Latest updates

Government hurls another export control grenade at Huawei
Arent Fox LLP
  • International Trade
  • USA
  • 29 May 2020

The Department of Commerce and the Bureau of Industry and Security recently revised an arcane export control rule that imposes US export controls on foreign-origin products that are a direct product of certain US technologies. Although the two new categories of foreign direct product are far broader than the old one, new foreign direct products require a licence only when they are exported or re-exported to entities on a new special subset of the Entity List, which includes Huawei, HiSilicon and other Huawei affiliates.

COVID-19 ate my homework – recent extensions and relief for retirement plans
McDermott Will & Emery
  • Employment & Immigration
  • USA
  • 27 May 2020

In recognition of the difficulties faced by retirement plan sponsors, participants and beneficiaries due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Labour, in conjunction with the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of the Treasury, recently issued guidance extending a number of retirement plan deadlines, including deadlines for many participant notices and benefit plan claims.

DOT issues new guidance regarding airlines' obligation to provide passenger refunds
Cozen O'Connor
  • Aviation
  • USA
  • 27 May 2020

Passengers who no longer wish to travel due to COVID-19 concerns or who have had their flights cancelled are demanding refunds from airlines. Airlines, on the other hand, are grappling with a difficult truth: if they refund all tickets, including those purchased under the condition of being non-refundable or those cancelled by a passenger, this will result in negative cash balances that will lead to bankruptcy.

Team Telecom emerges from shadows and FCC cracks down on Chinese telecoms companies
Arent Fox LLP
  • International Trade
  • USA
  • 22 May 2020

A new executive order has formalised Team Telecom, a previously ad hoc committee which for many years has reviewed applications for Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authorisations involving non-US parties, typically for US-international telecoms service or submarine cable landings. The committee has the primary responsibility of reviewing applications for FCC authorisations which involve foreign ownership to identify national security or law enforcement risks.

Selective decoupling: phasing out domestic deployment of Chinese telecoms technology
Arent Fox LLP
  • International Trade
  • USA
  • 22 May 2020

Through an array of legislative and administrative measures, the government has made significant strides in recent years to limit, and perhaps end altogether, the proliferation of Chinese-origin telecoms technology in US infrastructure. While some of the legislation is company agnostic, Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, which remains on the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security's Entity List, is a primary target.

Trump announces that REAL ID compliance deadline is postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic
Cozen O'Connor
  • Aviation
  • USA
  • 20 May 2020

President Trump has announced that the US Department of Homeland Security will delay the 1 October 2020 deadline for compliance with the REAL ID Act 2005 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The postponement is welcome news for US airlines and the US travel industry, which had grown increasingly concerned (well before COVID-19) that a significant number of US nationals had not yet obtained a REAL ID.

COVID-19: FAQs on practical considerations linked to working from home and privacy
McDermott Will & Emery
  • Employment & Immigration
  • USA
  • 20 May 2020

With rapid developments in local, state and federal guidance and law, the appropriate approach for each employer in relation to COVID-19 will vary depending on the nature of their work, the industries served and their location and size, among other considerations. This article outlines the practical considerations linked to working from home and privacy that employers need to know.

Debt buyback and liability management considerations
Shearman & Sterling LLP
  • Capital Markets
  • USA
  • 19 May 2020

As the markets continue to react to the COVID-19 pandemic, the trading prices of many corporate loans and bonds have fallen dramatically. As a result, many companies (or their private equity sponsors) are looking at repurchasing their debt at a discount. In addition, many companies are concerned that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will result in covenant breaches or other defaults and are engaging in discussions with their lenders and investors to obtain needed modifications to their debt agreements.

Commerce Department takes aim at China's military-civil fusion policy
Arent Fox LLP
  • International Trade
  • USA
  • 15 May 2020

The Commerce Department recently took significant steps to revise the Export Administration Regulations to address military-civil fusion. Specifically, the Bureau of Industry and Security issued two final rules regarding licence exception civil end users and military end-use and end-user controls, as well as a proposed rule which would eliminate a provision of the licence exception additional permissive re-exports that currently authorises certain re-exports to China and other countries.

OFAC's COVID-19 response: existing exceptions, filing and compliance flexibility and some relief for Iran
Arent Fox LLP
  • International Trade
  • USA
  • 15 May 2020

Recognising that COVID-19 is further straining humanitarian needs in sanctioned countries and complicating compliance with economic sanctions, the Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control recently issued web-based guidance to remind the public of the many ways in which medical exports and other humanitarian services, supplies and donations can legally flow to sanctioned countries, offer reporting and compliance flexibility and provide some Iran secondary sanctions relief.

