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White House Actions

  • President Biden and Senators Support the Ramp Up in IRS Audits on Corporate Aircraft

    During President Biden’s State of the Union address on March 7, 2024, President Biden announced that he will eliminate tax breaks for corporate aircraft. A White House statement released the same day explains this agenda and states that President Biden will be “cracking down on corporate jet loopholes” in an effort to make high-net-worth individuals and large corporations “pay their fair share.”

  • Fugitive Sentenced in China to Life Imprisonment in Landmark Corruption Case

    In a matter of great interest to asset recovery litigants, after nearly two decades of cooperation between U.S. and China law enforcement authorities, Xu Guojun, who fled China in 2001, was sentenced in China to life imprisonment for corruption and embezzlement of nearly $500 million from the Bank of China.

  • OFAC Issues New Sanctions Targeting Hamas’s Financing Networks

    Following the October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has undertaken several initial sanctions steps to counter terrorist financing and call attention to financing networks, ongoing proliferation and terrorist support by Iran and due diligence expectations.

  • NCAA Rejects Theory That Apparel Company Sponsorship Agreement Converts Company and Employees into Boosters

    In 2023, the name image and likeness (NIL) allowance, the transfer portal, conference realignment and the NCAA’s overall governance structure attracted a significant amount of media attention. But one of the most important issues in industry of collegiate athletics rules enforcement and collegiate sports law continues to be what, precisely, constitutes a “representative of [a university program’s] athletics interests,” colloquially known as a “booster.” That is, because, under long-standing NCAA legislation, member institutions are held responsible for the actions of their boosters under the very low evidentiary standard of “known or should have known.”

  • U.S. Education Department’s New Accountability and Transparency Rules for Postsecondary Institutions to Take Effect in July 2024

    On September 27, 2023, after receiving over 7,500 public comments, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced final regulations concerning the Gainful Employment Rule and the financial value transparency (FVT) framework it had proposed in May. The final regulations were published in the Federal Register on October 10, 2023, and will take effect on July 1, 2024.

  • Biden Administration Continues Campaign to Crack Down on Junk Fees

    Federal consumer protection agencies and the White House have escalated their efforts to target so-called “junk” or surprise, add-on fees in a wide range of industries. The Biden Administration’s focus on junk fees has been intensifying since the beginning of 2022, as the White House has realized the popularity of these consumer protection measures in the midst of rising inflation. The Administration’s junk fee initiative, driven by the White House Competition Council formed in July 2021, is yielding new regulatory requirements across a wide swath of consumer-facing industries, and is likely to lead to enforcement actions in the not-too-distant future.

  • Department of Defense Designates Eight Technology Hubs to Create “Lab to Fab” Pathways for Microelectronics Researchers

    On September 20, the Department of Defense (DoD) announced nearly $240 million dollars to eight regional innovation hubs that will accelerate U.S. microelectronics manufacturing industry through the Microelectronics Commons, the Department’s newest program to accelerate product deployment from research to end commercialization. Companies working in the semiconductor industry should consider opportunities to partner and team with the established hubs that will be funding prototype projects key to the U.S. defense.

  • Applying Environmental Justice to the Regulated Community: What to Expect and How to Plan Accordingly

    Environmental justice (EJ) has been a central focus of the Biden Administration, which has encouraged a “whole-of-government” approach. Notably, this encouragement to address EJ issues, while backed by multiple executive orders (EOs), has lacked any federal law upon which agencies can enforce responsive action. Agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Justice (DOJ), have nevertheless sought creative avenues to enforce EJ problems. As EJ appears to be a continued focus of the Biden Administration, those that operate in the environmental space should be aware of recent developments and their impact on business operations and considerations.

  • Recent Updates on Foreign Investment Restrictions and Export Controls Governing Semiconductors, Quantum Computing and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

    From August 27 to August 30, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo visited China, marking the first trip to China by a U.S. commerce chief in five years. The trip, which came amid growing tensions between China and the United States, sought to open dialogue on crucial matters, including export controls, investment restrictions and national security. One reported success from Raimondo’s trip was the creation of a commercial working group which will meet twice a year at the vice minister level. While Raimondo stressed that this group will not “solve everything overnight,” it has been hailed as a welcome step towards transparency between either country.

