging Technologies’ – STAT

On November 19, 2018, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Notice) seeking comments from industry on how to define and identify “emerging technologies” that currently are not export controlled but which ought to be because they are “essential to the national security of the United States.” Yes, you read that correctly – BIS seeks industry input as to whether it should subject industry’s emerging technologies to export controls and, by extension, to likely review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) of any sales or control of such technology to foreign investors. For those who have something to say about this impending regulatory storm, comments on the Notice are due to BIS by December 19, 2018.

Continue Reading Emerging Technologies May Get Export Controls and CFIUS Reviews This Holiday Season

In June 2018, the White House[1] outlined the threats posed by China’s investment in and acquisition of U.S. companies, noting that China is engaged in “state-sponsored IP theft through physical theft, cyber-enabled espionage and theft, evasion of U.S. export control laws, and counterfeiting and piracy.”[2] Apparently, someone recognized that those $1 million-to $5 million-dollar companies in Silicon Valley may be getting capital injections from folks who are not in it simply for the investment return. Worse still, until now, the United States has had no mechanism to review or prevent such foreign investment and resultant control.


Continue Reading FIRRMA Becomes Law, Reforming CFIUS, Export Controls, and Forever Changing Diligence in Foreign Direct Investment and Structuring of Public and Private Equity Deals – Intellectual Property and Technology Law Journal