US Trade Representative Lighthizer will meet with tech CEOs.

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According to anonymous sources, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will meet with CEO’s from Google, Microsoft, Qualcomm and Oracle today in Silicon Valley.

The topics likely center around intellectual property protections, the ongoing trade war, reports of bias in news searches, emerging technologies such as 5G, AI and robotics.

Other topics could include the Trump Administration’s plan to increase restrictions on exports of new technologies to China due to national security concerns. The new technologies include AI, quantum computing, and speech recognition.

Check back for more news as they become available.

Huawei CFO arrested in Canada for violating U.S. sanctions on Iran.

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According to Bloomberg – Huawei’s CFO, Wanzhou “Sabrina” Weng was arrested in Canada on December 1st over Huawei’s potential violations of U.S. sanctions on Iran. Sabrina Weng is the deputy chairwoman and daughter of Huawei founder Zhengfei Ren.

The arrest prompted China’s embassy in Canada to demand Sabrina be released and for the US and Canada to “rectify wrongdoings” and to “to clarify the grounds for the detention, to release the detainee and earnestly safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the person involved”.

It is not known when or if Sabrina will be expedited to the US.

Check back for more updates as they are available. If you have any questions about your company’s compliance with US export controls and or want to ensure your company is in compliance with all the sanctions and laws regarding exporting, contact David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

Deal reached between the US and ZTE.

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Credit: Courtesy of ZTE Corporation

The US will end the ban on ZTE buying American software and hardware.

The terms of the deal require:
1. $1 billion penalty;
2. $400 million in escrow to be forfeited in the event of future export violations during the 10-year probationary period;
3. Compliance team in ZTE that will report to the company’s new chairman;
4. ZTE must change board and management team in 30 days.

Various online articles covering the US/ZTE deal ask what the US gets out of the ZTE deal.

None of the news sources mention that this deal saves ZTE and will lead to business for US suppliers of components and software to ZTE:

-Acacia Communications Inc
-Oclaro,
-Lumentum Holdings,
-FiberHome
-NeoPhotonics Corp
-Inphi Corp
-Finisar Corp
-Analog Devices Inc
-Xilinx Inc
-Qualcomm
-Qorvo Inc.
-Alphabet Inc

If you or anyone you know has questions about the ZTE deal or export compliance questions, feel free to contact experienced trade attorney, David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

ZTE facing $1.7 billion penalty?

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Reuters reports the Trump administration may seek a penalty up to $1.7 billion from ZTE. In addition to the hefty fine, the U.S. Department of Commerce is also seeking unrestricted access to sites to verify US components are being used as claimed by ZTE.

As previously mentioned on this blog, ZTE is banned from purchasing from US hardware and software suppliers for 7 years due to violating U.S. export controls. This ban would severely limit ZTE’s ability to make phones as US companies provide 25-30% of the components in ZTE equipment, with ZTE paying over $2.3 billion to US suppliers.

As the penalty can change anytime – check back for more updates.

 

 

The real reason Trump is working to reverse the 7 year ZTE ban? To help U.S. companies!

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President Trump via whitehouse.gov

I’ve read almost every ZTE-related article and no article has mentioned what I believe to be the real reason behind President Trump’s efforts to reverse or implement other alternatives to remove ZTE’s 7-year ban on purchasing U.S. hardware and software.

The real reason President Trump is trying to remove the ban is an effort to help US companies. US based companies such as Qualcomm, Intel, Broadcom and Oclaro supply hardware to ZTE. Software companies such as Alphabet supply and provide the Android mobile operating system and updates found on ZTE phones. A 7-year ban means the Google Play Appstore will lose sales on both apps and in-app purchases.

While Trump has faced backlash from Congress, I believe Trump’s efforts are in the interest of helping US companies and improving their stock prices.

Deal reached to allow ZTE to purchase U.S. hardware and software?

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ZTE Campus in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, People’s Republic of China; By Brücke-Osteuropa – Own work, Public Domain

According to a Wall Street Journal article dated May 22nd, the US and China have reached a tentative deal on what steps ZTE could take in order for the Trump administration to remove the ban preventing U.S. companies from selling hardware and software to ZTE.

As previously mentioned on this blog, U.S. companies were barred for selling components and software to ZTE for a period of 7 years due to ZTE not complying with the terms of a 2017 plea deal for violations related to shipping US equipment to Iran and North Korea.

Citing sources close to the negotiation, the WSJ reported ZTE would need to make management changes, changes in the board and payment of additional fines.

Check back for more updates to the ongoing ZTE issue as they become available.

For any questions about denial orders, ZTE, customs or trade law, contact David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

In Houston and want to learn more about U.S. Export Controls?