  • Administration Poised to Act on “Internet of Things” Devices

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to create a labeling program for Internet of Things (IoT) devices with comments due September 25, 2023, and reply comments due October 10, 2023.

  • OMB Finalizes “Build America, Buy America” Domestic Content Guidance

    On August 14, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published its final guidance (Final Guidance) on the implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), which includes domestic content requirements reflected in the Build America, Buy America Act (BABA). The pre-publication version is currently available here.

  • Biden Administration Issues Guidance to Universities on Implementing Supreme Court Affirmative Action Ruling

    On Monday, August 14, the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (together, the “Departments”) issued a letter (the “Letter”) to colleges and universities advising compliance with the Supreme Court’s June 29, 2023, decisions, Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and Students for Fair Admission v. University of North Carolina (together, SFFA). The guidance urges colleges and universities to “redoubl[e] efforts to recruit and retain talented students from underserved communities, including those with large numbers of students of color” and to adopt “a greater focus on fostering a sense of belonging.”

  • Leading Generative AI Companies Commit to Voluntary White House Guidelines

    On July 21, 2023, the White House announced the voluntary commitment of seven companies to high-level principles concerning safety, security and public trust with respect to their generative artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. These voluntary principles will serve as a guidepost for the industry until Congress develops and passes legislation for AI development.

  • Proposed Regulations for Transfer of Energy Credits under IRA

    On June 14, 2023, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking setting forth Proposed Regulations §§ 1.6418-1 through 1.6418-5 (Proposed Regulations) governing the implementation of the new tax law allowing electing taxpayers to sell a variety of eligible clean energy tax credits to unrelated parties pursuant to section 6418 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code). It is anticipated that these new transferability provisions will enhance and simplify the ability of taxpayers to monetize clean energy tax credits, thereby providing such taxpayers with additional funding for their clean energy projects. The Proposed Regulations include a temporary but mandatory pre-filing information and registration process designed to prevent fraud, duplication and excessive or improper payments that may result from such transfers.

  • White House Announces Plan to Boost AI Research and Deployment

    One of the most advanced technologies of our time is the rise of generative artificial intelligence (AI), a field that currently operates with minimal regulation. U.S. government officials, however, are stepping up their interest in generative AI technology, including assessing the opportunities while cautioning about potential risks. Government agencies are also beginning to seek public comment on these issues, where we expect to see increased activity in the coming months.

  • AI Users Beware: Federal, State and Local Legislators and Regulators to Crack Down on AI-Related Employment Discrimination

    According to a 2022 survey from the Society for Human Resource Management, approximately one in four organizations use automation and/or AI to support employment-related activities, such as recruitment and hiring. AI tools used in employment decision-making include chatbots that guide applicants through the application process, algorithms that screen resumes and predict job performance, and even facial recognition tools used in interviews to evaluate a candidate’s attention span. For employers, these tools may offer an efficient and effective way to recruit promising talent, but federal, state and local governments are increasingly focused on the potential for discrimination.

  • Outlook on AI and Civil Rights Law and Policy

    The Administration’s October 2022 launch of the AI Bill of Rights: A Vision for Protecting Our Civil Rights was the first step toward cementing equity and civil rights with respect to artificial intelligence (AI) as core values upon which the Administration has built a series of guidance documents and executive actions.

  • Congressional Action on AI Takes Major Step Forward

    Congressional leaders are intensifying efforts to legislate and regulate artificial intelligence (AI) technology. On April 13, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) publicly announced a framework on artificial intelligence (AI) regulation. The announcement came in response to the Chinese Communist Party’s release of their own AI regulatory framework. Schumer revealed his framework as part of the United States’ duty to “lead and shape the rules governing such a transformative technology” rather than allow China to “write the rules of the road.”

