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On November 3, 2021, the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) issued a final rule adding the following four entities to the Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security Entity List: Candiru (Israel), NSO Group (Israel), Computer Security Initiative Consultancy PTE (Singapore), and Positive Technologies (Russia). The addition of the four entities comes after the October 21, 2021 publication of an interim rule by BIS establishing controls on the export, re-export, and in-country transfers of items that may be used for malicious cyber activities and is part of the ongoing effort by the Biden-Harris Administration to combat the use of digital tools for repression.

On October 26, 2021, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking seeking public comments concerning the identification of certain neuro “brain-computer interface” technology as an emerging technology and the potential imposition of export controls on such technology. Comments are due no later than December 10, 2021.

On November 2, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed the suit brought by a class of child laborers who mine cobalt in the Democratic Republic of Congo against several US tech companies under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (“TVPRA”) and several common law based causes of action. TVPRA allows victims of human trafficking and certain other crimes such as forced labor to bring civil claims against those who knowingly benefitted from these crimes. Here, the complaint was based on two alleged TVPRA violations: forced labor and trafficking with respect to peonage, slavery, involuntary servitude, or forced labor.

On 31 October 2021, the EU and US issued a joint statement announcing that they had reached an agreement to end their dispute over steel and aluminum tariffs. This agreement removes the US “Section 232” tariffs on imports of EU steel and aluminium, imposed during the Trump administration, whilst the EU has agreed to suspend additional duties imposed on US goods in retaliation. Both sides have also agreed to suspend disputes initiated against each other at the WTO in relation to the tariffs.

This week’s discussion in the ‘This Week in Government Enforcement’ series will cover the following:
• Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco on corporate enforcement priorities under the Biden Administration
• The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is targeting big tech
o What do they want and why do they want it?
o How should tech firms prepare, whether they receive a request from CFPB or not?

In November, the United States announced that Ethiopia, Guinea and Mali would be terminated from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (“AGOA”) trade preference program, unless they took urgent action to meet eligibility criteria by 1 January 2022. AGOA eligibility requirements include, among other things, that countries must follow the rule of law and implement economic policies that reduce poverty and combat corruption and bribery. Countries must also protect internationally recognized human and worker rights, and must not engage in activities that undermine national security interests.

Noncitizen travelers can pack their bags. With certain requirements, noncitizen travelers will be allowed to travel to the US as of November 8, 2021, under President Biden’s Proclamation on Advancing the Safe Resumption of Global Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic. The new rules, which focus on the vaccination status of noncitizen travelers, replace the country specific restrictions that have been in place since March 2020. The proclamation also contains limited exceptions within the proclamation for noncitizen travelers who have not been vaccinated.

Two years ago, on 5 November 2019, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the formation of the Procurement Collusion Strike Force (PCSF). DOJ press releases indicated the purpose was to create a joint, collaborative interagency partnership focused on deterring, detecting, investigating, and prosecuting antitrust crimes. The Strike Force has prosecutors from 22 US Attorneys’ Offices and 7 national law enforcement partner agencies, including the Antitrust Division of the DOJ, investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Inspectors General for multiple Federal agencies. To date, the PCSF is active in almost a quarter of US judicial districts and coordinates with many US agencies and offices.

Financial crime remains at the top of the regulatory agenda across the globe. As responses to the pandemic stabilise, and following some high-profile global incidents, regulators face renewed pressure to manage financial crime more effectively through robust supervision and enforcement. In the October 2021 edition of the City Library’s Compliance Officer Bulletin, our business crime, regulatory and cybersecurity lawyers explore the latest developments in anti-money laundering and financial crime in a series of articles