Latest updates

Section 301 update: List 3 exclusion process to commence Summer 2019
Arent Fox LLP
  • International Trade
  • USA
  • 14 June 2019

The US Trade Representative recently published a Federal Register notice requesting comments on the proposed exclusion process for List 3 of the Section 301 tariffs on Chinese imports. As part of various changes to the exclusion process, the proposal does not appear to include a mechanism for applicants to designate specific information requested as being business confidential on the current form.

Update on FCC 5.9GHz band rulemaking proceeding
Hogan Lovells
  • Tech, Data, Telecoms & Media
  • USA
  • 14 June 2019

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chair Ajit Pai recently announced plans to open a rulemaking proceeding to take a fresh look at the 5.9GHz band. In this new proceeding, the FCC will consider whether and how to allow sharing in the 5.9GHz band between dedicated short-range communication, gigabit Wi-Fi and cellular vehicle-to-everything technologies.

Ruling offers protection to importers dealing with ambiguous scope of AD/CVD order
Arent Fox LLP
  • International Trade
  • USA
  • 14 June 2019

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently ruled that where the scope of an anti-dumping/countervailing duty order is ambiguous, US Customs and Border Protection has no independent authority to suspend liquidation without explicit instructions from the US Department of Commerce.

Practical insights for employers considering mandatory arbitration programmes following Epic Systems
Dentons US LLP
  • Employment & Benefits
  • USA
  • 12 June 2019

One year after the Supreme Court's landmark decision in Epic Systems – which paved the way for employers to force employees to waive their right to bring class actions – this article revisits the court's decision and the pros and cons of mandatory arbitration programmes with class action waivers.

SEC proposes changes to 'accelerated filer' and 'large accelerated filer' definitions
Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • Capital Markets
  • USA
  • 11 June 2019

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently proposed amendments to the 'accelerated filer' and 'large accelerated filer' definitions adopted under the Securities Exchange Act 1934. The SEC believes that it can promote capital formation for smaller reporting issuers by more appropriately tailoring the types of issuer that are included and revising the transition thresholds for accelerated and large accelerated filers.

Sanctions on steroids: Huawei is a prohibited entity and foreign adversaries lurk in tech services
Arent Fox LLP
  • International Trade
  • USA
  • 07 June 2019

Between the addition of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd – the world's largest telecoms equipment maker – to the Entity List and a new executive order declaring a national emergency relating to information and communications technology and services, May 2019 has proved to be a period of non-stop excitement for the export control world. This article discusses what these changes mean for US companies.

Additional duties proposed on another $300 billion worth of Chinese products
Arent Fox LLP
  • International Trade
  • USA
  • 07 June 2019

Mirroring President Trump's recent threats – which came just days after the Section 301 tariff on List 3 products was increased from 10% to 25% following a breakdown in trade negotiations between the United States and China – the administration has released a fourth list of Chinese-origin products that will be subject to additional duties. For these tariffs to become effective, the Office of the United States Trade Representative will need to publish a final notice after a public comment period and hearing.

Section 301 update: List 3 increases to 25%, a possible exclusion process and a new List 4?
Arent Fox LLP
  • International Trade
  • USA
  • 31 May 2019

Earlier in May 2019, President Donald Trump announced that the Section 301 tariffs on List 3 products would be increased from 10% to 25%, effective from 10 May 2019. He also stated that a fourth list of $325 billion in Chinese imports would be taxed at 25%. Meanwhile, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has stated that his office has "begun preparations to launch a process" for interested parties to seek an exclusion from the List 3 tariffs.

New sanctions on non-US companies doing business in Iran's iron, steel, aluminium and copper sectors
Arent Fox LLP
  • International Trade
  • USA
  • 31 May 2019

President Donald Trump recently issued an executive order authorising broad new sanctions with respect to the steel, aluminium, iron and copper sectors of Iran. The announcement came hours after Iran announced that it would no longer fully comply with elements of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The executive order is a major expansion of existing statutory secondary sanctions which relate to steel and aluminium and also addresses two new sectors – copper and iron.

CCPA amendments advance through California Assembly
Hogan Lovells
  • Tech, Data, Telecoms & Media
  • USA
  • 31 May 2019

Several legislative proposals seeking to amend the California Consumer Privacy Act are moving forward following a recent hearing before the California Assembly's Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection in which the bills were approved. The bills will advance to the assembly's Appropriations Committee before being voted on by the full assembly and potentially advancing to the California State Senate for consideration.