  • Follow the Money: AI Winners in President Biden’s FY 2024 Budget Request

    The artificial intelligence (AI) revolution is rapidly transforming industries and reshaping our world as we know it. With advances in machine learning, natural language processing and computer vision, AI has moved beyond the realm of science fiction and become a driving force of innovation and productivity. This disruptive technology is creating new opportunities, challenges and implications for society at large. The Biden Administration is taking notice—here is a look at new AI programs and funding proposed in President Biden’s fiscal year 2024 budget proposal released on March 9, 2023.

  • Application Windows Opening for New Federal Funding

    On August 16, 2022, the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) marked the establishment of a trifecta of bipartisan legislation aimed at improving U.S. economic competitiveness through innovation and domestic industrial productivity. In total, the IRA, the CHIPS and Science Act (CHIPS) and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) provide about $2 trillion in federal funding, offering businesses and organizations a rare opportunity to apply for federal grants or take advantage of other federal incentive benefits. Many application windows for grants, loans and other incentives have opened since the passage of these landmark bills, with additional application periods opening across the first three quarters of 2023. Businesses should be assessing how available programs align with objectives and growth plans and preparing to meet critical eligibility and compliance obligations to obtain benefits. Though more details are still to come, below are considerations for companies seeking to benefit from new federal spending and incentive programs to support infrastructure projects, technology innovation, semiconductor manufacturing, and climate protection and clean energy initiatives.

  • OMB Proposes Revisions to Guidance Supporting the Implementation of IIJA’s Build America, Buy America Act Provisions

    As anticipated, following President Biden’s State of the Union Address, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued additional guidance to implement the Build America, Buy America Act provisions of the IIJA. Published on February 9, 2023, the proposed guidance seeks to implement consistent government-wide Buy America requirements for infrastructure projects, and includes guidance to determine the cost of manufactured products and when a variety of types of construction materials can be treated as U.S.-made.

  • Employment Law in the Golden State: 2023 Updates

    As California employers update employee policies and handbooks for the coming year, it is critical that they are aware of new employment laws in 2022 and understand how these changes will potentially affect their operations in the year ahead. From key legislative, case law and wage-and-hour developments to “post”-pandemic pointers and the impacts of new and proposed federal laws, the following updates provide practical guidance to help employers ensure they are in compliance with the new laws that are generally applicable to most California employers.

  • The Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act (IIJA): An Anniversary Report

    November 15, 2022, marked the one-year anniversary of President Biden signing the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act (IIJA) into law. The historic $1.2 trillion dollar investment into infrastructure marked a major bipartisan accomplishment for the 117th Congress and may ultimately represent one of the most impactful accomplishments of the Biden administration. The IIJA, which is also sometimes referred to as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), made investments into roads, bridges, electric vehicles, broadband, hydrogen hubs, cybersecurity, water infrastructure and grid resilience, among other areas of infrastructure.

  • DoL Proposes Rule to Increase Minimum Wage to $15 for Many Federal Contractors

    Through a proposed rule published on July 22, 2021, the Department of Labor is implementing Executive Order 14026. The new rule and Executive Order will require federal service, construction contractors and subcontractors to increase hourly wages to $15 per hour for a broad range of employees.

  • Bipartisan Senators Introduce the Cyber Incident Notification Act of 2021

    On July 21, 2021, Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and a bipartisan group of co-sponsors including Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), formally introduced the Cyber Incident Notification Act of 2021. In light of high-profile cybersecurity incidents such as the Colonial Pipeline attack, the Act aims to require companies and federal agencies to quickly report cybersecurity intrusions to the Federal Government.

  • FCC Revises Equipment Authorization Rules

    On June 17, 2021 the FCC approved a Report and Order modifying its equipment authorization program for radiofrequency devices. The Order updates the Commission’s marketing and importation rules in order to minimize obstacles to the development and deployment of new products while continuing to ensure that radiofrequency equipment remains compliant with Commission requirements.

