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Sanctions: OFAC Authorizes Humanitarian Aid to Afghanistan

Sanctions Update ▪ October 4, 2021 ▪  PDF OFAC Authorizes Afghanistan Humanitarian Aid and Activities Otherwise Prohibited by Counter-Terrorism Sanctions, Publishes FAQs On September 24, 2021, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued two general licenses…

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Strategic Competition Act Would Subject Foreign Funding of U.S. Universities to CFIUS Review

Several pieces of legislation are pending in Congress to more comprehensively shore up the U.S. position in the U.S.-China technology race. The Strategic Competition Act of 2021 illustrates clearly the official U.S. view of academia’s role in the U.S.-China technology race, and the links between U.S. policies and legal measures to regulate foreign access to U.S. science and technology within and across the private, public, and academic sectors.
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New U.S. Law Targets China’s Financial Diplomacy, Belt & Road Initiative, World Bank Borrowing

With the passage of the NDAA for FY 2021, we are reminded that the United States views as an issue of “great power competition” China’s financial and infrastructure diplomacy, particularly China’s lending to developing nations and its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Congress provided a reminder of the United States’ concerns as to China’s cross-border lending and the BRI. The massive annual defense spending legislation includes two provisions directly on point.
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Executive Order Prohibits Investment in Chinese “Military Companies:” Key Points, Context

We expect that with respect to U.S.-China trade and emerging technologies disputes and competition, the Biden Administration will take a more comprehensive, coordinated, and multilateral approach, relying more on joint action and shared objectives with Congress (where there is bipartisan consensus on key China matters) and U.S. allies, particularly in Europe and Asia. That said, the proximity of the January 11, 2021 operational date will likely require the incoming administration to ensure that any abandonment of or departures from the Executive order are framed in a compelling strategic and policy terms, so as to, at minimum, avoid exposure to claims from some quarters that the next president is “soft on China.”
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U.S. Targets Chinese Belt & Road Project With Global Magnitsky Sanctions

The Treasury Department’s announcement of the sanctions speaks to the foreign policy and geostrategic significance of the UDG sanctions action. The release speaks of China’s “malign” investment in Cambodia, its use of the UDG projects in Cambodia to “advance ambitions to project power globally,” “disproportionality benefit” itself through BRI projects, and concerns that the Dara Kakor project “could be converted to “host military assets.” The Treasury Department’s language echoes U.S. concerns about the BRI and other Chinese international project financing activities, including that China engages in “debt trap” financing.
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TikTok: China’s Export Controls Set in Motion Unprecedented Legal Scenario

On August 14, President Trump ordered ByteDance to divest its assets and interests in TikTok. What happens if ByteDance does not comply? The question may seem academic, given historical compliance with divestment orders and ByteDance’s talks with U.S. companies about TikTok’s sale. But a recent legal move by China—its expansion of a list of technologies that require government approval for export, including apparently in a sale of TikTok—renders real the issue of non-compliance with the August 14 divestment order, and potentially raises unprecedented issues.
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