BIS Publishes First Military End User List

In a Final Rule, published on December 23, 2020, the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) amended the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) by creating a “Military End User (MEU) List”. The list includes the first tranche of 103 entities consisting of 58 military end-users in China and 45 in Russia. BIS determined that these companies are ‘military end users’ for purposes of the ‘military end user’ control in the EAR that applies to specified items for exports, reexports, or transfers (in-country) to China, Russia, and Venezuela when such items are destined for a prohibited ‘military end user.’

Prior to this final rule, exporters, reexporters, or transferors were responsible for identifying these entities as ‘military end users’ themselves, assuming they were not otherwise individually informed. The MEU List (which is now searchable on the consolidated screening list) allows the public to be informed of BIS’s determination so all potential exporters are informed simultaneously.

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FTC issues a Record Breaking $1.2 Million Penalty

Chemence Inc., a glue maker, is once again in a sticky situation with The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for allegedly making deceptive claims that its products are made in the United States. In a proposed Consent Order, Chemence agreed to pay $1.2 million for its violation of the FTC Act for violating a 2016 federal court order to cease deceptive marketing tactics, as well as mandated an annual compliance report. The FTC now seeks Public Comment on the proposed consent agreement. The comment period closes on February 8, 2021. Thereafter, FTC will decide whether it should withdraw from the agreement or make it final and force Chemence to pay the $1.2 million penalty.

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U.S. Customs Targets Use of Forced Labor

Diaz Trade Law’s President, Jennifer Diaz,  Associate Attorney, Denise Calle, and supporting Law Clerk, Zachary Kaufman, are enthusiastic to announce Bloomberg Law published another one of our articles, “U.S. Customs Targets Use of Forced Labor”! Below is the article reproduced with permission for your reading pleasure. We’d love to hear your feedback!

You can read the article here (where you’ll have the ability to access all of the great hyperlinks), please note you cannot click on the hyperlinks below.

We’d love to hear your feedback!

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US Imposes Additional Tariffs on EU Goods

On Wednesday, January 6, 2021, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), announced the revision of its Section 301 Action: Enforcement of U.S. WTO Rights in Large Civil Aircraft Dispute (86 FR 674).

 

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Comment on FDA’s Proposed Rule – French Dressing

On December 21, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed a rule to revoke the Standard Of Identity (SOI) for French dressing. FDA found that French dressings’ current standard of identity “no longer promotes honesty and fair dealing in the interest of consumers”.  Effectively the amending of the SOI may allow producers more flexibility, keeping the market competitive with nonstandardized foods.

According to the Federal Register Notice, the proposed rule would not require anything new from salad dressing manufacturers. Rather, by providing the flexibility for innovation, the amendment to French Dressing’s SOI presents an opportunity for social benefits at no cost to the industry or consumer.

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Trump Administration Designates Cuba State Sponsor of Terrorism

Cuba Designated a State Sponsor of Terror

The U.S. State Department designated Cuba a State Sponsor of Terrorism (“SST”) on January 11, 2021. Countries are designated on the SST list when they are determined by the U.S. Secretary of State to have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism.

The four main categories of sanctions resulting from designation can include restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance; a ban on defense exports and sales; certain controls over exports of dual use items; and miscellaneous financial and other restrictions. Here, the January 11 re-designation of Cuba on the SST subjects Cuba to:

  • Sanctions that penalize persons and countries engaging in certain trade with Cuba
  • Restricts U.S. foreign assistance to Cuba
  • Bans defense exports and sales to Cuba
  • Imposes certain controls on exports of dual use items.

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Treasury Imposes Further Sanctions on Iran

Background on Iran Sanctions 

The United States has imposed restrictions on activities with Iran under various legal authorities since 1979, following the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran following the Iranian Revolution. In October 2015, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, and Russia, as well as Germany (known collectively as the P5 +1) met with Iran and successfully negotiated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”). Pursuant to the JCPOA, Iran agreed to roll back parts of its nuclear program in exchange for relief from some sanctions. According to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, the JCPOA would result in “the comprehensive lifting of all UN Security Council sanctions as well as multilateral and national sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program, including steps on access in areas of trade, technology, finance, and energy.” The few years of decreased economic sanctions towards Iran came to an end in May 2018 when the Trump administration unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA. The return of increased U.S. sanctions towards Iran came into effect in November 2018.

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USTR Announces Special 301 Review – Comments Due January 28

Special 301 Report

The United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) conducts an annual evaluation known as the Special 301 review. In the review, USTR identifies countries that deny adequate and effective protection of intellectual property (“IP”) rights or deny fair and equitable market access to U.S. persons who rely on IP protection. As a result of this review, trading partners that present the most significant concerns regarding IP rights are placed in one of three categories: 1) the Watch List, 2) the Priority Watch List, and 3) Priority Foreign Countries.

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USDA National Organic Program – Enforcement & Compliance Overview

What’s the National Organic Program?

Established by Congress and announced in 2000, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (“USDA”) National Organic Program (“NOP”) is a federal regulatory program which develops and enforces uniform national standards for organically-produced agricultural products sold in the United States. NOP operates as a public-private partnership which accredits third-party organizations to certify that farms and businesses meet the national organic standards. By enforcing its standards, NOP ensures a level playing field for producers while protecting consumer confidence in the integrity of the USDA organic seal.

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