  • Biden Administration Updates Framework for China-Related Investment Prohibitions and Expands the Scope of Restricted Chinese Companies

    Summary of the E.O.

    On June 3, 2021, President Biden signed E.O. 14032 that alters the framework for restrictions on the purchase or sale of publicly traded securities of Chinese companies designated for military affiliations, but ultimately re-affirms the previous restrictions under E.O. 13959. These restrictions will continue to be applied to 31 entities previously sanctioned as well as 28 newly added companies. On the same day, the Department of Defense (DOD) independently released its annual list of Chinese military companies pursuant to recently enacted legislation.

  • Boom in the Medical Spa Industry Amid Regulatory Uncertainty Creates Perfect Storm

    The medical spa (medspa) industry in the United States is booming. In 2010, there were about 1,600 medspas operating in the United States generating about $1.1 billion in revenue (about $700,000 per medspa on average). By 2018, these numbers increased to over 5,000 medspas generating about $7 billion-$8 billion in revenue (about $1.4 million per medspa on average). The number is expected to grow to over 10,000 medspas by 2023 with about $18 billion-$20.7 billion in revenue. Since 2010, year over year revenue growth has consistently been in the double digits, with 2011 registering nearly 40 percent growth and 2017 registering nearly 50 percent growth. The 2018 profit margin for medspas was 29 percent.

  • Congress Moves to Repeal OCC’s “True Lender” Rule

    On May 11, 2021, the Senate voted to repeal a Trump Administration regulation that defines which party is the “true lender” in partnerships between banks and non-banks, including financial technology and other non-bank lending companies. The Senate resolution now heads to the House of Representatives, which is expected to pass the resolution. President Biden has signaled his support for the repeal and will likely enact the repeal following a vote in the House. The repeal of this rule could create regulatory uncertainty for fintechs and other non-bank lenders that were relying on the rule.

  • Time’s Up!: The Court Rejects the Government’s Request for a Longer Limitations Period Applicable to Fraud Counterclaims

    Contractors often face the dilemma of whether they should appeal an adverse contracting officer final decision (COFD) issued under the Contract Disputes Act (CDA) to the cognizant Board of Contract Appeals or the Court of Federal Claims. One factor favoring the Boards is that the Court has jurisdiction over fraud counterclaims and the Boards do not. The Department of Justice (DOJ) (which represents the government at the Court) has asserted such fraud counterclaims with more regularity in recent years.  Contractors should know that when the government asserts a fraud counterclaim, the Court’s decision in Lodge Constr., Inc. v. United States, No. 13-499, 2021 WL 1418847 (Fed. Cl. Apr. 14, 2021), makes clear that the government must adhere to a hard deadline--perhaps with no exceptions.

  • President Biden Issues an Executive Order Increasing the Minimum Wage for Many Employees of Federal Contractors to $15.00

    On April 27, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order raising the minimum wage paid by Federal contractors and subcontractors to $15.00 per hour, beginning on January 30, 2022. The Federal minimum wage currently is $10.95 per hour for all workers on Federal construction and service contracts, based on President Obama’s 2014 Executive Order 13658, which had raised that minimum wage to $10.10 per hour and provided for adjustment for inflation. These Executive Orders do not change the current minimum wage of $7.25 under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) applicable to non-exempt employees who do not work for government contractors, and to employees of government contractors who do not work on or in connection with Federal construction and service contracts.

  • Federal Support for Defense Uses of Advanced Nuclear

    Summary of the EO

    On January 12, 2021, former President Trump issued an EO on Promoting Small Modular Reactors for National Defense and Space Exploration. The EO directs the Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Defense (DOD), and NASA to take actions to coordinate their nuclear-related activities, move forward with certain ongoing nuclear projects and promote advanced reactor and small modular reactor (SMR) technologies. The purpose of the EO is to take steps to revitalize the U.S. nuclear sector, reinvigorate the U.S. space exploration program, develop diverse energy options for national defense needs and advance U.S. technological supremacy and leadership.