Considerations when aviation travel is a necessity
Cozen O'Connor
  • Aviation
  • USA
  • 13 May 2020

Although the idea of aircraft travel may currently be the last thing on many people's minds, for some people, access to aviation travel for business or personal reasons may be necessary even during these difficult times. Moreover, access to business jet travel in lieu of commercial flights will become even more in demand, as commercial airlines reduce the number of available flights, curtail routes or shut down operations altogether.

DOT to impose minimum air service obligations on carriers receiving CARES Act financial assistance
Cozen O'Connor
  • Aviation
  • USA
  • 13 May 2020

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued an order proposing parameters for implementing the authority granted to the secretary of transportation under the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery and Economic Security Act. The order sets out the DOT's expectations regarding the required service levels. This article provides a summary of the key provisions.

ARRC announces 2020 objectives for facilitating USD LIBOR transition
Shearman & Sterling LLP
  • Derivatives
  • USA
  • 13 May 2020

The Alternative Reference Rates Committee (ARRC) recently unveiled its 2020 objectives for facilitating the industry's transition away from the US dollar London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) to the Secured Overnight Financing Rate. These goals and projected timelines build on the ARRC's previous transitioning work and aim to account for both the impact of COVID-19 on financial markets and the expectation that LIBOR will still be discontinued at the end of 2021.

COVID-19: FAQs on furlough and financial help for employers
McDermott Will & Emery
  • Employment & Immigration
  • USA
  • 13 May 2020

With rapid developments in local, state and federal guidance and law, the appropriate approach for each employer in relation to COVID-19 will vary depending on the nature of their work, the industries served and their location and size, among other considerations. This article outlines what employers need to know about furlough and the financial help that is available for employers.

COVID-19: approach to court proceedings
Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Litigation
  • USA
  • 12 May 2020

Existing proceedings in the national courts are inevitably experiencing the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Where possible, hearings have been delayed or relocated. However, with many lockdowns extended for the foreseeable future, hearings will still need to be held. As such, many national courts are looking into solutions to these issues, particularly technological ones.

CBP takes first step towards full USMCA implementation
Arent Fox LLP
  • International Trade
  • USA
  • 08 May 2020

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently released the long-awaited United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) Interim Implementing Instructions, which signal the transition from the North American Free Trade Agreement to the USMCA. For companies operating in the United States, selling into the United States or buying from the US marketplace, these instructions should be viewed as an indication that the USMCA is on track for a possible Summer 2020 entry into force.

DDTC announces COVID-19-related regulatory relief
Arent Fox LLP
  • International Trade
  • USA
  • 08 May 2020

Like many other US government agencies, the State Department, Directorate of Defence Trade Controls (DDTC) has announced certain measures, effective immediately, to alleviate burdens caused by COVID-19 in relation to compliance with the International Traffic in Arms Regulations. The changes affect registration, compliance, licensing and outreach to the DDTC.

COVID-19: AAA-ICDR's approach to arbitration
Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • USA
  • 07 May 2020

Existing dispute resolution proceedings are inevitably experiencing the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Where possible, hearings have been delayed or relocated. However, with many lockdowns extended for the foreseeable future, some hearings will still need to be held. Notably, the American Arbitration Association acknowledges that these are appropriate times to permit (and indeed require) the use of viable alternatives to in-person hearings.

COVID-19: FAQs on employees experiencing symptoms and employee absences
McDermott Will & Emery
  • Employment & Immigration
  • USA
  • 06 May 2020

With rapid developments in local, state and federal guidance and law, the appropriate approach for each employer in relation to COVID-19 will vary depending on the nature of their work, the industries served and their location and size, among other considerations. This article outlines what employers need to know about employees experiencing symptoms and employee absences.

FEMA: certain exports of respirators, masks and gloves exempt from ban
Arent Fox LLP
  • International Trade
  • USA
  • 01 May 2020

In a notification of exemptions action recently published for public inspection, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) set out a list of exemptions to its requirement for prior approval to export previously identified scarce medical personal protective equipment. However, despite its attempt to clarify previous rules and guidance, FEMA's notice has raised nearly as many questions as it answers.