Archives: COVID-19

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South Africa Prepares to Further Ease Lockdown Restrictions

On June 17, 2020 South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced government’s intention to further ease the lockdown restrictions imposed due to COVID-19, allowing more industries to re-open fully under stringent health and safety protocols. This announcement comes two weeks after the government de-escalated the country from Alert Level 4 to Alert Level 3 pursuant to … Continue Reading

UK introduces targeted new powers to scrutinise foreign investment

On June 22, 2020, the UK Government introduced legislation to Parliament that further strengthens its ability to intervene in transactions on national security and other public interest grounds. Specifically, the UK Government has sought additional powers to intervene in transactions where there is need to preserve the capability of the UK to respond to a … Continue Reading

CFTC Approves Both Interim Final Rule and a Proposed Rule and Extends No-Action Relief in Response to Covid-19

On May 28, 2020, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) unanimously approved an interim final rule in order to grant an extension of the compliance schedule for uncleared swaps in response to the many operational challenges entities are facing in the wake of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. It also approved a proposed rule exempting certain … Continue Reading

The Week Ahead in the European Parliament – Friday, June 12, 2020

Next week will be a plenary week for the Members of the European Parliament (“MEPs”).  Due to the restrictions in place to tackle COVID-19, the plenary sessions will be held virtually.  Several interesting debates are scheduled to take place. On Wednesday, MEPs will debate with the Council of the EU and European Commission on protecting … Continue Reading

South African High Court rules COVID-19 Lockdown Regulations Unconstitutional

Following the declaration of the National State of Disaster on March 15, 2020, a number of regulations have been enacted to contain and minimise the spread of COVID-19 in South Africa. On June 2, 2020, Judge Norman Davis of the South African High Court found the regulations issued in terms of section 27 of the … Continue Reading

The Brexit Negotiation – In Deadlock?

Last week marked a hand-over from the technical Brexit negotiations back to the negotiators’ political masters.  After four rounds of talks on the future EU-UK relationship, it appears that the UK and the EU are increasingly talking past each other.  With both sides seeming to accept that the transition period will finish at the end … Continue Reading

Congress Increases Flexibility for Forgiveness under the Paycheck Protection Program, yet Uncertainty about Implementation Remains

The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (the “Flexibility Act”) was signed into law on June 5, revising a number of key requirements for loan forgiveness under the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”).  The Program has provided support to a number of organizations negatively impacted by COVID-19 in the form of loans that can be … Continue Reading

Regulation of Foreign Direct Investment (“FDI”) gathers Pace across Europe – A Week of Change.

The FDI space in Europe remains dynamic. Less than five months from the entering into force of the EU FDI Regulation, and just two months since the European Commission asked the Member States to both strengthen and “vigorously” implement the tools available to them and, where appropriate, introduce new FDI screening mechanisms –on which we … Continue Reading

COVID 19 – US and EU Competition Law Implications (29 May 2020)

The Covington US and EU Competition/Antitrust teams will be updating you regularly, through the Covington Competition blog, on the competition/antitrust law implications – both procedural and substantive – of the COVID-19 crisis in the US and the EU.  This is our update for Friday 29 May 2020. Today’s new updates as compared to the previous … Continue Reading

French Public and Administrative Authorities Take Action on Climate Change

At a time when COVID-19 is having direct and indirect effects on the reduction of greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions and ensuing global warming, eight French regulators, including the French Competition Authority, issued on 5 May 2020 a joint working paper in which they highlight the need to take into account the “climate emergency” in defining … Continue Reading

Congressional Pandemic Oversight Bodies Begin to Take Shape

As we reported in our prior client advisory on the wave of investigations to follow the pandemic, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act established three new bodies to conduct oversight and investigations on pandemic-related issues. Separately, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a special committee to conduct additional pandemic-related oversight. In recent weeks, … Continue Reading

