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:
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.
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.
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.
On March 10, 2021, via Federal Register Notice ( 86 FR 13785), the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced that 99 medical product exclusions will be extended from March 31, 2021, to September 30, 2021. This action extends a previous USTR action which extended these exclusions from December 31, 2020, to March 31, 2020 (85 FR 85831). […]
Background on Section 301 Digital Service Taxes
In 2020, the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) initiated Section 301 investigations with respect to certain Digital Service Taxes (“DSTs”) being adopted or under consideration by a number of countries. DSTs are taxes on revenues that certain companies generate from providing certain digital services to users in those jurisdictions. According to USTR, available evidence suggests that DSTs are expected to target large, U.S.-based technology companies.
Background on Regulatory Review
U.S. federal laws come from a wide array of sources. They are generally organized under the following order of authority: 1) the U.S. constitution, 2) statutes passed by Congress, 3) treaties ratified by Congress, 4) case law, 5) executive orders, 6) regulations, and 7) agency guidance. After Congress has provided a federal agency with a policy mandate, an agency is empowered to promulgate regulations to provide detailed and binding rules on those matters.