New York Appellate Division confirms narrow scope of manifest disregard doctrine
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • USA
  • 30 May 2019

The New York Appellate Division has reaffirmed that the manifest disregard doctrine is a "severely limited… doctrine of last resort" that requires more than a mere error of law to warrant vacating an arbitral award. This case involved the acquisition contracts between Daesang and NutraSweet, under which NutraSweet could rescind the deal if it was sued for antitrust law violations. After NutraSweet exercised this right, Daesang commenced an arbitration proceeding for breach of contract.

Court expresses concern with government's outsourcing of corporate internal investigations
Hogan Lovells
  • White Collar Crime
  • USA
  • 27 May 2019

A court has expressed concern with the government's "routine outsourcing" of investigations to the targets of those investigations seeking cooperation credit. The court noted the corporate target's "uniquely coercive position" over its employees, who may also be potential targets of the investigation. The decision may profoundly affect the structure and scope of cooperation agreements between the government and the corporate targets of criminal investigations.

Department of State considering strict origin rules for jewellery
Arent Fox LLP
  • International Trade
  • USA
  • 24 May 2019

Fashion accessory and luxury goods importers of fine and costume jewellery containing gemstones or precious metals should be aware of a proposal being considered by Department of State (DOS) officials. According to the DOS, providing US consumers with information regarding the origin of raw materials used in jewellery is important in the fight against abusive regimes. In light of these developments, importers should begin to review their supply chains to understand how their goods could be affected.

Court permits New York DFS suit against OCC regarding fintech charter
Sidley Austin LLP
  • Banking
  • USA
  • 24 May 2019

A federal district judge recently denied a motion to dismiss filed by the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in a lawsuit brought by the New York State Department of Financial Services, which challenged the OCC's decision to begin accepting applications from fintech companies for special purpose national bank charters.

Beyond FERPA: CCPA's new rules for privacy in education sector
Hogan Lovells
  • Tech, Data, Telecoms & Media
  • USA
  • 24 May 2019

In 2018 California passed the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which seeks to give consumers additional safeguards regarding their personal information. The CCPA will become effective in January 2020 and may impact companies in the education sector, including large education technology companies. Regulated educational entities should be wary of the CCPA's key requirements, including the deletion of consumers' personal information on request.

Disclosure in international arbitration: using US courts to obtain discovery for non-US proceedings
Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • USA
  • 23 May 2019

Unbeknown to many, Section 1782 of Title 28 of the US Code permits parties to obtain discovery in the United States in aid of non-US legal proceedings, including – in some instances – international arbitrations. Such discovery can include documents and sworn testimony (eg, depositions). In conducting an arbitration seated outside the United States (or other non-US legal proceedings), it is useful to understand the mechanics, requirements and key issues of Section 1782 discovery.

Assistant attorney general suggests expanding scope of antitrust enforcement
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
  • Competition & Antitrust
  • USA
  • 23 May 2019

The assistant attorney general recently suggested that antitrust enforcers should update their analytical framework to account for modern corporate structures, signalling the potential for antitrust violations when officers and directors serve multiple competing companies. The assistant attorney general's speech is a reminder that behaviour that is not explicitly prohibited by the letter of the antitrust statutes may still raise eyebrows.

Rule 9(b)'s particularity requirement and constitutionality of False Claims Act qui tam provisions
Sidley Austin LLP
  • Healthcare & Life Sciences
  • USA
  • 22 May 2019

In a recent decision, the Tenth Circuit reversed a district court's dismissal of qui tam claims, reasoning that the relator's allegations had satisfied Rule 9(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Among other things, the defendant contended that the court's intervention is necessary to resolve a deep circuit split on whether Rule 9(b)'s particularity requirement can be relaxed where a defendant exclusively holds the information necessary to state a claim.

Is 'stale' a reason for 'male and pale' boards?
Cooley LLP
  • Company & Commercial
  • USA
  • 20 May 2019

California's new board gender diversity mandate is expected to fuel a greater effort towards board gender diversity. Under the new law, public companies will be required to have at least one woman on their board of directors by the close of 2019. That minimum increases to two women by 31 December 2021 if the company has five directors and to three women if it has six or more directors. While the first of its kind in the United States, this mandate may not be the last.

One IoTa of consensus: bipartisan legislation to improve cybersecurity for internet-connected devices
Hogan Lovells
  • Tech, Data, Telecoms & Media
  • USA
  • 17 May 2019

Congress recently introduced a bipartisan proposal to enhance cybersecurity for the network of internet-connected devices, commonly known as the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act 2019 aims to establish baseline cybersecurity standards for IoT devices. It would also impose limits on the types of IoT device that the US government can purchase.

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