While 2022 saw record commitments to renewable generation by commercial and industrial customers in the U.S., agreements with C&I customers in 2023 were affected by federal investigations into tariff avoidance, storm responses, supply chain disruptions and importation issues. Nonetheless, the outlook for growth remains promising for 2024, as corporate purchasers continue to drive the U.S. renewable markets.Continue Reading Beyond Borders: Global Corporate PPA Outlook

On 12 July 2023, the new EU Foreign Subsidies Regulation (“FSR”) started applying to all non-EU and EU companies and all sectors of the economy. FSR filled a regulatory gap which existed since 1958. The European Commission (the “Commission”) is vested by FSR with wide investigative and decisional powers to prevent any distortions in the EU internal market caused by “foreign subsidies” (“FS”) granted by non-EU countries.Continue Reading The EU Foreign Subsidies Regulation: New Rules for All Companies Active in the EU

The Orrin G. Hatch–Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act, or Music Modernization Act (“MMA”), signed into law on October 11, 2018, has transformed the music streaming industry in the years since its implementation. The legislation was passed with the aim of modernizing copyright issues related to audio recordings and adapting to new technologies, such as digital streaming. The MMA combines three pieces of legislation enacted previously into one: (i) the Musical Works Modernization Act, (ii) the Classics Protection and Access Act, and (iii) the Allocation for Music Producers Act.Continue Reading The After Effects of the Music Modernization Act in the Digital Streaming Sphere

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (“BEA”) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, which conducts a series of mandatory surveys on foreign investments in the U.S., has recently published Form BE-12, its five-year survey on foreign direct investment in the U.S. for fiscal years ending in 2022. The previous five-year survey was conducted back in 2017. This BE-12 survey is mandatory for any 10% or more foreign-owned U.S. entity, regardless of whether the BEA has contacted them or not.Continue Reading Foreign-owned companies operating in the United States must file a 5 year survey with the U.S. Department of Commerce by May 31, 2023 (for paper filings) and June 30, 2023 (for electronic filings).

Retailers and service providers with US business operations should take note: the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is increasing its scrutiny of negative option marketing activity to combat unfair or deceptive practices related to subscriptions, memberships and other recurring-payment programs. The FTC just issued a notice of proposed rulemaking as part of its ongoing review of its 1973 Negative Option Rule—one of the primary guides for the FTC’s enforcement focus.Continue Reading Negative Option Practices Under Increased Scrutiny in the US

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, commonly referred to as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, passed on November 15, 2021. Included in the $1.2 trillion spending package are expansions to various “Buy America” provisions, a set of statutes and regulations that apply to federal financial assistance used to support infrastructure-related projects. “Buy America” requirements differ from the requirements under the Buy American Act of 1933, which focuses on direct procurement by the federal government.
Continue Reading Buy America Provisions in the Infrastructure Bill: What this Means for Foreign Companies

For employers who need to hire foreign national talent for STEM or other hard-to-fill positions, an important immigration deadline is around the corner.

The electronic H-1B lottery application window starts on March 1 and ends on March 18 at 12 noon EST / 9 am PST. If you desire to have one or more candidates entered into the H-1B lottery, please let immigration counsel know before March 1.Continue Reading Annual H-1B Visa Lottery Will Open on March 1, 2022

FinCEN has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) regarding how the agency is planning to implement the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA).  The NPRM came out on December 8, 2021, accompanied by an explanatory factsheet.  Congress passed the CTA on January 1, 2021 in order to require U.S. companies to disclose beneficial ownership information.
Continue Reading FinCEN Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Corporate Transparency Act

Prior COVID-19 Travel Bans Repealed as of November 8, 2021

On October 25, 2021, President Biden announced the suspension of the COVID-19 travel bans from Brazil, China, India, Iran, Ireland, the Schengen Area, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.  Previously, a National Interest Exception waiver was required.  With this new Proclamation, the White House announced a global vaccination requirement for all adult foreign national air travelers and authorized the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to provide specific regulations.  The White House announcement can be found here.Continue Reading Sheppard Mullin Travel Checklist ‒ New Vaccination Travel Restrictions for Entry Into the United States: Air and Land Rules Effective November 8, 2021

If your company is like many, your board of directors may be demanding that you put more effort into environmental, social, and governance issues, which have become known by the now-ubiquitous acronym “ESG.” Those demands don’t come from nowhere: consumers are demanding transparency and social responsibility. In addition, if your company does business internationally, regulators are now focused on international social justice issues (such as the use of forced labor) more than ever.
Continue Reading Does Your Trade Policy Support Your Company’s Values?