North America MapAfter President Trump announced steel and aluminum tariffs on several of the country’s allies in March 2018, a number of EU countries, Mexico, and Canada immediately announced retaliatory tariffs against American products. Other trade partners and allies have also made plans to seek remedies through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the World

President Trump signed a new Executive Order on August 6, 2018, titled “Reimposing Certain Sanctions with Respect to Iran”. The Executive Order was timed to coincide with the last day of the 90-day wind-down period established for activities associated with certain sanctions relief authorized by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”).  As a result, the first round of sanctions against Iran will become effective at 12:01 a.m. on August 7, 2018.
Continue Reading United States Announces Re-imposition of First Round of Nuclear Sanctions on Iran

Stainless steel factoryOn Tuesday, July 25, President Trump spoke with The Wall Street Journal, mentioning that the administration would be taking its time on determining whether to restrict steel imports. Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced in April that the Administration would be investigating the effects of steel and aluminum imports on national security under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. Although the law gives Commerce 270 days to make its recommendations, their self-imposed deadline on the report for steel was June 30, which came and went with no action.

Continue Reading Trump Administration Delays Findings on Section 232 Steel Investigation

Congress ChamberYesterday, July 25th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” by a vote of 419-3. The bill originated as an act in the Senate which was focused on Iran. In response to Russian meddling in the U.S. election, the Senate expanded that bill to include additional sanctions against Russia, codify various Russia-Ukraine sanctions promulgated by the Obama Administration into law and add procedural provisions to delay or prevent any efforts by the Trump Administration to relax those codified Obama Administration sanctions. The Senate passed their revised version of this legislation last month by a vote of 98-2. For more information on the Senate’s earlier approval, please see our post on June 16th.

Continue Reading Congress Passes Russian Sanctions Bill with New Sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea

environmentThe United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) is reviewing sustainability. On April 13, 2016 the SEC issued a “Concept Release” seeking public comments on 340 topics relating to business and financial disclosure requirements for publicly-traded companies under Regulation S-K. See 81 Fed. Reg. 23916 (April 22, 2016) (“CR”). Several topics addressed the disclosure of company information relating to sustainability and public policy issues. Such issues, including climate change, resource scarcity, corporate social responsibility (“CSR”), and good corporate citizenship, are often referred to generically as environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) concerns.  C.R., p. 206. The concepts of CSR and ESG overlap greatly if not entirely, and precise definitions of these terms are lacking. In this article, the terms “sustainability” and “ESG” will be used interchangeably in the context of corporate reporting. Many of the largest companies in the U.S. voluntarily publish annual sustainability reports and/or website ESG content. At issue is to what extent ESG reporting by publicly-traded companies should be required by SEC regulations.

Continue Reading The SEC Revisits Sustainability: Will Sustainability Reporting Become Mandatory for Publicly-Traded U.S. Corporations?

On July 14, 2015, following nearly twenty months of talks, international negotiators from seven countries (the United States, the United Kingdom, China, France, Germany, Russia, and Iran) announced that they reached a landmark nuclear agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program. While this is a historic agreement long in the making, it is important to note that there is no immediate lifting of sanctions against Iran. U.S. government officials have indicated that for now it is status quo for those focused on sanctions compliance.

Continue Reading Iran and World Powers Announce Landmark Nuclear Agreement

Yesterday, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced increased economic sanctions against Russia, including measures against Russia’s largest bank – Sberbank Russia – as well as several state-owned defense technology companies and five energy companies (Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Lukoil, Surgutneftegas and Rosneft).  The United States has also tightened previous restrictions by lowering from 90 days to 30 days the allowable length of debt U.S. citizens and entities may buy from sanctioned Russian banks – Bank of Moscow, Gazprombank OAO, Vnesheconombank (VEB), Russian Agricultural Bank (Rosselkhozbank),  VTB Bank OAO and Sberbank Russia.
Continue Reading US and EU Tighten Sanctions against Russian Banks, Defense and Energy Sectors

As described in our Alert published on August 1, 2014, the United States and other nations have ramped up sanctions against Russia related to the ongoing situation in Ukraine.

On July 31, 2014, the European Union imposed increased sanctions designed to discourage Russia from, in the words of the EU Regulation, “destabilising the situation in Ukraine.”


Continue Reading EU Increases Sanctions Against Russia