  • Congressional and Government Investigations in 2021: What to Expect from the Biden-Harris Administration and How to Prepare

    Government investigations pose many risk management challenges. They are unpredictable, political and often public. If handled incorrectly, they can last for many years, spiral into multiple Congressional, criminal, and/or regulatory investigations at the state and federal levels, and generate serious reputational harm. Potential targets can take proactive steps to mitigate their risks.

  • Biden Clean Energy Plan—An Ambitious Climate Agenda Arrives

    The Biden Plan to Build a Modern, Sustainable Infrastructure and an Equitable Clean Energy Future,” is one of the Biden-Harris Transition Team’s top four policy priorities along with COVID-19, economic recovery and racial equity. It also represents the most ambitious clean energy vision by any U.S. president in history.

  • What Will the Biden/Harris COVID-19 Plan Mean for Business?

    The incoming Biden Administration promises a more nationalized approach to combatting the COVID-19 public health crisis, plus a large economic stimulus response focused on unemployment, paid leave, state and local government support and support to small- and medium-sized businesses.

  • President’s Executive Order to Expedite Environmental Reviews of Infrastructure Pushes the Envelope on the Interpretation of Emergency Authorities

    The Key Environmental Laws at Issue

    Citing the economic downturn caused by the outbreak of COVID-19, on June 4, 2020, President Trump signed an executive order (EO) directing federal agencies to invoke emergency powers available to them to expedite the environmental review and permitting of infrastructure projects. The EO explicitly enumerates the emergency provisions of the following federal laws:

  • President Trump Invoked the Defense Production Act: What Are the Implications?

    Earlier today, President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act, codified at 50 U.S.C. §§ 4501 et seq., in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Act’s implementing regulations, found at 15 C.F.R. §§ 700.1 et. seq., promulgate the Defense Priorities and Allocations System (DPAS). Congress enacted the Act in 1950 to address the short supply of essential goods during the Korean War. The Act allows the federal government to require domestic industries to provide essential goods and services needed for the national defense.

  • COVID-19 Emergency Funding and Tax Relief: Assessing Federal Opportunities

    One thing is certain about how Washington policymakers will respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak: there will be spending, both in the form of tax relief and through direct federal funding.

  • Pillsbury's Post-Election Outlook

    The 2018 Midterm Election played out as most poll forecasters speculated. Although several races have yet to be decided, Republicans have retained control of the Senate, but lost at least 29 seats, allowing the Democrats to wrest back control of the House for the first time since 2010.

  • 2018 Election Night Guide

    Pillsbury’s Political Law and Government Law & Strategies groups break down the need-to-know numbers for this year’s election. Pillsbury’s biennial Election Night Guide examines the potential outcomes for the 2018 Congressional and Governor’s races. Our Public Policy team is also preparing a post-election guide that will be useful in navigating potential changes in Congress.

  • President Trump Signs FY 2019 NDAA

    On August 13, 2018, President Trump signed the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (2019 NDAA), which includes $616.9 billion for the Department of Defense’s (DoD) base budget, $69 billion for overseas contingency operations funding, $8.9 billion for mandatory defense spending and $21.9 billion for nuclear weapons programs under the Department of Energy. We have written extensively on numerous provisions of this new law.

  • The U.S. Supreme Court Changes Sales and Use Tax Collection Nexus

    In South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., the Court overrules the “physical presence” requirement as “unsound and incorrect”

  • Impacts of the Omnibus Spending Plan on the Affordable Housing Industry

    Trump’s Omnibus Spending Plan adopts two key provisions from the proposed Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act that will strengthen and expand low-income housing credit.

  • Trump Administration Considering Use of IEEPA To Restrict U.S. Technology Transfer to China

    Reports suggest that the Trump Administration may declare an emergency under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act to grant the CFIUS authority to review technology transfer transactions even where there is no transfer of “control.”

  • Spring 2018 CFIUS Briefing

    How can parties help CFIUS say “yes?” The key is to begin with the data, identify problems early, and be proactive.

