The U.S. National Science and Technology Council (NSTC)[1] recently published an updated list of critical and emerging technologies (CETs) as part of an ongoing effort to identify advanced technologies that are potentially significant to U.S. national security.  We previously summarized the February 2022 list of CETs from the NSTC here.Continue Reading Updates to the Critical and Emerging Technologies List Signal Refinement of Focus

As the second anniversary of the conflict in Ukraine approaches, the United States, the European Union, and the United Kingdom continue to focus on and tighten sanctions against Russia, with a particular emphasis on preventing circumvention and evasion of sanctions.  For example, 2023 ended with several significant regulatory developments, including the EU 12th package of sanctions against Russia, discussed in our earlier alert, and new U.S. sanctions-related authority targeting foreign financial institutions (“FFIs”) supporting Russia’s military-industrial base.  This update focuses on the latter development, which is a significant development for FFIs that remain engaged in business involving Russia, even if such business is undertaken outside of U.S. jurisdiction.Continue Reading Impact of Recent U.S. Secondary Sanctions Authority Targeting Foreign Financial Institutions Supporting Russia’s Military-Industrial Base

On February 1, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit unanimously granted a preliminary injunction in Shen v. Simpson, enjoining enforcement of a Florida law regulating foreign ownership of U.S. land.  That law prohibits citizens of the People’s Republic of China who are not lawful permanent residents of the United States from purchasing certain real property in Florida.  The Eleventh Circuit’s ruling enjoined enforcement of the law against two individual plaintiffs, and the court held that those plaintiffs had shown a “substantial likelihood of success” on their claim that the Florida law was preempted by the Foreign Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (“FIRRMA”), the most recent federal statute expanding the authority of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”), including with respect to certain real estate transactions.  In concurrence with the majority, Judge Abudu wrote that the plaintiffs also showed a substantial likelihood of success on their argument that Florida’s law violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.Continue Reading U.S. Circuit Court Finds that Florida Law Prohibiting Foreign Ownership of U.S. Land Likely Preempted by CFIUS Statute

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

In recent months, U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) leadership reiterated their intention to continue focusing on prosecuting crime by companies and responsible individuals, in particular in areas relating to national security.  To this end, DOJ recently has amended or formalized policies intended to incentivize companies to report criminal misconduct, cooperate in DOJ’s criminal investigations and remediate.[1]  In line with that trend and as previewed last month by the Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General,[2] the DOJ officially announced its New Safe Harbor Policy for Voluntary Self-Disclosures Made in Connection with Mergers and Acquisitions (“M&A Safe Harbor”).[3]Continue Reading DOJ New Safe Harbor Policy for Voluntary Self-Disclosures in M&A

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.

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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