In recent weeks we saw Canada, Mexico and the United States present their respective positions and legal arguments, often in sharply worded exchanges, about how the Auto Core Parts rules of origin under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) should be interpreted. It is a high-stakes issue because assembly operations for vehicles and their “Core Parts” (engine, transmission, etc.) inevitably involve lengthy bills of materials with components from many countries, and what is being disputed is whether Core Parts once found to meet the USMCA requirements to be “originating” can then have their value counted as originating value (i.e., “rolled up”) in the calculation of the regional value content (RVC) of the vehicle as a whole. Continue Reading Does the USMCA Mean What It Says? The Disputes Panel Hearing on the Auto Core Parts Rules of Origin
On January 2, 2021 the National Defense Authorization Act (“NDAA”) became law. Importantly, the NDAA included sweeping legislative reforms to anti-money laundering (“AML”) laws, which are now codified in the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (“AMLA”) (NDAA §§ 6001-6511). Designed to enhance national security concerns, these AML amendments will significantly impact financial institutions, certain types of businesses—both domestic and foreign, and High Net Worth Individuals (“HNWIs”). While HNWIs legitimately seek to maintain confidentiality in their corporate entities or wealth management structures, the AMLA will make that more difficult and potentially more dangerous.
Continue Reading The New Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 and Potential Effects on Foreign Businesses and High Net Worth Individuals
Over the past few weeks, we have been speculating on the international trends and tides we expect to see in the next four years under a new U.S. presidential administration. So that you can enjoy our prognostications (before our program gets greenlighted as a Netflix special) we provide here:
- A recording of our webinar, entitled “The Four Years in International Business Webinar”
(for those playing along at home, see if you can spot the part where Scott’s power goes out while we’re discussing tariff reductions!)
- A bulleted summary of the key takeaways of our webinar.
On May 22, 2020, the Mexico Committee of the ABA – Section of International Law published a Special Edition Newsletter regarding the Legal Impact of COVID-19 in Mexico. As the Co-Chair of the Mexico Committee of the ABA – Section of International Law, I worked with the ABA Mexico Committee to get this publication out in a timely manner. The intention for this special edition is to serve as a resource that provides a general understanding of the legal aspects and impact in Mexico of COVID-19 in each of the areas of law that we covered.
Continue Reading Special Edition Newsletter – Legal Impact of COVID-19 in Mexico ABA – Section of International Law – Mexico Committee
- The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) provides for financial and digital trade regulations that harmonize the treatment of fintech companies.
- North American companies leveraging digital assets for payments should consider strategic regional opportunities available under the new USMCA fintech Framework.
- The USMCA Parties (member countries) continue to license fintech companies using cryptocurrency and create regulatory sandboxes to incentivize experimentation with the new technology under relaxed regulatory conditions.
Doing business across cultural lines can be challenging. The spoken and unspoken rules will change depending on where in the world you find yourself. A misstep or unintended faux pas can be the difference between landing the deal or successfully negotiating a resolution to a disagreement and failing. This article is a companion piece to Episode 66 of Sheppard Mullin’s Nota Bene podcast where we discuss some of our tips for doing business in Mexico. Below are some quick pointers we discussed on the podcast. Although not perfectly transferable, these tips should also apply to business dealings in Latin America generally.
Continue Reading Business in Mexico? Five Tips for Success
It’s 9:30 pm on a Sunday and you just got a call on your cell from U.S. Customs & Border Protection (“CBP”) at LAX. A Vice President from one of your foreign offices has been spending a lot of time here lately developing business leads and strategy. CBP is holding him in secondary inspection and he’s been there for 12 hours. Even though he’s paid overseas, CBP has some questions to ask you to see if he has been “working” here. CBP advises you that they are seriously considering giving him an “expedited removal order” with a 5-year bar on entering the U.S., and putting him on a flight back to Europe tomorrow afternoon. His inability to return to the U.S. would be catastrophic to your business.
The regulations regarding business visitors entering on a B-1 visa or ESTA visa waiver are vague. There is no bright line test for when someone is “working here” versus “having meetings and consultations”. However, there are ways to improve your odds that you will not be flagged and challenged by CBP.
Continue Reading Will U.S. Customs & Border Protection Admit Your Foreign Visitor? How to Avoid that Sunday Evening Phone Call from CBP
A tripartite agreement to save NAFTA has been reached. The agreement, reached late last night, provides Congress the necessary 60 days’ notice of the text to approve so that President Pena Nieto of Mexico can sign before he leaves office on November 30th. All three countries wanted to get a deal done before the change of government in Mexico to President – Elect Lopez Obrador.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said the accord would be renamed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (“USMCA”). The USMCA will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, which dates to 1994 and covers $1.2 trillion in trade. The revised trade agreement addresses wide areas of the economy, ranging from patents and financial services to farming and auto manufacturing.
Continue Reading NAFTA Agreement Reached at the Eleventh Hour
Soon after Fidel Castro overthrew the government of Cuba to found a communist state in 1959, Cuba began nationalizing U.S-owned properties in Cuba. In response, the U.S. implemented trade restrictions, closed its embassy in Havana, broke official diplomatic relations with Cuba, and attempted to overthrow the Cuban government. The U.S. also declared a trade embargo on Cuba in 1960, which severely hampered the Cuban economy over the course of the next half-century.
Continue Reading Cuba-U.S. Relations: The Rapprochement Slows Down Under The Trump Administration
What is Prop 65?
Prop 65 is a California law that requires California consumers receive warnings regarding the presence of chemicals that cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. The law is highly technical, constantly evolving and actively enforced by the government and private enforcers.
Continue Reading WARNING: There Are New Warning Requirements for Imports Sold in California
USTR Lighthizer yesterday delivered the Administration’s official 90-day notice to Congress that it will renegotiate NAFTA.
The notice says that the process will be carried out “consistent with Congressional priorities and objectives outlined in section 102 of the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act,” which is the TPA fast-track legislation passed in 2015. This is a welcome indication that the Administration is proceeding, at least for now, in the manner that Congress contemplates. While President Trump could change course, there is for now at least reason to believe that the negotiation will proceed in the manner typical of FTA negotiations, with Congressional notification and ratification of the final agreement, rather than a Presidential assertion of unilateral authority to make revisions under the Trade Act of 1974 or the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.
Continue Reading NAFTA Renegotiation Goes Live