International

International Trade

Blog

http://internationaltrade.foxrothschild.com/

The laws and regulations governing international trade are especially complex and can be overwhelming for companies doing business across national borders. The rapidly expanding global marketplace, however, has made compliance more important than ever. Failure to heed these laws can have serious and lasting consequences as dire as criminal charges against the company and individual employees. This blog will offer a steady stream of updates on a broad range of international trade issues, including customs/import compliance, export controls and sanctions, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and cross-border contracts.

Recent Blog Posts

  • Complex FCPA Plea Agreement Gives Federal Court Pause Copyright: ginasanders / 123RF Stock Photo On June 16, 2016, Teva Pharmaceutical’s Russian subsidiary (Teva LLC) pled guilty to one count of conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).  Judge Kathleen M. Williams of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida hesitated, however, in entering a final judgment under which Teva LLC would pay no fine.  While there is no doubt that Teva LLC’s parent entity will pay over a half-billion dollars for violations of the... More
  • Senate Votes in Favor of Russia Sanctions On Thursday, the Senate passed legislation to impose additional sanctions on Russia. The bill passed by an overwhelming majority, 98-2, with only Senator Rand Paul and Senator Bernie Sanders voting against it. In addition to the Russian sanctions, Iran sanctions, and the requirement that Congress review any effort by the Trump administration to loosen sanctions against Russia, the bill also includes a reassertion of the United States’ commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Article 5 charter provision that states that... More
  • NAFTA Renegotiation – Public Comment Deadline Extended Copyright: antartis / 123RF Stock Photo Public comment on NAFTA renegotiations has been extended until midnight tonight ET, according to an Alert by Nevena Simidjiyska published on June 13: The process of renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico and Canada officially began on May 18 when the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) notified Congress, triggering a 90-day period during which the administration will consult with Congress before NAFTA negotiations can begin. The USTR requested public comments on its... More
  • Imposing New Russian Sanctions   Copyright: alexkich / 123RF Stock Photo On Monday, U.S. senators reached an agreement regarding imposing new sanctions against Russia. The agreement will be filed as an amendment to a larger Iran sanctions bill that is nearing passage in the Senate. The sanctions are meant to punish Russia for several Russian actions. The sanctions will punish Russia for the alleged meddling in the U.S. 2016 presidential election, its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region, and its support of, and supplying weapons to, the government... More
  • Internet Powerhouses Make Priorities Known to U.S. Trade Representative In a letter dated May 16, 2017, the Internet Association, a trade group representing some of the largest internet companies in the country (and the world), pressed newly confirmed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to see their perspective on trade policies in the digital age. Among the companies that the Internet Association represents are established giants such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook as well as those pushing the newest frontiers of Internet commerce, including Uber, Airbnb, and Dropbox.  This distinguished group... More
  • Sanctions Penalty Reviewed by the D.C. Circuit Reversing $4M Penalty Last week, the D.C. Circuit affirmed the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control’s (“OFAC”) wide latitude to impose Iran sanctions, but it set aside a $4.07 million penalty against car accessory seller Epsilon Electronics (“Epsilon”). The D.C. Circuit found that the agency cut too many corners in its investigation of Epsilon. In July 2014, OFAC imposed the $4.07 million penalty on Epsilon, alleging that a series of shipments in 2012 by the company to Asra International Corporation, LLC in... More
  • Senate Confirms New US Trade Representative The Senate confirmed Robert Lighthizer as the US Trade Representative (USTR) on Thursday. The USTR is a Cabinet position, and thus Lighthizer will now serve as President Trump’s top trade negotiator. The Senate confirmed Lighthizer with support from both Republicans and Democrats. The 82-14 vote followed months of delays prior to his confirmation. In order to serve as USTR, Congress had to first pass a waiver to confirm him. Section 141 of the Trade Act of 1974 bars anyone who has “directly... More
  • Duracell Takes On Gray Market Goods In a recently filed complaint, battery giant Duracell brought Lanham Act claims against wholesaler JRS Ventures, Inc. (JRS) for importing and reselling batteries bearing the Duracell’s iconic “copper top” mark.  The wrinkle, as is the case in all “gray market goods” (or “parallel import”) cases is that the batteries are genuine Duracell batteries, produced with Duracell’s authorization in China.  Duracell, however, intended to sell the batteries to electronics manufacturers to be included with remote controls and other devices that come... More
  • OFAC Sanctions 271 Syrian Individuals On Monday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) leveled one of the largest sanctions actions in OFAC’s history. OFAC sanctioned 271 employees of Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center (“SSRC”). According to OFAC, the SSRC is responsible for developing chemical weapons that were used against civilians by Syrian government forces earlier this month in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria. OFAC has stated that these 271 designated individuals are scientists who have expertise in chemistry and related scientific... More
  • OFAC Offers New Guidance On Getting Off SDN Blacklist On April 20, 2017 the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) offered new guidance for individuals and entities (and their counsel) who seek to have their names removed from OFAC’s list of Specially Designated Nationals (SDN). The guidance comes in the form of updates to OFAC’s Frequently Asked Questions and sets forth the procedures for petitioning for removal from the SDN list.  The petition itself appears quite simple.  In fact, the only requirements are that it include: (1) the name... More