Around Town …

  • Zimbabwean governors with chauffer-driven government issue Mercedes Benz E280s complain that U.S. and E.U. sanctions make travel time in the country difficult.  Guess sanctions are working.
  • Clif Burns at the Export Law Blog pens how the U.S. Government has imposed export controls on those “naughty” airport screening machines.
  • Housekeeping note, DDTC should consider making some of the online ITAR forms and online registration processes MAC/Apple user-friendly.  Apple users can ping the DTRADE Help Desk and ask them to make it so.
  • Possible Vodafone takeover of Verizon may trigger CFIUS review.  The purchase may include purchase of landlines and other critical telecommunications infrastructure. Unlike Dubai Ports or the Northwest case, if this merger is reviewed, it one will likely be approved by CFIUS even if the Special Relations is “over“.
  • Members of the UK House Select Committee on Export Controls are, once again, using export control laws to beat up on the only stable democracy in the Middle East. “We repeat our conclusion that it is regrettable that arms exports to Israel were almost certainly used in Operation Cast Lead. This is in direct contravention to the UK Government’s policy that UK arms exports to Israel should not be used in the Occupied Territories,” concludes the report.  Their arguments have nothing to do with export controls. It is somewhat akin to what the gun control lobby says in the United States when it tries limit the legal sale of guns.
  • Bolton: Nuclear treaty threatens U.S. sovereignty.   The former US Ambassador to the UN said, among other things, that the Obama administration “attaches a “near theological significance” to the power of international institutions whose actions threaten the supremacy of the U.S. Constitution.”
  • The American Association for Exporters and Importers (AAEI) sent an open letter to Members of Congress outlining various legislative proposals to help increase trade.  It singles out the “Beyond Fortress America” as a “good start”.   Of all recommendations listed, finding new ways to help small and medium-size business learn and comply with EC rules is long overdue.
  • Indian officials complain about export controls.
  • The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative published its annual Report on Technical Barriers to Trade.
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