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. 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. In line with that trend and as previewed last month by the Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General, the DOJ officially announced its New Safe Harbor Policy for Voluntary Self-Disclosures Made in Connection with Mergers and Acquisitions (“M&A Safe Harbor”).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. 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
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) recently published its 2022 Annual Report, which provides information regarding transactions reviewed by CFIUS in 2022. Key takeaways from the 2022 Annual Report are below.Continue Reading CFIUS Releases 2022 Annual Report – Key Takeaways
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.
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 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
On April 19, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its highly-anticipated decision in U.S. v. Halkbank, holding that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (“FSIA”) does not provide foreign sovereigns with immunity from criminal prosecution in U.S. courts. Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court Holds FSIA Does Not Immunize Foreign Sovereigns From Criminal Prosecution
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
Cleary Gottlieb partner Chase Kaniecki, associates Samuel Chang, Pete Young, William Dawley, and law clerk Stephanie Gullo co-authored the United States chapter in Lexology Getting the Deal Through: Foreign Investment Review 2023.