White HouseToday, President Trump officially signed H.R. 3364, the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” (CAATSA) into law. CAATSA originated as a bill which was focused on only Iran. However, partially in response to Russian cyber-interference with the 2016 election, the Senate expanded CAATSA to impose additional sanctions against Russia and also codify into law various sanctions imposed by the Obama Administration in the form of Executive Orders. The House of Representatives then approved these additions and added further sanctions against North Korea. Eventually, the House and Senate approved the final version of CAATSA by a margin of 419-3 and 98-2, respectively. For additional detail on CAATSA’s legislative history, please see our previous alerts here, here and here.

Continue Reading President Signs Russian, Iran and North Korea Sanctions Legislation into Law

Product Liability Monitor

November 8, 2016
New Developments
Does Talc Cause Cancer? Scientific Evidence in the Courtroom
By Alan Hoffman

This year juries returned verdicts totaling nearly $200 million in three Missouri cases claiming that ovarian cancers is caused by using talcum powder products. By contrast, in September a New Jersey Superior Court excluded expert opinions offered to

On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA), which amended the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 to create a federal civil remedy for trade secret misappropriation. lockThe DTSA governs misappropriations occurring after the effective date of May 11, 2016.

Although trade secret theft has been a federal crime since 1996, civil claims for trade secret misappropriation were almost always governed by state law. A corporation unable to establish a basis for federal jurisdiction was thus limited to state court. Although every state but two has adopted a variation of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, these statutory variations and differing court interpretations created uncertainty in the application of trade secret law, an area of growing importance for companies increasingly dependent on electronic security.


Continue Reading Husch Blackwell Files One of First Lawsuits Brought Under the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA)

AirplaneHouse and White House negotiators have agreed to two provisions of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015, which may provide an incentive for business aircraft owners. Under the act, which is expected to pass Congress and be signed by the President, “bonus deprecation” is extended and the “expensing” provisions of the Internal Revenue Code are made permanent.
Continue Reading Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act (2015) Includes Changes to Bonus Depreciation and Small Business Expensing

ManufacturingHidden away in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (2015 Budget), signed by President Obama on November 2, 2015, is an obscure provision that will raise the maximum penalties for Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) violations for the first time since 1990. The financial ramifications of the significantly higher penalties may change how employers evaluate whether to contest OSHA citations.

Continue Reading Employers Beware: OSHA Penalties to Increase for First Time Since 1990

AirplaneOn September 30, 2015, President Obama executed the Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2015 (“Airport and Airway Extension Act”), passed earlier in the week by both the House of Representatives and the Senate.  The Airport and Airway Extension Act extends FAA funding for six months through March 31, 2016.

Continue Reading President Signs the Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2015

flags177100862 On June 24, the Senate approved the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015, granting President Obama trade promotion authority, or TPA. The passage of this “fast-track” authority enables the President to leverage greater support during the upcoming negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) by guaranteeing that the trade agreement to be finalized by the 12-nation pact will be sent to Congress for approval without permitting lawmakers to amend the treaty.
Continue Reading Trade Legislation Sent to Obama

Flag of CubaWhile Iran has taken center stage in current foreign policy discussions, Congress and the Administration are keenly aware that Cuba is on deck. Following President Obama’s historic meeting with Cuban President Raúl Castro and his announcement of intent to remove Cuba from the list of states that sponsor terrorism, members of Congress have responded by introducing bills both supporting and opposing the President’s policies, including:

Continue Reading Lawmakers Continue Taking Sides on Cuba while Cities Begin Taking Action

flags177100862On April 16, several pieces of key legislation were introduced that set the stage for a Bipartisan, Bicameral International Trade Package.  Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) along with Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) introduced long-awaited trade legislation to reauthorize Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and renew several trade preference and liberalization programs.  TPA expired in 2007 and is necessary for the Obama Administration to move forward and conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations.
Continue Reading Congress Focuses on Building Trade Relationships

North America MapAfter more than a half-century, the U.S. has finally taken steps toward normalizing its relations with Cuba. In a series of executive actions on December 17, 2014, President Obama announced changes to existing regulations that will ease sanctions against Cuba.

U.S. and Cuban officials will meet on February 27, 2015 at the State Department to continue talks of restoring ties and ending the embargo. Likely sticking points will be the opening of a U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba’s continuing appearance on the U.S. list of countries that support and sponsor terrorism, the potential return of Guantanamo Bay to Cuba, and U.S. support for Cuban political dissidents.

The executive actions alone however offer various opportunities for U.S. and Cuban businesses. This is particularly true in industries such as telecommunications and agriculture where technological and scientific advances could lead to improved infrastructure and increased production.


Continue Reading U.S.-Cuba Relations