Cross-Border Transactions

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

The Official Gazette of the Federation (the “Gazette”) published an amendment to the Mexican Commerce Code (Código de Comercio) by which foreign entities (and not only individuals) acting as pledgors who have not been previously recorded in the Public Registry of Commerce, may validly obtain a registration number from the Unique Registry of Mobile Asset Collateral (Registro Unico de Garantías Mobiliarias) (“RUG”), under which first priority liens on mobile assets located in Mexican territory and documented through Mexican security documents (i.e. Floating Lien Pledge Agreements) will be recorded in the RUG perfecting such first priority lien for purposes of third parties.Continue Reading Amendment to Mexican Commerce Code Facilitates Registration of Liens Against Mobile Assets Located In Mexico

The staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) recently released a study on the cross-border scope of the private right of action under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”), 15 U.S.C. § 78j(b), and SEC Rule 10b-5, 17 C.F.R. § 240.10b-5, promulgated thereunder. The study, mandated by Congress following the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Morrison v. National Australia Bank Ltd., 130 S. Ct. 2869 (2010), outlines a number of legislative options for extending the scope of private actions for international securities fraud that may provide a roadmap for future Congressional action.Continue Reading SEC Staff Issues Report on the Cross-Border Scope of Private Rights of Action for Securities Fraud

By Bram Hanono

On January 16, 2012, Mexico enacted the Law on Public-Private Partnerships (Ley de Asociaciones Público Privadas) ("PPP Law"). The new PPP Law is intended to regulate the formation of partnerships between the public and private sectors in an effort to provide services and build infrastructure to improve social welfare and increase investment levels in Mexico.Continue Reading Mexico Continues to Entice Private Investment in Infrastructure With a New Public-Private Partnership Act

By Neil A.F. Popović and Rachel Tarko Hudson

In the latest U.S. chapter of the long and hard-fought battle over claims of pollution and adverse health effects from oil development in the Ecuadorian rain forest by Texaco (acquired by Chevron in 2001), a potentially important court victory has gone to the so-called Lago Agrio plaintiffs. On January 26, 2012, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion in Chevron Corp. v. Naranjo, ___ F.3d ___, 2012 WL 232965 (2d Cir. Jan. 26, 2012), ordering vacation of a preliminary injunction that prohibited the Lago Agrio plaintiffs from enforcing or preparing to enforce a potential Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron anywhere in the world outside Ecuador.Continue Reading The Chevron Ecuador Saga Continues as Second Circuit Overturns Anti-Enforcement Injunction

By Alejandro E. Moreno

Fluctuating commodity prices, particularly with respect to the price of food and basic staples, have created a significant demand for arable land. The demand for arable land has, in turn, boosted the price Argentina’s rural land and caused a flurry of foreign investment. In response to acquisition of land by foreigners, Argentina recently passed a law that imposes several restrictions on the foreign ownership of rural lands.Continue Reading Argentina’s Parliament Approves A Measure Limiting Amount Of Land That Can Be Purchased By Foreigners

By Larissa Calva-Ruiz

Corporate laws and entities in Mexico have several key differences with their respective counterparts in the United States. One of the most notable differences is the number of shareholders, members or partners needed to incorporate any type of entity. While in the United States it is permissible and customary to set up a corporation or limited liability company with one shareholder/partner, this is not allowed under Mexican law. Consequently, we find a considerable number of entities incorporated in Mexico with one "real" majority shareholder/partner and another minority "phantom" shareholder/partner (a straw man), whose sole purpose is to fulfill a corporate formality.Continue Reading Single Shareholder/Partner entities in Mexico

By Joseph Pileri

Conducting due diligence is a key aspect of any transaction, international or otherwise. Attorneys working on transactions conducted in Mexico or that involve Mexican entities ought to be aware of registration and certification requirements that are unique to Mexico and that can affect the good standing and validity of Mexican contracts and companies.Continue Reading Doing Transactions in Mexico – Conducting Due Diligence

By Whitney A. Hodges

On September 30, 2011, the United States government signed an Export Trade Certificate of Review for the Latin American Multichannel Advertising Council ("LAMAC"). This certification will allow seven United States-based entertainment firms to increase the exportation of multimedia entertainment to Latin American countries and will likely pave the way for other United States-based entertainment studios to enter the market. The LAMAC’s Certificate of Review was signed by Under Secretary for International Trade, Francisco Sánchez.
 Continue Reading United States Increases Entertainment Exports to Latin American Markets

By Curt Dombek

Companies are reporting a significant increase in intellectual property seizures at U.S. ports in recent months, resulting in increased supply chain disruptions.  Unfortunately, not all of this activity can be explained by more effective enforcement methods.  More cases of erroneous seizure have also been observed, and some of these are attributable to difficulty in tracing the valid licensing authority for components incorporated in products that have been manufactured abroad.
 Continue Reading Increasing Level of Seizures by U.S. Customs

The Internal Revenue Service announced on February 8, 2011 the creation of a second special voluntary disclosure initiative for U.S. taxpayers with undisclosed foreign bank and other financial accounts. This new program is a follow-on to the IRS’ original voluntary disclosure initiative that closed on October 15, 2009. The 2009 program reportedly attracted some 15,000 voluntary disclosures by taxpayers with previously undisclosed offshore accounts, and has been viewed within the government as a success in getting taxpayers "back into the U.S. tax system" by offering them the ability to avoid or significantly mitigate various the criminal and civil penalties that would otherwise have potentially applied had their failure to disclose been discovered by the IRS on audit.
 Continue Reading IRS Announces Second Special Voluntary Disclosure Initiative for Taxpayers With Undisclosed Offshore Accounts