Why China’s Cryptocurrency Miners are Moving to Texas

In May 2021, China announced a crackdown on cryptocurrency mining and trading. In recent months, China has doubled down on its new policy by targeting businesses involved in the mining and trading of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. China’s is prohibiting cryptocurrency mining and trading for many reasons, including:

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Want Your 301 Exclusion Back? Comment Now!

Source: USTR

USTR Proposes Reinstating Exclusions

On October 6, 2021, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (“USTR”) announced in the Federal Register that the agency is considering a possible reinstatement of 549 EXCLUSIONS for Section 301 duties on products imported from China that had expired on December 31, 2020.

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Comment Now – CBP Proposed Rule on Country of Origin Determination for Imports under USMCA

Background on CBP Country of Origin Determination and USMCA

All merchandise of foreign origin imported into the United States (U.S.) must generally be marked with its country of origin, and it is subject to a country of origin (COO) determination by CBP. The country of origin of imported goods may be used as a factor to determine eligibility for preferential trade treatment under a free trade agreement.

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Vegas Woman Charged with Iran Sanctions Violations

A Las Vegas woman has been indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiracy to export goods from the United States to Iran, in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations. According to the indictment unsealed recently, Tina Chen, 47 — aka Ya When Chen, Wen Tina Chen, Tina Dunbar, and Tina Dubner — is the owner of Top One Zone, LLC, a company exporting electronic and computer components that Chen operates from her residence. As alleged, from about November 2015 to May 2019, Chen conspired with others to buy and export goods from companies in the United States, and then send those goods to individuals in Iran through companies in Hong Kong. Chen concealed the identities of the end users, and she did not have a license from OFAC. Chen is charged with one count of conspiracy to unlawfully export goods to Iran.

According to the allegations in the indictment, Chen engaged in numerous overt acts of conspiracy including:

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Insight on Last 6 Months of Biden/Congress on Trade

A lot has happened in the first 6 months of the Biden administration. Notable developments include (at least temporary) resolutions in the large civil aircraft and digital service tax disputes, consensus around a global minimum corporate tax of 15%, lawsuits pertaining to Section 232, increased export controls enforcement, shifting U.S. policy stances on Cuba, and more. However, the most important developments pertain to the ongoing U.S.-China trade war. The U.S. and China are engaged in ongoing negotiations while tensions have risen, a lawsuit challenging Trump’s imposition of 301 tariffs are underway, and a massive U.S. competitiveness bill is being considered in Congress that could bring back broad China tariff exclusions. Join us for a jam-packed hour where we discuss everything that has happened in the world of U.S. trade policy over the past 6 months, and provide insight into how Biden’s trade policies affect industry.

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New CITBA Article – An Overview of China’s New Export Controls Regime

Diaz Trade Law’s President, Jennifer Diaz, and Associate Attorney, Sharath Patil, are enthusiastic to announce that our article, “An Overview of China’s New Export Controls Regime” was published by the Customs and International Trade Bar Association (CITBA) in its Summer 2021 newsletter.

Our article discusses China’s new export control regime. The new framework is similar in many ways to U.S. export licensing mechanisms. The framework is seen by many as a mechanism to counter increasing U.S. export controls towards China as part of escalating U.S.-China tensions.

Below is the article for your reading pleasure.

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Do’s and Don’ts of Filing a Commodity Jurisdiction Request

An Introduction to Export Controls

Over 95% of the world’s consumers are outside of the United States. Opportunities abound for U.S. companies that export. However, exporting is a privilege and not a right. U.S. exporters have an important responsibility to adhere to U.S. export control laws, including the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”), and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (“ITAR”). Violations of export control laws carry hefty civil and criminal penalties. Exporters can pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties, lose export privileges, and even be imprisoned for violations of U.S. export control laws.

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Between a Rock and a Hard Place – Conflicting U.S. & EU Sanctions Policies Towards Iran

Background on U.S. Sanctions Programs

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) administers a number of different sanctions programs. The purpose of U.S. sanctions programs is to advance U.S. foreign policy objectives and protect national security. Currently, OFAC administers 35 sanctions programs. These sanctions programs vary widely – some are comprehensive while others are highly selective.

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Potential Relief from China Tariffs Coming

Background on Section 301 Tariffs

A key element of the U.S.-China trade war, initiated under the Trump administration and continuing through Biden’s first term, was the imposition of China tariffs under Section 301. Section 301 is a mechanism via which the President can retaliate against foreign countries that violate U.S. trade agreements or engage in acts that are “unjustifiable” or “unreasonable” and burden U.S. commerce. With regard to China, the U.S. Trade Representative (“USTR”) found that China’s acts, policies, and practices related to intellectual property and innovation are unreasonable or discriminatory and burden or restrict U.S. commerce. Accordingly, a broad set of tariffs were instituted. Section 301 tariffs for goods originating from China have been so expansive that U.S. Customs revenue has nearly doubled from $41.6 billion in FY 2018 to $71.9 billion in FY 2019 and $74.4 billion in FY 2020.

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OFAC Sanctions & Licensing

Background on U.S. Sanctions (as of May, 2021)

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) administers a number of different sanctions programs. The purpose of U.S. sanctions programs is to advance U.S. foreign policy objectives and protect national security. Currently, OFAC administers 35 sanctions programs. These sanctions programs vary widely – some are comprehensive while others are highly selective.

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