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Curt Dombek is a partner in the Government Contracts, Investigations and International Trade Practice Group. Curt divides his time between the firm's Brussels and Los Angeles offices.

On December 28, 2020, the FAA issued a new rule, published in the Federal Register on January 15, 2021, which will impose a requirement (subject to two exceptions described below) for every unmanned aircraft weighing over 0.55 pounds and operated in U.S. navigable airspace to incorporate a remote identification capability so that it can be tracked in U.S. air traffic.  The new rule takes effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register, but operators of unmanned aircraft have 30 months to bring their operations into compliance with the new rule.  Manufacturers of unmanned aircraft have 18 months to incorporate such systems into the unmanned aircraft they manufacture.
Continue Reading New Rules Governing Remote Identification of Unmanned Aircraft

[Note, this article was originally posted on January 12 to the Global Trade Law Blog and has been updated to reflect recent events.]

President Trump is making moves to renegotiate NAFTA, but has indicated that if negotiations fail, the United States may give notice of its intent to withdraw from the Agreement. Once in office he reiterated his comments from the campaign trail, stating if Mexico and Canada do not agree to a sufficient renegotiation, then he would submit notice under Section 2205 of NAFTA that the U.S. would withdraw from the Agreement. While the President is capable of writing, signing, and sending (or possibly tweeting) such a notification, that notification alone would not have a legal significance because withdrawing from NAFTA, ab initio, is not a power accorded the President.

The Agreement and underlying laws propose a number of paths by which the President may effectuate withdrawal from NAFTA. However, each of those paths require congressional cooperation or an act by Canada or Mexico to which the President may respond. Negotiating (or renegotiating) the Agreement is squarely within President Trump’s authority, though Congress would then need to implement the terms of the new or amended agreement.


Continue Reading The Undoing Project – Why NAFTA Can’t Be Undone, But Can Be Re-Done

On February 12, 2015, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced that three U.S.-based importers had agreed to pay more than $3 million to resolve a lawsuit brought by the United States under the False Claims Act (“FCA”).  The Government alleged that the importers had made false declarations to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) and conspired with other domestic companies to make false declarations to CBP in order to avoid paying “antidumping” and “countervailing” duties.  No Government contracts were involved.  These were “reverse” FCA claims based upon underpayment of duties for private sector import transactions.
Continue Reading Add Importers to Those Facing Expanding Whistleblower Claims Under the False Claims Act

On January 15, 2015, the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) amended the Cuban Assets Control Regulations to implement changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba announced by President Obama on December 17, 2014.
Continue Reading OFAC Issues Cuban Asset Control Regulations Focused on the U.S. Financial Sector

The US is generally pretty keen on international free trade agreements. And why shouldn’t it be? After all, free trade agreements have the ability to open up foreign markets to US goods and services, allowing new and expanding opportunities for US companies. But “free trade” does not always mean “free trade” – it usually means “free-er trade, subject to numerous exceptions,” with the exceptions proving a constant irritant to our free trade partners. Case in point: two recent events – one in the European Union and one in Canada – demonstrate that “free trade” (subject to numerous caveats) is still a bone of contention, even among long-established trading partners. While “free-est trade” may be too much to ask for, maybe “free-er trade” with fewer strings attached would at least be a step in the right direction.
Continue Reading Free(er?) Trade – US, EU and Canada Quibble Over Market Access and Domestic Preferences