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Ryan Poitras

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On May 1, 2020, the Trump Administration issued Executive Order 13920 on “Securing the United States Bulk-Power System” (“Bulk-Power System EO”), which aims to prevent “foreign adversaries” from exploiting vulnerabilities in the US bulk-power system in furtherance of US national security. As explained in further detail in the press release concurrently published by the Department of Energy, the Bulk-Power System EO is meant to prohibit certain transactions involving bulk-power system equipment where the Secretary of…

On April 16, 2020, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) published a Fact Sheet providing a helpful consolidated summary of the various existing exemptions, exceptions, and authorizations relating to the provision of humanitarian assistance that are available under certain U.S. sanctions programs to leverage in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Separately, on April 20, 2020, OFAC issued a notice encouraging the prompt communication to OFAC of concerns over potential delays in…

On March 5, 2020, pursuant to Executive Order 13851 of November 27, 2018 and the Nicaragua Human Rights and Anticorruption Act of 2018, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) further escalated sanctions against Nicaragua by naming the Nicaraguan National Police (“NNP”) and three NNP commissioners as Specially Designated Nationals (“SDNs”), citing serious human rights abuses. OFAC previously named other officials of the NNP as SDNs in 2018 and 2019, also citing…

On January 6, 2020, the US Department of State’s US Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (“DDTC”) published a set of Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) (available here), which provide long-awaited clarifications regarding the registration and authorization requirements of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (“ITAR”) applicable to the provision of defense services abroad by natural US persons employed by foreign persons. The main points are summarized below: The FAQs clarify that no registration with DDTC is…