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International Regulatory Enforcement

CFIUS Extends its Reach to Order the Termination of Ekso Bionics' Role in Joint Venture in China
On May 20, 2020, Ekso Bionics Holdings, Inc. (“Ekso Bionics”), a U.S. manufacturer of robotic mechanical suits (“exoskeletons”), announced that it had received an ultimatum from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS” or the “Committee”) to terminate its role in a 2019 joint venture with Chinese partners.
Commerce Department Adds Thirty Three Companies to the Entity List as Trade Tensions with China Escalate
On Friday, May 22, 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) announced via press releases that it would be adding a total of 33 new companies to the Entity List based on national security concerns involving activities in China. These public announcements came a full two weeks before BIS formalized the addition of the companies by publishing a notice in the Federal Register on Friday, June 5, 2020.
U.S. Policymakers Look to Limit Reliance on Manufacturing in China
On April 3, 2020, in response to a critical shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the United States amidst the evolving public health crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization allowing the importation of certain N95-style respirators manufactured in China.
U.S. Department of Commerce Imposes Further Restrictions Directed at Huawei
On May 15, 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) issued an interim final rule to expand the prohibitions on items that can be provided to Huawei and its Entity List-designated affiliates (collectively, “Huawei”). The long-expected move to amend the foreign direct product rule further restricts the ability of Huawei to use certain U.S. technology and software to design and manufacture its semiconductors, and is the latest in a succession of U.S. regulatory, law enforcement and diplomatic actions that may have the cumulative effect of significantly curtailing Huawei’s ability to operate around the world.
Commerce Department Increases Restrictions on Exports to China, Russia, and Venezuela
On Tuesday, April 28, the Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) at the U.S. Department of Commerce published two final rules and one proposed rule significantly increasing export control requirements for a large variety of items exported to China, Russia, and Venezuela. All three rules were explicitly issued in furtherance of the Trump Administration’s National Security Strategy released in December 2017, as well as the Trump Administration’s National Defense Strategy released in January 2018. As stated in the rules, their issuance stems from the Administration’s focus on the integration of civilian and military technology development in countries that are of concern for national security reasons. These countries are included in Group D:1 (“D:1 Countries”) of the Country Groups of the EAR, found in Supplement No. 1 to Part 740. D:1 Countries include China, Russia, and Venezuela (among others).