In a March 25, 2020 communication, the European Commission (“EC”) issued guidance on the screening of foreign direct investments (“FDI”) in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The communication identifies an increased risk of attempts by non-EU acquirers to obtain control over suppliers of essential products, in particular healthcare sector products. The EC calls on Member States to make use of pre-existing FDI regimes, and to introduce robust screening mechanisms where they do not already exist, to protect “critical health infrastructure, supply of critical inputs, and other critical sectors.”  The communication builds on the increasing coordination among Member States that was already encouraged by the EU FDI Screening Regulation that comes into effect in October 2020.

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This Trade Summary provides an overview of WTO dispute settlement decisions and panel activities, and EU decisions and measures on commercial policy, customs policy and external relations, for the fourth quarter of 2019.

If you have any questions regarding the above, do not hesitate to contact fclaprevote@cgsh.com or tmuelleribold@cgsh.com.

On the evening of December 9, 2019, a U.S. congressional conference committee released the compromise version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (“NDAA 2020” or “Defense Bill”).  NDAA 2020, which will be voted upon without further amendment and is virtually certain to be enacted into law, contains provisions that would authorize new secondary sanctions relating to the Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream projects, Syria, and North Korea.
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On August 5, 2019, the European Commission (“Commission”) published its official Guidance on Internal Compliance Programmes (“Guidance”).[1] The Guidance aims to clarify and harmonize implementation of Regulation 428/2009 on Dual-Use Goods[2] (“Dual-Use Regulation”) by competent Member State authorities (“national export authorities”) and EU-based exporters of dual-use goods (“exporters”). While the Guidance is non-binding, national export authorities will take it into careful account when considering applications to export, transit or broker dual-use items.

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This Trade Summary provides an overview of WTO dispute settlement decisions and panel activities, and EU decisions and measures on commercial policy, customs policy and external relations, for the second quarter of 2019.

If you have any questions regarding the above, do not hesitate to contact fclaprevote@cgsh.com or tmuelleribold@cgsh.com.

On January 31, 2019, France, Germany and the UK (the “E3”) announced the creation of the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (“INSTEX”), a special purpose vehicle intended to facilitate legitimate trade between European companies and Iran, registered in France.  This initiative is supported by the European Union. The vehicle was created in the wake of the U.S.’ withdrawal in 2018 from the Iran nuclear deal (the  Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”)), in addition to the EU Blocking Regulation, and as part of the EU’s response to the re-imposition of U.S. secondary sanctions on Iran through the U.S. Executive Order 13846 (the “Executive Order”).  The Executive Order re-imposed the secondary sanctions regime against Iran that it have been suspended while it was a party to the JCPOA. 
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