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International Law Bulletin

December 8, 2017

International Law Bulletin - Vol. 21, No. 11


Vol. 21, No. 11 — November 2017

Editor

Henry M. Burwell

Co-Editors

Edward Rubinoff

William M. Poole

Suhail Seth

Jay Rogers

-

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND TRADE 

Dumping/Countervailing Duties:

U.S.:           

The Commerce Department initiated an investigation of Chinese aluminum imports using authority granted by the Tariff Act of 1930 in a rare instance of government inspired investigation rather than waiting for a petition to be filed by a U.S. complainant (34 ITR 1585; 11/30/17).

 

The Commerce Department investigation of Chinese manufacturers of tool chests has resulted in a determination of a possible tariff of 95.96% to be imposed pending a determination of the International Trade Commission of material injury to the U.S. industry (34 ITR 1585; 11/30/17).

 

According to the Commerce Department, carbon and alloy steel wire rod from Belarus, Russia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will likely face steep U.S. tariffs ranging from 84.1% to 756.93%  (34 ITR 1587; 11/30/17).

                    

The Commerce Department determined hardwood plywood antidumping duties from China should be set at 183.36% and anti-subsidy duties ranging from 22.98% to 194.90% (34 ITR 1512; 11/16/17).

 

Import Policy:

China:          

Lower import taxes to benefit consumers shall take effect December 2017 according to the Ministry Finance (34 ITR 1591; 11/30/17).

 

Restriction on shares owned by foreign individuals and groups in securities, fund management and futures companies will be raised from 49% to 51% with eventual removal of such restrictions after three years of operation (34 ITR 1523; 11/16/17).

 

LEGISLATIVE DEVELOPMENTS

Agriculture

U.S.:             

The Sugar Policy Modernization Act (HR 4265) would limit domestic supply restrictions and reduce taxpayer liability to loan forfeitures protecting taxpayers from sugar producer bailouts (34 ITR 1535; 11/16/17).

 

Anti-Money Laundering:

U.K.:           

The government introduced the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering bill enabling substantive amendments to be made to the 2017 money laundering regulations (4 TSJ; November 2107, p. 6).

 

Cayman Islands:        

Anti-money laundering regulations came into force October 2017 to combat terrorist financing and money laundering activities (4 TSJ; November 2017, p. 15).

 

E-commerce:

U.S.:           

S. 1693 would amend section 230 of the Communication Decency Act making websites libel for knowingly publishing content designed to enable sex trafficking (34 ITR 1535; 11/16/17).

 

EU:             

Businesses in the European Union (EU) can no longer restrict consumers’ access to e-commerce websites across borders under new rules announced by the European Commission (EC) preventing “geo-blocking” which is the practice of preventing online purchases of goods and services based on the user’s geographic location (34 ITR 1590; 11/30/17).

 

Export Controls:

U.S.:           

The Bureau Industry and Security (BIS) issued guidance to clarify use of two exceptions to licensing under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) on existing agency practices re use of the Government (GOV) and the Strategic Trade Authorization (STA) exceptions.

 

Foreign Investment

U.S.:           

S. 2098 “Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act” (FIRRMA) would expand the jurisdiction of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS); H.R. 4311 would expand CFIUS jurisdiction adding mandatory reporting requirements and introducing filing fees (34 ITR 1571; 11/23/17).

 

Sanctions

U.S.:           

Congress expanded sanctions against North Korea, Iran and Hizballah by including persons who knowingly deal with a sanctioned entity or individual who will face a ban or have strict conditions imposed on their U.S.-based correspondent and payable accounts (64 WorldECR; November 2017, p. 5).

 

Canada:        

In October 2017 a Consolidated Special Economic Measures Act Sanctions List was published in an easily accessible form listing all individuals and entities identified under Canadian sanctions laws and rules for the application of economic sanctions required by law (www.international.gc.ca/sanctions/ (64 WorldECR, November 2017, p. 11).

 

LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS

Anti-bribery

U.K.:           

F.H. Bertling Group was sentenced by a court in the UK following an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) into corrupt payments made to the State Oil Company in Angola (4 TSJ; November 2017, p. 5).

 

Anti-corruption

Sweden:       

The Swedish Telecom Firm Telia was fined nearly $1 billion by Dutch and U.S. regulators for bribing a government official in Uzbekistan by payment of over $330 million in bribes but avoided a criminal conviction by entering into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (4 TSJ; November 2017, p. 4).

 

EXPORTS AND SANCTIONS

Trade Controls

France:        

Airbus acknowledged possible inaccurate filings informing the relevant U.S., U.K. and French regulatory authorities of possible violations of arms export control regulations in those respective jurisdictions (64 WorldECR; November 2017, p. 5).

 

INTERNATIONAL DEBT WATCH*

 Gross Domestic Product

Ind. Prodn

Budget Bal.

 

Latest

QTR*

2017*

Latest

% GDP 2017

United States

+2.3 Q3

+3.0

+2.2

+1.6 Sep

-3.5

China

+6.8 Q3

+7.0

+6.8

+6.2 Oct

-4.3

Japan

+1.7 Q3

+1.4

+1.5

+2.6 Sep

-4.5

Britain

+1.5 Q3

+1.6

+1.5

+2.6 Sep

-3.3

Canada

+3.7 Q2

+4.5

+2.9

+5.6 Aug

-1.7

France

+2.2 Q3

+1.9

+1.7

+3.2 Sep

-2.9

Germany

+2.8 Q3

+3.3

+2.2

+3.5 Sep

+0.6

Greece

+0.7 Q2

+2.2

+1.0

+2.4 Sep

-1.4

Italy

+1.8 Q3

+1.9

+1.5

+2.4 Sep

-2.3

Spain

+3.1 Q3

+3.2

+3.1

+0.3 Sep

-3.3

Turkey

+5.1 Q2

na

+5.0

+13.4 Sep

-2.1

Hong Kong

+3.6 Q3

+2.0

+3.1

+0.4 Q2

+1.7

South Korea

+3.6 Q3

+5.8

+2.9

+8.4 Sep

+0.8

Brazil

+0.3 Q2

+1.0

+0.7

+2.5 Sep

-8.0

Mexico

+1.6 Q3

-0.8

+2.1

-1.2 Sep

-1.9

*Excerpts from Economic and Financial Indicators published by The Economist, November 18th, 2017

Sources: The Government Contractor (GC); Thomson Reuters Publishers; Federal Contracts Report, Bloomberg BNA, Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (FCR); International Trade Reporter (ITR), International Trade Reporter Decisions (ITRD), TMIJ-Tax Management International Journal; IL – International Lawyer; FT – Financial Times; TE – The Economist Magazine; WSJ – Wall Street Journal; ILN/ABA-International Law News, American Bar Association; WorldECR; www.worldecr.com; London, England; Trade Security Journal (TSJ), London, U.K..