On June 16, 2017, the Trump administration issued a national security presidential memorandum entitled “Strengthening the Policy of the United States Towards Cuba” (the “Presidential Memorandum”). Related to this announcement, the White House issued a Cuba Fact Sheet, OFAC issued a new set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and the Department of Transportation also issued a new set of FAQs relating to the President’s announcement.
CFIUS: Account for CFIUS risks in transactions involving non-U.S. investments in businesses with a U.S. presence
Over the past year, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), an interagency committee chaired by the Department of the Treasury, has been particularly active in reviewing and, at times, intervening, in non-U.S. investments in U.S. businesses to address national security concerns. CFIUS has the authority to impose mitigation measures on a transaction before it can proceed. It may also recommend that the President block a pending transaction or order divestiture of a U.S. business in a completed transaction. Consequently, companies that have not sufficiently accounted for CFIUS risks may face significant hurdles in successfully closing a deal. With the incoming Trump administration, there is also the potential for an expanded role for CFIUS, particularly in light of campaign statements opposing certain foreign investments.
On December 23, 2016, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued a Final Rule amending the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. Part 560 (ITSR) to expand the scope of permissible exports/re-exports of medicine, medical devices and agricultural commodities to Iran.
Here is our annual list of hot topics for the boardroom in the coming year:
1. Corporate strategy: Oversee the development of the corporate strategy in an increasingly uncertain and volatile world economy with new and more complex risks
Directors will need to continue to focus on strategic planning, especially in light of significant anticipated changes in U.S. government policies, continued international upheaval, the need for productive shareholder relations, potential changes in interest rates, uncertainty in commodity prices and cybersecurity risks.
The results of the U.S. presidential election are historic and unanticipated, and they will have significant economic, political, legal and social implications. As we prepare for the Trump presidency, many uncertainties remain regarding how the incoming administration will govern. President-elect Trump has stated that he will pursue vast changes in diverse regulatory sectors, including international trade, health care, and energy and the environment. These changes are likely to reshape the legal landscape in which companies must conduct their business, both in the United States and abroad.
A team from Akin Gump is advising Buffalo, N.Y.-based Roswell Park Cancer Institute in a historic collaboration with Cuba-based Center of Molecular Immunology (CIM). This includes work that has secured a first-of-its-kind U.S. government license authorizing a U.S.–Cuba commercial partnership to fast-track biotech development that will help bring a groundbreaking Cuban lung cancer vaccine and other unique cancer treatments developed in Cuba to U.S. patients. This represents a landmark event in the broader rebuilding of bilateral relations between Cuba and the United States under the Obama administration's new policy of engagement.
On Monday, October 17, 2016, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) implemented amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR), respectively, that further ease U.S. sanctions and export controls targeting Cuba, particularly in the areas of medical research, pharmaceuticals, and trade and commerce between the United States and Cuba. These changes continue the administration’s policy of easing sanctions on Cuba to support the Cuban people and follow prior regulatory changes that occurred in January 2015, September 2015, January 2016 and March 2016. This latest action follows a Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) issued on October 14, 2016, which sets out the vision, priority objectives and actions required for normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba (see here).