On June 7, 2018, the US Department of Commerce announced that Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation (“ZTE Corporation”) and ZTE Kangxun Telecommunications Ltd. (“ZTE Kangxun” and, collectively with ZTE Corporation, “ZTE”) had agreed to additional penalties and compliance measures to secure their removal from the Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) Denied Persons List and regain access to US products and components. The new agreement imposes significant additional fines on ZTE, requires the company to carry out management changes, and institutes strict compliance requirements. Importantly, ZTE has not yet been removed from the Denied Persons List and remains subject to the existing restrictions until certain steps are taken. Nevertheless, the agreement sets out a path forward for ZTE to soon resume operations that had otherwise stalled due to the lack of access to US items.Read more…
The Trump Administration and Congress are tightening investment restrictions and export controls to address technology transfer concerns. These measures initially focus on China, but will have broader effects on investments in the United States and transfers of emerging technologies.Read more…
On May 21, 2018, the President signed a new Executive Order (the “Order”) related to Venezuela entitled “Prohibiting Certain Additional Transactions with Respect to Venezuela.” According to a statement from the White House, this action is intended to “prevent the Maduro regime from … liquidating Venezuela’s critical assets.” These new US financial sanctions were imposed after Venezuela held elections this past weekend that were described as “fraudulent” in a press statement from the US State Department. Please see our prior blog posts concerning the previous Venezuela-related Executive Orders: (i) Executive Order 13827 of March 19, 2018 here, (ii) Executive Order 13808 of August 24, 2017 here, and (iii) Executive Order 13692 of March 8, 2015 here.Read more…
HR/VP Federica Mogherini met with the Foreign Ministers of France (Jean-Yves Le Drian), Germany (Heiko Maas), the United Kingdom (Boris Johnson) and of the Islamic Republic of Iran (Mohammad Javad Zarif) on 15 May 2018, in two separate meetings, to discuss our common lines and the work ahead of us, following the announcement made by the United States of its withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Iran nuclear deal.
They recalled their commitment to the continued, full and effective implementation of the Iran nuclear deal that was unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council Resolution 2231, as a key element of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture and a significant diplomatic achievement.
They, together, regretted the withdrawal of the United States from the Iran nuclear deal and they recognised that the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions and the normalisation of trade and economic relations with Iran constitute essential parts of the agreement.
They stressed the commitment they all share to ensure that this will continue to be delivered and they agreed to this end to deepen their dialogue at all levels.
In particular, they undertook to launch intensive expert discussions – which have been started – with Iran, addressing the following issues with a view to arriving at practical solutions in the next few weeks:
- Maintaining and deepening economic relations with Iran;
- The continued sale of Iran’s oil and gas condensate petroleum products and petrochemicals and related transfers;
- Effective banking transactions with Iran;
- Continued sea, land, air and rail transportation relations with Iran;
- The further provision of export credit and development of special purpose vehicles in financial banking, insurance and trade areas, with the aim of facilitating economic and financial cooperation, including by offering practical support for trade and investment;
- The further development and implementation of Memoranda of Understanding and contracts between European companies and Iranian counterparts;
- Further investments in Iran;
- The protection of European Union economic operators and ensuring legal certainty; and
- Further development of a transparent, rules-based business environment in Iran.
They reaffirmed together their resolve to continue to implement the nuclear deal in all its parts, in good faith, and in a constructive atmosphere, and they agreed to continue to consult intensively at all levels and also with other remaining participants of the Joint Commission to the JCPOA.
They will also hold a Joint Commission meeting in Vienna next week at the level of Deputy Foreign Ministers or Political Directors – which is the usual level at which the Joint Commission meets – and will continue to work along these lines following the good exchanges we had today, during the day and during the evening.
They also decided that EU Member States – starting with the E3 but also other Member States – will work on complementary mechanisms and measures, not only so as to go at the European Union level but also at national level to, in particular, protect the economic operators of the EU Member States. HR/VP Mogherini will also have the opportunity to also brief the Heads of State or Government of the 28 EU Member States tomorrow evening at the leaders’ dinner that we will have in Sofia. The E3 leaders will also be present and HR/VP Mogherini believes that they will also have a first exchange with the other 25 Member States.
She stressed that the implementation of the JCPOA is also on the agenda of the next Foreign Affairs Council in some 10 days from now [on 28 May 2018]. So the Foreign Ministers of all the 28 Member States will have – at the latest at that stage – the possibility of working together on common work along these and similar lines.
For more details (including Q&A with HR/VP Mogherini), please see https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/iran/44599/remarks-high-representativevice-president-federica-mogherini-press-conference-following_en