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Showing posts from May, 2016

Wells Fargo Paid $70 Million in Civil Money Penalty

Yesterday, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency ("OCC") announced that it terminated its mortgage servicing-related order against Wells Fargo Bank and assessed a $70 million civil money penalty against the bank for previous violations of the order.

The OCC terminated the consent order against the bank after determining that the institution now complies with the order. The OCC's originally issued orders in April 2011 and amended the orders in February 2013 and June 2015. The termination of the orders ends business restrictions affecting Wells Fargo that the OCC mandated in June 2015.

Regarding its decision to assess a $70 million civil money penalty against the bank, the OCC stated: The OCC found that Wells Fargo failed to correct deficiencies identified in the 2011 consent orders in a timely fashion. As a result, the OCC determined that Wells Fargo violated the 2011 consent order from October 1, 2014, through August 31, 2015. The OCC further found that, betwee…

Understanding Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Laws

According to U.S. antidumping duty and countervailing duty laws, industries may petition the government to prevent products manufactured overseas from being sold by foreign companies in the U.S. at less than fair value ("dumped") or which benefit from subsidies provided through foreign government programs. The Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Operations Unit of the U.S. Department of Commerce is the government agency that is responsible for enforcing these laws. Generally, the antidumping duty proceedings determine whether foreign exporters are selling goods in the U.S. at less than fair value, while the countervailing duty proceedings determine whether foreign governments are unfairly subsidizing their exporters.
THE INVESTIGATION PROCESS The U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission ("ITC") jointly enforce the antidumping duty and countervailing duty laws. The typical dumping case would proceed as follows:
1. An American company s…

U.S. Fully Lifted the Arms Ban in Vietnam

Yesterday, May 23, 2016, during his historic trip to Vietnam, President Barack Obama announced that the United States will fully lift the long-standing ban on the sale or transfer of lethal weapons to Vietnam that is currently contained in Section 126.1(I) of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations ("ITAR").

As a result, the State Department's Directorate of Defense Trade Controls ("DDTC") published the following notice regarding the implementation of this new policy on its website:

Industry Notice: Change in Policy on Exports of Munitions to Vietnam (05.23.16)

Pursuant to a decision made by the Secretary of State and effective immediately, the Department of State's policy prohibiting the sale or transfer of lethal weapons to Vietnam, including restrictions on exports to and imports from Vietnam for arms and related material, has been terminated. Consequently, in accordance with the Arms Export Control Act, the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (D…

U.S. Eases Its Financial Sanctions on Myanmar (Burma)

Effective yesterday, May 18, 2016, the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") eased the remaining sanctions on Myanmar by issuing and expanding general licenses and removing certain parties from the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List ("SDN List").  The general licenses are created as amendments to the existing Burnese Sanctions Regulations ("BSR") (Note: The U.S. refers to Myanmar as Burma for political reasons). The purposes of these licenses are to support trade, facilitate the movement of goods, allow certain transactions related to U.S. persons and designated financial institutions.

Generally, U.S. persons are prohibited from dealing with blocked persons, including persons on the SDN List, or with any entity owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked parties. In 2004, Myanmar was designated a "jurisdiction of primary money laundering concern" under Section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act…