  • 2018 Spending Plan Boosts Funding for Affordable Housing

    A $1.3 trillion spending package that includes a 12.5% increase in low-income housing tax credit allocations over the next four years is welcome news to affordable housing developers who have been facing funding gaps.

  • Gas Regulation 2018: United States

    Need an update on the state of the natural gas sector in the United States? This recently published article has you covered.

  • Trump Administration Takes Action Following Section 301 Investigation

    President Trump’s latest directives regarding the USTR’s Section 301 investigation into China has wide-ranging implications for in-bound Chinese investment. Here’s what you need to know.

  • Recent and Upcoming Changes to 401(k) Plans

    The rules governing 401(k) plans are steadily evolving. Both the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the Act) and the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (the Budget) contain a number of changes to the 401(k) plan rules.

  • Administration Issues “Legislative Outline for Rebuilding Infrastructure in America”

    The Trump Administration's legislative proposal to rebuild American infrastructure identifies a number of specific laws that will require amendments. Here is a brief review of some of the plans many provisions.

  • Key Tax Reform Issues for Nonprofit Membership Organizations/Associations

    While associations won't face the harshest proposals, several features of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will have a negative impact on tax-exempt membership organizations.

  • Status of the Iran Nuclear Deal and New Sanctions Designations

    In a statement, President Trump warned European allies that unless they fix these four flaws in the Iran nuclear deal, the U.S. intends to withdraw from it. 

  • U.S. Targets Human Rights Abusers and Corrupt Actors Worldwide – Key Takeaways from the Potent New Sanctions

    Executive Order 13818 authorizes the imposition of sanctions on individuals worldwide connected with “serious human rights abuse,” corruption, or “the transfer or the facilitation of the transfer of the proceeds of corruption.” Here is what businesses need to know.

  • Five Things Employers Should Know about Tax Reform

    The final Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will require employers to address a number of  changes to equity compensation and employee benefits laws. Here are five major ones.

  • The Impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on LIHTC Investments

    With the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law, investors in low income housing tax credit projects should take note of a few important changes.

  • Historic Estate Planning Opportunities from Tax Reform

    How can your estate planning efforts take advantage of the new tax law? Here are some beneficial changes.

  • Last Minute Tax Change Benefits Commercial Real Estate

    A last-minute change to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act could be particularly beneficial to certain commercial property owners with few employees and leveraged capital investments.

  • Five Things to Know about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

    As the House and Senate head to conference regarding the final tax bill, every business should pay particular attention to how these five issues are handled.

  • The Trump Administration’s First Steps Toward Streamlining Environmental Reviews

    An August Executive Order aims to fast-track federal review of infrastructure projects, including a streamlined environmental review process of projects deemed “high-priority.” Recent actions taken by the Council on Environmental Quality and the U.S. Department of the Interior indicate what that might look like.

  • The Trump Administration Gets Its Man at the CFPB

    President Trump’s appointment of Mick Mulvaney as Acting Director has clear implications for the future of the CFPB.

  • Estate Planning Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

    The Tax Cuts Jobs Act passed by the House will almost certainly be amended in the Senate but, as currently drafted, the legislation will dramatically change the estate and gift tax regime in United States.

  • Reaching for a Rarely Used Tool to Probe China IP Practices

    President Trump has repeatedly express concern about China's trade practices, most notably its technology transfer requirements. Now the U.S. Trade Representative is employing a rarely used tool to investigate.

  • U.S. Government Agencies Publish Changes to Cuba Sanctions Program Pursuant to President Trump’s Policy Announcement

    The U.S. government has announced a number of changes to its sanctions program in Cuba, adjusting some of the broader reforms initiated during the previous administration.

  • U.S. DOT Releases Draft Strategic Plan Beginning Implementation of Trump Administration’s Executive Order on Project Streamlining

    The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has released a draft Strategic Plan that establishes goals for increasing investment and streamlining environmental review and approval of transportation infrastructure projects over the next five years. The draft Plan is DOT’s first formal action in response to the Administration’s Executive Order on streamlining. Although it identifies needs and objectives it provides few specifics.