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The The Bureau of Industry and Security, Outreach and Educational Services Division will hold a conference regarding “Complying with U.S. Export Controls”

Date: June 12-13, 2018

Location: Norris Conference Center, Houston, TX (City Centre)

About the program (from the BIS website):

Complying with U.S. Export Controls

The two-day program is led by BIS’s professional counseling staff and provides an in-depth examination of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). The program will cover the information exporters need to know to comply with U.S. export control requirements on commercial goods. We will focus on what items and activities are subject to the EAR, steps to take to determine the export licensing requirements for your item, how to determine your export control classification number (ECCN), when you can export or reexport without applying for a license, export clearance procedures and record keeping requirements, and real life examples in applying this information. Presenters will conduct a number of “hands-on” exercises that will prepare you to apply the regulations to your own company’s export activities. This program is well suited for those who need a comprehensive understanding of their obligations under the EAR. Technical, policy, and enforcement professionals from BIS, as well as specialists from other agencies such as the Bureau of the Census, will participate.

About the Instructors

The instructors are experienced export policy specialists, engineers, and enforcement personnel from BIS’s Washington, D.C. headquarters and field offices, as well as representatives from other U.S. government agencies as appropriate. The instructors will be available throughout the seminar to answer your questions on how the export regulations affect the export activities of your organization or client.

Location/time

The program will be held at Norris Conference Center located at 816 Town & Country Blvd. Suite 210, Houston, Texas 77024. Registration and continental breakfast will begin at 7:30 a.m. on June 12, 2018. The program will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 5:00 p.m.

Registration

The registration fee for the Complying with U.S. Export Controls seminar is $525 per person before May 11, 2018 and $575 after. To register for both this program and the Technology Controls seminar on June 14, 2018, the fee is $775 before May 11 and $845 after. The fee includes continental breakfasts, coffee breaks, lunches and materials for the entire seminar. Fee is not refundable after May 18, 2018. Substitutions may be made. To guarantee placement for the BIS seminar: Click here to register.

If you have any questions about BIS, export controls or customs law, contact experienced trade and customs attorney David Hsu at 713-932-1540 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

 

 

What is the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act?

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Short Answer: The Global Magnitsky Act is a US effort to stop human rights abuses and corrupt actors by allowing President Trump to impose sanctions against parties involved in human rights violations and corruption around the world.

This Act sounds familiar, how is it different from the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012 (“Magnitsky Act”)? The Magnitsky Act was only targeting human rights abusers in Russia. The Global Magnitsky Act applies to human rights abusers and corrupt actors globally.

Long Answer: President Trump signed Executive Order 13818 titled “Blocking the Property of Persons Involved in Serious Human Rights Abuses or Corruption” on December 20, 2017 implementing the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act (“Global Magnitsky Act”).

The passage of the Global Magnitsky Act authorizes President Trump to impose sanctions on individuals, governments or other entities who commit human rights violations such as extrajudicial killings, torture, gross violations of human rights. Additionally, this act also applies to parties who are involved in significant corruption such as expropriation of assets for personal gain, corruption in government contracts, bribery or other acts of corruption.

In late December, OFAC also designated 52 new parties as SDN’s as part of the Global Magnitsky Act and the Executive Order. If you are in trade compliance, be sure to check out the new OFAC designated parties as the updated list includes parties from the following countries: The Gambia, South Sudan, Russia, Nicaragua, China, Pakistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine.

These designations are the first under the Global Magnitsky Act and won’t be the last.

Click the below link for the U.S. Department of Treasury sanction list and other OFAC information:

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/SDN-List/Pages/default.aspx

If you have any questions about compliance with the new or old Magnitsky Act, OFAC, SDN or blocked persons or any general trade compliance matters, call 832.896.6288 or e-mail dhsu@givensjohnston.com

2018 Houston BIS Export Compliance Event – Register Now.

hall-congress-architecture-building-159213.jpegSave the date if you are in Houston and want to learn more about BIS export compliance.

The first two-day program session will be led by BIS staff and provide in depth information regarding Export Administration Regulations (EAR). Covered topics include EAR, how to determine export control classification numbers (ECCN); when to reexport without applying for a license, Export Management Compliance Program (EMCP) and more!

Additionally, session 2 on day three covers technology controls, specifically how to comply with U.S. export and reexport controls related to technology and software. Topics include export or reexport of technology, kinds of tech and software subject to EAR, license exceptions and more!

The 3-day seminar will be held at the Norris Conference Center in City Centre Houston near Beltway 8 and I-10 West.

For more details, click the link below:

http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=qg6pm6iab&oeidk=a07eeqlbbsq77507f3b