Regulatory Playbook | Pillsbury Law
Regulatory Playbook
Inside analysis direct from Washington, DC
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Regulatory Playbook

Inside analysis direct from Washington, DC

Welcome to Pillsbury’s Regulatory Playbook, where you’ll find news and insights on the regulatory trends that are driving markets and shaping businesses. Here, Pillsbury’s market-leading regulatory group illuminates critical developments at the intersection of law and policy. If you need to know what’s happening, why it’s happening and how to respond, consult the Playbook.

Trending Issues

Private Funds Litigation/Regulatory Year in Review and 2020 Outlook
Private funds continue to live in an age of heightened litigation risk and an emboldened Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC). Firms should take steps to mitigate risks—including documenting oversight, observing corporate formalities, creating and implementing strong internal controls, and adequately training professionals who serve as directors.

Substantial Transformation of the FAR Trade Agreements Clause
The Buy American Act is the basic source of restrictions on the federal government’s purchases of foreign-produced products. As implemented through a Presidential executive order and regulations, the law imposes a “price preference” for purchases of U.S. origin goods, which can be 6% (for non-Defense procurements) to 50% (for Defense procurements). The application of the Buy American Act is modified when the United States is obligated by an international agreement—either the World Trade Organization (WTO) Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) or a free trade agreement such as the NAFTA—to accord non-discriminatory treatment to the goods of specific foreign countries. In those cases, when the procurement is being made by a covered agency and the value of the procurement is above the applicable threshold, no price preference is applied and the foreign good is evaluated in the same manner as U.S. goods. Those modifications are implemented under the authority of the TAA, which implements U.S. obligations under trade agreements.

DC’s UPL Law Regulations Present Choices and Challenges for Employers
Universal Paid Leave Benefits Become Available in July
On July 1, 2020, the District of Columbia’s Department of Employment Services (DOES) will begin administering paid leave benefits as part of the Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act. These benefits—called variously Universal Paid Leave (UPL) or Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits—will permit eligible employees working in the District to receive partial wage replacement benefits from the D.C. government for qualifying absences from work. Lower-wage employees may receive 90% of their average weekly wage—up to $840 per week. Employees who are paid more than 150% of minimum wage will receive larger benefits checks, although reflecting a smaller percentage of their earnings, up to a maximum of $1,000 per week. The benefits will be funded through a 0.62% payroll tax imposed on covered employers that went into effect on July 1, 2019.

Highlights of the CLEAN Future Act Proposal from the House Energy and Commerce Committee
The Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee has released a “discussion draft” of the committee’s climate bill. The legislation is over 600 pages long, but the Committee has also released a summary of this legislation, which is entitled the Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation’s Future Act or the CLEAN Future Act. Here are some highlights.

Deployment of SMRs: Key Market Trends for Consideration
Any strategy for the successful deployment of small modular reactors (SMRs) must thoroughly consider the current trends affecting the burgeoning market for SMRs. In 2019, the three major trends shaping this market were the large number of SMR designs, interest in SMRs in both mature and emerging markets, and factors impacting SMR financing.

10 Recommended Steps to Take Following Receipt of a Notice of Proposed Debarment or Suspension
For government contractors, a debarment immediately renders them ineligible for government contracting and, in turn, cuts off revenue, leading to potential irreparable harm. For individuals facing debarment, the effect is equally as dire, as most government contractors will immediately terminate an employee who has been proposed for debarment, or at a minimum, place the employee on leave pending a resolution. With such high stakes, those who find themselves in the crosshairs of such proceedings inevitably have questions. What should I do if I am debarred, and how does debarment affect me? How will my reputation be impacted by debarment? What can I do to avoid debarment? Unfortunately, adequate answers can be difficult to find.

U.S. Expands Secondary Sanctions to Iran’s Industrial Sectors
On January 10, 2020, the United States imposed additional sanctions on Iran in the wake of recent tensions between the countries and the continuing broader “maximum pressure” campaign on Iran. Specifically, President Trump signed Executive Order 13902 (E.O. 13902) authorizing the imposition of secondary sanctions on certain transactions involving Iran’s construction, mining, manufacturing, and textiles industries. This follows Executive Order 13871 from May 2019, which authorized secondary sanctions on Iran’s iron, steel, aluminum and copper sectors. Concurrently with the issuance of E.O. 13902, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) added to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List) several major Iran-related metal and mining companies, Chinese and Seychelles entities plus a related vessel involved in the Iranian metals trade, and Iranian regime officials.