On May 21, 2019, the Department of Commerce published a final rule adding Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd and 68 of its non-U.S. affiliates located in 26 countries (collectively, “Huawei”) to the Bureau of Industry and Security’s (“BIS”) Entity List.  Commerce had previously announced its intention
Continue Reading U.S. Government Takes Aim at China With Entity List Additions and New Executive Order

The House Financial Services Committee unanimously recommended to the full House on May 9, 2019 a bill that would reform the U.S. anti-money laundering (AML) regime.  H.R. 2514, the Coordinating Oversight, Upgrading and Innovating Technology, and Examiner Reform Act of 2019 (the COUNTER Act), would amend the Bank Secrecy Act
Continue Reading Bank Secrecy Act Reform Legislation Advanced Unanimously by House Financial Services Committee

A bipartisan group of 38 state and territorial attorneys general has signed an open letter to Congress calling for legislative change for banking and financial institutions wishing to provide services to cannabis businesses. The letter describes the severe financial restrictions faced by cannabis businesses that operate legally under state law
Continue Reading Bipartisan Support for Cannabis Banking Safe Harbor Reaches New High with Letter from Attorneys General

On May 8, 2019, the one-year anniversary of his decision to end the United States’ participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”) with Iran, President Trump issued a new Executive Order “Imposing Sanctions with Respect to the Iron, Steel, Aluminum, and Copper Sectors of Iran” (the
Continue Reading U.S. Expands Sanctions Targeting Iran’s Metals Sector

On May 3, 2019, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) published A Framework for OFAC Compliance Commitments (the “Compliance Framework”), a guidance document that sets forth OFAC’s views of the essential elements of an effective economic sanctions compliance program (“SCP”).  OFAC
Continue Reading OFAC Publishes Guidance on Sanctions Compliance Programs

On April 22, 2019, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the waivers issued to China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey, which allow them to continue to import Iranian oil after the United States fully reinstated secondary sanctions against Iran last fall, will expire on May
Continue Reading U.S. Department of State to Cancel Iranian Oil Waivers

In separate statements on April 17, 2019 coinciding with the anniversary of the Bay of Pigs invasion, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton announced several measures intended to increase pressure on Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, in response to corruption, human rights abuses, and political
Continue Reading U.S. Government Targets “Three Stooges of Socialism” with New Measures Against Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS” or the “Committee”) recently publicly announced that it had imposed a $1 million civil monetary penalty against an undisclosed entity for repeated violations of its 2016 mitigation agreement with CFIUS, including failure to establish requisite security
Continue Reading CFIUS Imposes $1 Million Civil Monetary Penalty for Breach of Mitigation Agreement

There is now a serious effort underway by the usually divided Congress to find a way for the growing cannabis sector to enter the mainstream financial sector.  Our newest visual memorandum updates our earlier briefing on the two legislative vehicles:  the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act (the SAFE Banking
Continue Reading Banking and Cannabis — Updated Briefing on the SAFE Banking Act and STATES Act

On April 8, 2019, the U.S. State Department announced its intent to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (“IRGC”) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (“FTO”) under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1189.  The designation will take effect upon publication in
Continue Reading U.S. Government Adds to Sanctions Against the IRGC with Unprecedented FTO Designation