Articles Tagged with export

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On November 19, 2018, the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) issued a proposed rulemaking seeking public comment on criteria for identifying emerging technologies that are essential to U.S. national security.  The proposed rulemaking has two important impacts:

  1. Emerging technologies identified through this process will become subject to stricter export controls.  This will impact exports and re-exports to a number of countries or employees from those countries, including China.
  2. Certain types of foreign investments in U.S. companies that develop identified emerging technologies will be subject to mandatory filings with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).  This includes minority, non-controlling equity investments that afford foreign investors certain rights.

BIS is currently seeking comment on: 1) how to define emerging technology to assist identification of such technology in the future; 2) criteria to apply to determine whether there are specific technologies within these general categories that are important to U.S. national security; 3) sources to identify such technologies; 4) other general technology categories that warrant review to identify emerging technology that are important to U.S. national security; 5) the status of development of these technologies in the United States and other countries; 6) the impact specific emerging technology controls would have on U.S. technological leadership; 7) any other approaches to the issue of identifying emerging technologies important to U.S. national security, including the stage of development or maturity level of an emerging technology that would warrant consideration for export control.  The deadline to submit comments is December 19, 2018.

Please see below for the list of representative technology categories provided by BIS.

1.  Biotechnology, such as:

  • Nanobiology;
  • Synthetic biology;
  • Genomic and genetic engineering; or
  • Neurotech.

2.   Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technology, such as:

  • Neural networks and deep learning (e.g., brain modelling, time series prediction, classification);
  • Evolution and genetic computation (e.g., genetic algorithms, genetic programming);
  • Reinforcement learning;
  • Computer vision (e.g., object recognition, image understanding);
  • Expert systems (e.g., decision support systems, teaching systems);
  • Speech and audio processing (e.g., speech recognition and production);
  • Natural language processing (e.g., machine translation);
  • Planning (e.g., scheduling, game playing);
  • Audio and video manipulation technologies (e.g. voice cloning, deepfakes);
  • AI cloud technologies; or
  • AI chipsets

3.  Position, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) technology

4.  Microprocessor technology, such as:

  • Systems-on-Chip (SoC)
  • Stacked Memory on Chip

5.  Advanced computing technology, such as:

  • Memory-centric logic

6.  Data analytics technology, such as:

  • Visualization;
  • Automated analysis algorithms; or
  • Context-aware computing

7.  Quantum information and sensing technology, such as:

  • Quantum computing;
  • Quantum encryption; or
  • Quantum sensing

8.  Logistics technology, such as:

  • Mobile electric power;
  • Modeling and simulation;
  • Total asset visibility; or
  • Distribution-based Logistics Systems (DBLS)

9.   Additive manufacturing (e.g. 3D printing)

10.  Robotics, such as:

  • Micro-drone and micro-robotic systems;
  • Swarming technology;
  • Self-assembling robots;
  • Molecular robotics;
  • Robot compliers; or
  • Smart Dust.

11.  Brain-computer interfaces, such as:

  • Neural-controlled interfaces;
  • Mind-machine interfaces;
  • Direct neural interfaces; or
  • Brain-machine interfaces

12.  Hypersonics, such as:

  • Flight control algorithms;
  • Propulsion technologies;
  • Thermal protection systems; or
  • Specialized materials (for structures, sensors, etc.).

13.  Advanced Materials, such as:

  • Adaptive camouflage;
  • Functional textiles (e.g., advanced fiber and fabric technology); or
  • Biomaterials

14.  Advanced surveillance technologies, such as:

  • Faceprint and voiceprint technologies

Note that the US Commerce Department will be issuing a separate rulemaking for proposed controls on “foundational” technologies.

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On August 6, 2018, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) released a new Executive Order to implement the previously announced re-imposition of U.S. sanctions for Iran. There were no major surprises, with the Executive Order paralleling the guidance released on May 8, 2018 when the President announced his decision to cease the United States’ participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and to begin re-imposing the U.S. nuclear-related sanctions that had been lifted, following a wind-down period.

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Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 Presidential election put the Republican Party in charge of the White House and Congress for the first time in a decade. President-elect Trump ran as an anti-establishment candidate who departed from many traditional Republican positions and promised bold and in some respects controversial reforms. How his administration will govern and the extent to which its policies will be supported in Congress are key questions facing companies and investors.

This report comments on aspects of international trade, sanctions and export control policies that are currently at the forefront of discussion.

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The front line of Iran sanctions compliance and enforcement has been the banking sector. With the arrival of “Implementation Day” under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), financial institutions and persons engaging in financial transactions face an adjusted, but still complex, sanctions environment. Continue reading →

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The U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued General License 20 for Myanmar (Burma) on December 7, 2015, which authorizes certain trade related transactions that were previously prohibited due to the role of sanctioned parties in the country’s ports and other trade infrastructure.

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Companies wishing to take advantage of the efficiencies of cloud computing face a dilemma—how to do so without running afoul of export controls? In a recent client alert, authors Christopher Wall and Sanjay Mullick examine how newly proposed regulations from the Directorate of Defense Trade Control (DDTC) and the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) could potentially solve this problem, allowing companies to store information on servers in foreign countries if that information is sufficiently encrypted. (And that’s an important “if.”)

Client Alert: Proposed Change to Export Controls Would Allow Use of the Cloud for Encrypted Data