  • Council on Environmental Quality Takes First Step to Implement Trump Executive Order on Streamlining Federal Environmental Reviews

    The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), which oversees federal agency compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, has announced a list of planned actions to implement President Trump’s Executive Order on streamlining federal environmental reviews. While the Order and CEQ notice have launched a process that could transform federal environmental reviews and approvals, they provide few specifics, and their impact remains to be seen.

  • President Trump Issues Executive Order Blocking Proposed Acquisition of Lattice Semiconductor

    For only the fourth time in 30 years, the President blocked the proposed acquisition of a U.S. company following a review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). The alert explains the reasoning behind the Executive Order that prevented a Chinese consortium from acquiring a U.S. semiconductor company at a time when concerns about Chinese investment in the United States are growing.

  • New Executive Order Imposes Further Sanctions on Venezuela

    On August 25, President Trump issued an Executive Order providing for sanctions against the Government of Venezuela targeting certain long-term financial transactions, similar to existing sanctions on the Russian petroleum sector. The Order does not restrict imports or exports of oil, and the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control issued several general licenses that provide for specific permitted activities.

  • Time Will Tell If Trump Infrastructure Executive Order Shortens Federal Reviews

    On August 15, President Trump issued an Executive Order that seeks to streamline federal environmental review and approvals of major infrastructure projects by imposing new timelines and procedures. Key provisions create a two-year deadline for completing review and issuing authorizations.

  • Fake and Consequences: Weathering the Reputational Risks and Financial Fallout of “News” that Abuses

    False stories, whether created for fun, mischief or money, quickly become a nuisance to businesses trying to protect their brands and maintain their reputations. Although businesses injured by fake news stories may find refuge in existing laws, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) presents a significant barrier by protecting providers and users of interactive computer services from liability as publishers of information provided by third parties.

  • Three Birds with One Stone: New Russia, North Korea and Iran Sanctions

    On August 2, 2017, President Trump signed into law the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), strengthening U.S. sanctions on Russia, North Korea and Iran. The new sanctions could have far-reaching implications for companies and investors, although it remains unclear how vigorously they sanctions will be implemented, particularly for Russia.

  • A Message to China? New U.S. Sanctions and AML Measures for North Korea

    In June 2017, the U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions designations and anti-money laundering measures against Chinese entities engaged in business with North Korea. The actions may be intended to send a political message.

  • How Companies Can Take Advantage of President Trump’s Plan to Roll Back Federal Energy Regulation

    President Trump’s March 28 Executive Order requires every federal agency and Department to identify and potentially suspend, rescind, or relax federal regulations, policies, prior agency orders and guidelines that impede U.S. energy development or use. In this roundtable discussion, Sheila Harvey, Jeffrey Merrifield, Matthew Morrison and Andrew Weissman examine the implications of the Executive Order and how it could affect businesses in 2017 and beyond.

  • DC Lawyer: Trump Executive Order ‘Literally Applies to Everything’ the Federal Government Does with Energy Development

    Washington, DC Energy senior counsel Andrew Weissman told The Washington Post that legal professionals and industry experts, among others, are just beginning to grasp the scope of the March 28 order. According to Weissman, the order has far-reaching effects on “almost every environmental regulation that affects energy in any way,” in addition to non-environmental regulations.

  • How Does a Freeze in Federal Hiring Affect Patent Examination Timelines?

    While such a hiring freeze may not have an immediate impact on patent application pendency and/or examination quality, due to the relatively high attrition rate of the patent examining corps, the examination timeline and quality may be affected in the future. In particular, technologies having greater upfront value, including internet-based technologies and platforms, and clients relying on patent portfolios for valuation will be most acutely impacted

  • “Buy American, Hire American”—From Rhetoric to Regulation

    “We will follow two simple rules: buy American and hire American.” While world leaders are pondering what these words from President Trump’s Inaugural Address mean for international trade, a different question looms for U.S. Government contractors—what is on the horizon as far as the Buy American Act and similar protectionist regulations?