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Chase Kaniecki’s practice focuses on international trade and national security matters, including CFIUS and global foreign direct investment, economic sanctions, export controls, customs, and trade remedies.

The following post was originally included as part of our recently published memorandum “Selected Issues for Boards of Directors in 2024”.

Continued volatility in geopolitical events this past year and corresponding responses in sanctions policies highlight the importance of integrating economic sanctions considerations in board agendas for 2024. In particular, boards of directors should be aware of the increasing global collaboration among sanctions authorities as well as the continuing expansion and application of sanctions in new domains such as digital assets. Sanctions developments can be expected to be particularly fluid in 2024 with respect to China, Russia and Venezuela.Continue Reading Economic Sanctions: Developments and Lessons for Boards in 2024

On December 7, 2023, the U.S. and Mexican governments signed a Memorandum of Intent (“MOI”) agreeing to cooperate and bolster foreign investment screening.  Both countries have expressed a commitment to establish a bilateral working group for the exchange of information and best practices on foreign investment, with the goal of helping Mexico develop a CFIUS-like screening regime and strengthening the collective security of the United States and Mexico.    Continue Reading United States and Mexico to Bolster Cooperation in Foreign Direct Investment Screening

On October 18, 2023, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) issued a number of general licenses easing sanctions targeting Venezuela.  The general licenses authorize: (i) U.S. persons to purchase bonds issued by certain Venezuelan government entities prior to August 25, 2017 on the secondary market, (ii) transactions related to oil and gas sector operations in Venezuela for a six-month period, and (iii) transactions with the Venezuelan state-owned gold mining company.[1]  OFAC also issued additional guidance, including Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) relating to these general licenses. Continue Reading OFAC Eases Venezuela Sanctions; Lifts Secondary Market Trading Ban on U.S. Persons

On August 9, 2023, the Biden Administration issued the long-awaited Executive Order on Addressing United States Investments in Certain National Security Technologies and Products in Countries of Concern (the “EO”) and accompanying Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (the “ANPRM”) setting forth the proposed contours of an outbound investment regime targeting China.[1]  Under the proposed regime, U.S. persons would be prohibited from making, or required to notify the U.S. government regarding, certain investments in entities engaged in certain activities relating to semiconductors and microelectronics, quantum information technologies, and artificial intelligence (“AI”) in “countries of concern” (presently limited to China, Hong Kong, and Macau).  The United States currently has the authority to review inbound foreign investment through the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”).Continue Reading U.S. Government Unveils Proposal for Outbound Investment Regime Targeting China

On July 26, 2023, the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Security Division, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control jointly issued a compliance note summarizing voluntary self-disclosure policies applicable to U.S. sanctions, export controls, and other national security laws.

The

On May 9, 2023, we wrote about Decree of the President of Russia No. 302 that created a framework for nationalization of Russian assets belonging to persons from “unfriendly” states (the “Decree”). At that time the only assets to which nationalization applied were the shares in strategic energy companies Unipro, controlled by the Government of

On 19 May 2023, the UK expanded its list of Designated Persons under the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 by adding 86 new persons, comprising 42 individuals and 44 Russian legal entities. The newly Designated Persons are primarily involved with, or linked to, the defense, transportation, extraction, metallurgy, financial and agricultural sectors of the Russian economy. This expansion of sanctions appears to follow the G7 Leaders’ Statement on Ukraine, which was also issued on 19 May.Continue Reading UK Russian Sanctions Expanded Following G7 Summit

On April 25, 2023, the President of Russia signed Decree No. 302 On Temporary Management of certain assets, including movable and immovable assets and equity interests in the capital of Russian legal entities, that appoints the Federal Agency for State Property Management as the temporary manager of such assets and allows the agency to exercise all the rights of the owner of such assets, other than to dispose of the assets.Continue Reading Tit for Tat Continues, or Further Russian Countersanctions That Allow Nationalization of Assets of Persons From Unfriendly States

Foreign direct investment (“FDI”) control has historically been centred on inbound FDI, meaning investment inflow into a country.  The tide is turning, as the United States seems ready to introduce an outbound FDI control mechanism, whereby capital outflow towards certain countries will be subjected to a screening process.  Similarly, the European Commission (“Commission”) 2023 Work Programme indicates that the EC will “examine whether additional tools are necessary in respect of outbound strategic investments controls”, and is “prepared to revise the EU’s FDI screening regulation.”Continue Reading Outbound Investment Screening Regime—EU May Follow In U.S. Footsteps