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The Death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: One Week Later

One week ago, American special operations forces killed the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in northwestern Syria. The next morning, President Trump described the operation in vivid detail and the story was later amplified with accounts from the Secretary of Defense and the National Security Advisor. While the Islamic State was a … Continue Reading

U.S. and U.K. Sign CLOUD Act Agreement

On October 3, 2019, the United States and United Kingdom signed an agreement on cross-border law enforcement demands for data from service providers (“Agreement”). The Agreement is the first bilateral agreement to be entered under the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act. It obligates each Party to remove barriers in their domestic laws … Continue Reading

United States and European Union Impose Additional Sanctions in Response to Actions by Turkish Government

Introduction On October 14, 2019, President Trump issued an Executive Order Blocking Property and Suspending Entry of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Syria. This Order provides authority for the imposition of sanctions (including secondary sanctions) on certain entities and individuals in response to Turkey’s military operations in Syria, which the Order states endanger … Continue Reading

It’s Worse Than You Think

The Syrian Civil War entered a new phase this week, with the US ending its support for the Syrian Democratic Forces (“SDF”) – a political movement of mixed ethnicities and religions organized around the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party and its paramilitaries – in advance of a large-scale Turkish military operation in northeastern Syria. In … Continue Reading

Old Conflicts, New Technologies

In 2016 the United States Special Operations Command (“USSOCOM”) witnessed a technological development of grave significance for the future of global conflict. According to the then-Commanding General of USSOCOM, Americans had to contend with armed enemy aircraft during the Battle of Mosul. The United Kingdom at the height of its powers in the 19th century … Continue Reading

The Inevitability Challenge

The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has, on account of its dismal human rights record and decades of aggression towards its neighbors, earned the derision it often receives from American and allied and partner countries’ officials. This public condemnation, however, entered a somewhat new phase on August 30 when President Trump broadcast an … Continue Reading

An Alignment for Afghan Peace

It sounds like the start to a bad joke, but what do the Kremlin, the Chinese Communist Party, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Taliban, al-Qa‘ida, the Haqqani Network, the Islamic State, the Pakistani intelligence services, exhausted members of NATO, nearly every Democratic candidate for president in the 2020 election, and the … Continue Reading

Beyond The FCPA: New U.S. Regulator Enforcing Against Foreign Corruption

Yet another U.S. regulator is entering the foreign corruption space.  The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is a civil agency that oversees commodity and derivatives markets in the United States.  It enforces the Commodity Exchange Act, a set of statutes that are enforced criminally by the U.S. Department of Justice.  The CFTC has authority to impose … Continue Reading

Florida FARA Case Leaves Troubling Precedent

On May 7, 2019, a federal District Court in the Southern District of Florida ruled that an American company, RM Broadcasting, must register as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA”) for its agreement to broadcast radio programming from Rossiya Segodnya (meaning “Russia Today”), a Russian state-owned news agency.  Although the decision … Continue Reading

 Industry Weighs In on Potential “Emerging Technologies” Export Controls

The U.S. government is now considering how to define potential new export controls on “emerging technologies.” Our article in the China Business Review explains the legislative context informing the current rulemaking process, highlights key themes in public comments submitted by stakeholders in response to an initial request for input, and offers recommendations for companies and … Continue Reading

Tariff-Man Holds His Fire, For Now

President Trump tweeted out on Sunday what sounds like good news:  based upon “substantial progress“ in trade negotiations with China, he was postponing a March 2 increase from ten to twenty-five percent tariffs on some $200 billion in U.S. imports from China.  The President even declared expectations of further progress and a “signing summit” at … Continue Reading

Canadian Privacy Commissioner Releases Official Guidance as Data Breach Law Takes Effect

Canada’s new data breach law, The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”), took effect on November 1. Official guidance released by the country’s Privacy Commissioner explains a few of the law’s key provisions that will affect organizations, specifically, breach reporting and notification obligations, their triggers, and record retention. Reporting & Notification Obligations Under the … Continue Reading

The European Commission finds no illegal State aid was provided by Luxembourg’s non-taxation of McDonald’s