Federal Agencies Share Principles for Offering Small-Dollar Loans

On May 20, 2020, the federal financial institution regulatory agencies—the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency—issued principles for responsibly offering small-dollar loans in order to meet consumers’ growing short-term credit needs.In the interagency statement of principles, the agencies recognized … Continue Reading

South Africa Prepares to Ease Lockdown Restrictions

On May 13, 2020 South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the government’s intention to ease restrictions imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19. This announcement comes seven weeks after South Africa first announced a national state of disaster in accordance with the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002) (the “Act”). This decision … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Publishes Additional Detail on TALF

On Wednesday, May 20, 2020, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Board”) announced further details on the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (“TALF”).  The Board’s announcement contains key documents and forms, including the Master Loan and Security Agreement; updated FAQs and a blackline reflecting changes made against the version published on … Continue Reading

FEMA Continues to Push Defense Production Act Authority On Several Fronts

Two notices recently published in the Federal Register indicate the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) intends to exercise Defense Production Act (“DPA”) authority in novel ways during the current coronavirus pandemic. On May 12th, FEMA announced that it plans to invoke DPA authority which permits the President to consult with representatives of industry, business, financing, … Continue Reading

The PPP Economic Necessity Certification: SBA Provides Additional Guidance

On May 13, 2020, the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) released two FAQs, numbers 46 and 47, regarding two safe harbors from an SBA inquiry into a borrower’s statutorily required certification of economic necessity for a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program  (“PPP”).  FAQ 46 states that the SBA will deem any borrower that, together with … Continue Reading

House Leaders Push Ahead with Proposal for Virtual Oversight

Last month, we highlighted congressional efforts to ensure that Congress is able to continue conducting the business of the American people during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. After weeks of halting progress, those efforts took an important step forward this morning with the release of a proposed resolution that would temporarily modify the House rules to enable … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Announces Further Details on TALF

On Tuesday, May 12, 2020, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Board”) announced additional details regarding the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (“TALF”).  The TALF is a financial crisis-era liquidity facility designed to help meet the credit needs of consumers and businesses by facilitating the issuance of asset-backed securities (“ABS”). The … Continue Reading

Emergency Contracting During COVID-19: A Guide to FAR Part 18

The government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic implicates a host of authorities of interest to contractors, from those under the Stafford Act to its recently invoked Defense Production Act powers.  The government has another critical, and perhaps under-examined, set of tools at its disposal to meet the demands of the pandemic:  FAR Part 18, “Emergency … Continue Reading

COVID 19 – US and EU Competition Law Implications (6 May 2020)

The Covington US and EU Competition/Antitrust teams will be updating you regularly, through the Covington Competition blog, on the competition/antitrust law implications – both procedural and substantive – of the COVID-19 crisis in the US and the EU.  This is our update for Wednesday 6 May 2020. Today’s new updates as compared to the previous … Continue Reading

The EU Post-COVID-19: Regulating for Recovery and Revival

Every new team entering the Berlaymont to head up the European Commission starts out with bold and ambitious plans. Time after time, reality intervenes, and their plans are upended. This was true for the second Barroso Commission in 2010, when the aftershocks of the Global Financial Crisis and the Greek and Euro crisis that followed … Continue Reading

Senators Criticize the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection’s Decision to Ease Home Mortgage Disclosure Act Reporting Requirements

On April 28, 19 Democratic senators sent a letter to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (“Bureau”) protesting both its decision to temporarily suspend quarterly mortgage lending reporting requirements under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (“HMDA”) during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to permanently reduce the number of entities that must provide certain types of  reporting … Continue Reading

A Rookie’s Guide to Federal Lobbying Compliance: Four Key Risks for Companies Contacting Government Officials on COVID-19 Matters

As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic spreads through every industry, companies that previously steered clear of Washington, D.C. may find themselves contacting the federal government for assistance. From communicating with Members of Congress about potential provisions of the CARES Act to requesting new forms of assistance from federal agencies that oversee their industries, these … Continue Reading
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