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Russia and Iran Sanctions: Recent Developments

During the past two weeks, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) and the U.S. Department of State have taken a number of steps toward implementing aspects of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (“CAATSA”), a major piece of sanctions legislation passed by the U.S. Congress in July and … Continue Reading

Developments in U.S. Iran Sanctions

Administration Also Revises Russia Sanctions, Terminates Most Sudan Sanctions On October 13, President Trump announced that he would no longer certify to Congress that the suspension of U.S. sanctions against Iran pursuant to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”) is “appropriate and proportionate” to the steps that Iran has taken to terminate its illicit … Continue Reading

Administration submits notice of NAFTA renegotiation

On May 18, 2017, newly-confirmed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer formally notified Congress that President Trump intends to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The Trump Administration has indicated that it will request public input on the “direction, focus, and content” of these negotiations, and will publish notice in the Federal Register regarding … Continue Reading

Trump Moves on Steel Under Section 232

On April 20, 2017, President Trump issued a memorandum announcing that the Secretary of Commerce had initiated an investigation to determine the effects of imported steel on national security. The investigation was initiated under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended. I. Conduct of Section 232 Investigations Under Section 232, Secretary … Continue Reading

Trump, Xi Kick Off Economic Relationship

On Friday, April 14, the U.S. Department of Treasury published a widely anticipated semi-annual report detailing the foreign exchange practices of America’s major trading partners. Although he regularly called for China to be labeled as a “currency manipulator” as a candidate, President Donald J. Trump and his administration declined to use the occasion of this … Continue Reading

Global Policy Watch: Tensions Building Up in Cross-Strait and U.S.-China Relations

Cross-Strait Relations In her year-end press conference on December 31, 2016, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen focused on her administration’s domestic policy agenda but also noted Beijing’s increasing pressure on Taiwan since she took office on May 20. Beijing has cut off high-level communications between the two sides (while maintaining ties with the former KMT party), … Continue Reading

The President’s Long-Forgotten Power To Raise Tariffs

President-elect Trump’s expressed interest in possibly raising tariffs on imported goods has prompted considerable effort in trying to understand the scope of Presidential authority to raise tariffs. While the Congress has primary authority to set tariffs and the U.S. has made extensive international commitments to not raise tariffs, President-elect Trump will have a degree of … Continue Reading

Global Enforcement of the Nagoya Protocol in Life Sciences Industries

In October 2014, the Nagoya Protocol entered into force. It created a new international regulatory system affecting all life science companies that conduct R&D on biological material such as animals, seeds, flowers, viruses, fragrances, flavonoids, essential oils, enzymes, yeasts, and so on. So far, compliance by companies is progressing slowly due to unawareness of the … Continue Reading

Private-Sector Opportunities – and Challenges – in the new $38.8 billion U.S.-Israel Military Assistance Package

Uncertainty surrounding the policies of the new administration is felt across industries. In particular, U.S. and Israeli defense industries are anxious for details of a ten-year, $38.8 billion military assistance package that was signed in Washington this past September. Whether the terms of the aid package are upended entirely or left mostly unchanged by the … Continue Reading

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 — Ambitions to Modernize and Diversify the Economy

In reaction to the global economic slowdown and commodity price collapse, Saudi Arabia’s leaders have made virtue of necessity in announcing plans for far-reaching economic, educational and related reforms. They aim to innovate and diversify the economy of the Kingdom. The goal is faster growth and job creation, especially in the private sector, in order … Continue Reading

How Big a U.S. Export Market Could Cuba Be?

Since President Obama announced the normalization of U.S. relations with Cuba in December of 2014, U.S. businesses have begun to plan for the eventual lifting of U.S. economic sanctions against Cuba.  While the Obama Administration has taken a number of steps to jumpstart interactions between U.S. businesses and the Cuban private sector, including easing travel … Continue Reading

Can the G20 Pull the Global Economy Out of its Stall?

In recent days, Citi strategist Jonathan Stubbs and his colleagues have warned that the global economy is trapped in a “death spiral.”[1] Economist  Mohamed El-Erian says that the era when policymakers could rely upon growth from easy money provided by Central Banks is over, and went on too long[2].  Nouriel Roubini, also known as Dr. … Continue Reading

What’s Next for TPP: Will Congress Ratify in 2016?

After more than 5 years of negotiations between partner countries (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States), the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement was finalized in October 2015 and will be confirmed through a formal signing ceremony on February 4th in New Zealand. Although the terms … Continue Reading

United States, EU Implement Significant Iran Sanctions Relief

On January 16, 2016, the United States and the European Union (“EU”) significantly eased their sanctions against Iran, following verification by the International Atomic Energy Agency (“IAEA”) that Iran had carried out its commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”), the multilateral agreement signed in mid-July 2015 in which Iran agreed to accept … Continue Reading

The EU – Turkey summit of 29 November 2015 : A “Re-Energised” Relationship

Since April of this year, the EU agenda has been totally dominated by the migration issue. The sudden influx of several hundred thousand refugees from Syria, Eritrea and other conflict zones, but also economic migrants from the Balkan countries and elsewhere, has generated an earthquake of such a magnitude that any other discussion had to … Continue Reading

What’s New in the TPP’s Intellectual Property Chapter

Note: This post is the third in a series of posts on the final text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) by Covington’s International and Public Policy lawyers.  The final TPP text, which was released on November 5, 2015, is available here.  TPP is not expected to enter into force until at least 2016, with the … Continue Reading

High Wire Balancing Act in Paris Climate Talks

The president and his climate negotiating team seem most like the high-wire artist Philippe Petit, who improbably strung a wire between the towers of the World Trade Center and mustered reserves of guts and grace— leavened by intense focus, preparation, and a mild amount of lunacy— to walk between the twin towers. In order for … Continue Reading

Hosting the G20 Leaders is an Opportunity for Turkey on Growth and Stability

President Erdoḡan and his Justice and Development (AKP) party clearly won big on November 1 with over 49 percent of the vote.   On November 16-17, Turkey is hosting G20[i] leaders for discussions of global economic and political issues.  Some see that as confirmation that the Erdoḡan-supported AKP government is ready to welcome private investment, and … Continue Reading

EU’s Highest Court Invalidates Safe Harbor with Immediate Effect

Yesterday, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “CJEU”) invalidated the European Commission’s Decision on the EU-U.S. Safe Harbor arrangement (Commission Decision 2000/520 – see here). The Court responded to pre-judicial questions put forward by the Irish High Court in the so-called Schrems case. More specifically, the High Court had enquired, in particular, … Continue Reading

Benefits and Barriers to Expanded U.S.-Cuba Trade

Proponents of increased U.S. trade with Cuba rightly point to the potential economic benefits to U.S. exporters, particularly in the food and agriculture sector, from greater trade.  But achieving that potential may take more than the lifting of the U.S. trade embargo with Cuba.  A forthcoming study from the U.S. International Trade Commission promises a … Continue Reading

China, India and Japan Set to Host Major Summits To Further Strengthen Ties with Africa

In the midst of questions about how China’s economic health will impact Africa, the foreign ministers of China and South Africa have announced that the sixth Ministerial Meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation will be upgraded to a summit. Nearly a decade after the first China-Africa Leaders summit which was held in Beijing, this … Continue Reading
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