On 19 September 2018, the European Commission (“Commission”) issued a press release declaring that Luxembourg did not provide illegal State aid to McDonald’s with regards to two tax rulings that resulted in double non-taxation of franchise profits in Luxembourg. The Commission’s three-year-long in-depth investigation established that Luxembourg had merely acted in compliance with its national … Continue Reading

U.S. Releases Final List of Tariffs on $200 Billion in Chinese Imports

On September 17, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) released its final list of approximately $200 billion in Chinese imports subject to an additional ad valorem tariff. The final list, which covers 5,745 product categories, will take effect on September 24, 2018. The tariff rate will initially be set at 10 percent and … Continue Reading

Brazil’s New General Data Privacy Law Follows GDPR Provisions

On August 14, Brazilian President Michel Temer signed into law the new General Data Privacy Law (Lei Geral de Proteção de Dados Pessoais or “LGPD”) (English translation), making Brazil the latest country to implement comprehensive data privacy regulation. The law’s key provisions closely mirror the European Union’s General Data Privacy Regulation (“GDPR”), including significant extraterritorial … Continue Reading

Covington Artificial Intelligence Update: China’s Framework of AI Standards Moves Ahead

China has set out on an ambitious agenda of aiming to become the world leader in artificial intelligence by 2030. Policy experiments for a critical part of China’s AI development strategy, and to that end multiple government think tanks have set out formulating standards that may impact AI innovation in China. The China Electronics Standardization … Continue Reading

China Issues New Foreign Investment Negative List, New Market Access Openings

Through a newly published foreign investment negative list, the Chinese government is offering incrementally greater market access to foreign investors in China. The 2018 Special Administrative Measures on Access to Foreign Investment (“2018 Foreign Investment Negative List” or “2018 FI Negative list”), issued by the Ministry of Commerce and the National Development and Reform Commission … Continue Reading

US Makes Good on Trade Threats – What Now?

We are moving into uncharted waters with the Trump Administration’s announcement that the U.S. will move forward to impose $50 billion in tariffs against a wide range of Chinese products, with the first tranche of $34 billion beginning on July 6; as well as tariffs against Canadian, Mexican, European and Japanese steel and aluminum imports.  … Continue Reading

Postcard-sized agreements could solve trade disputes

While overshadowed by other remarks during the recent Group of Seven meetings, President Trump suggested that trade agreements could be “much simpler” and that they should eliminate all barriers to trade. The president’s instincts that trade agreements could be both simpler and more comprehensive are correct. Paradoxically, simpler agreements could go further than existing lengthy agreements in … Continue Reading

The June 28 European Council: Four Challenges to EU Solidarity

Transatlantic trade tensions, the Brexit negotiations, migration, and Eurozone reform will dominate the June 28 European Council. Each of these issues are potentially divisive, and the leaders know that a new dose of solidarity will be needed to address them properly. They also know that next year will see additional challenges to the cohesion and … Continue Reading

China Raises Tariffs on 128 U.S. Imports in Retaliation for U.S. Section 232 Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

The Chinese government has announced that it is raising tariff duties on 128 products imported from the United States into China in retaliation for the Trump Administration’s Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imports into the United States. The new Chinese tariffs went into effect on April 2. The 128 targeted products fall into … Continue Reading

US-China Trade Tensions Reflect a Battle for Technological Dominance

The arms race was a defining element of the Cold War between the U.S. and its allies, and the Soviet Union.  President Trump’s recent proposal for $60 billion in unilateral actions against China presages a pitched 21st century battle over technological supremacy, with fateful consequences for the world order. The Trump Administration rightly sees that … Continue Reading

New Wave of Trade Lobbying Presents FARA Registration Concerns

Washington is awash with lobbyists seeking to address new steel and aluminum tariffs, and other potential tariffs, on behalf of both foreign and domestic clients.  Lobbying on trade issues in some circumstances may trigger Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA”) obligations.  The connection between trade lobbying and FARA was the subject of close scrutiny several decades … Continue Reading
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