Addressing the Department of Justice’s “China Initiative” and Related Increases In the Enforcement of U.S. Law Targeting Chinese Companies

On April 4, 2019, China General Chamber of Commerce – USA (CGCC) partnered with Blank Rome LLP to hold “CGCC Legal and Policy Series: The Recent Surge in U.S. Law Enforcement Against Chinese Companies” luncheon seminar at the Bank of China building in New York. Around 70 people including top C-level executives from CGCC member companies and guests from the law industry attended the event.

Since the November 2018 announcement by the U.S. Attorney General of a new “China Initiative” using enhanced law enforcement and other activities to counter perceived Chinese threats to U.S. national security, there have been multiple news stories about U.S. law enforcement activities targeting Chinese companies and nationals.

The recent surge in U.S. law enforcement against Chinese companies served as the main focus of the seminar. The seminar was led by Mike Margolis, Asia Practice Chair and Shanghai Office Chair at Blank Rome LLP, Carlos Ortiz, Chair of White Collar Defense & Investigations practice group at Blank Rome LLP, and Dean C. Sovolos, Assistant United States Attorney.

Peter Reisman, Co-chair of the CGCC GR-PR Committee and Managing Director and Chief Communication Officer at Bank of China USA gave opening remarks at the luncheon, expressing that dialogue between China and the U.S. is more critical than ever under the overall regulatory environment as well as emphasized the importance of CGCC’s efforts in shortening the gap between China and the U.S. “It’s important to know that CGCC is certainly committed to facilitating cooperation and building trust and faithfully represents the interests of its members by hosting events like this. By having discussions at the policy level and at the government level on both sides of the Pacific, companies feel that representation and talks like this are beneficial to the dialogue. I’m confident in seeing a brighter future by increasing the level of mutual understanding through increased dialogue both at the federal level and the local state level,” said Reisman.

Following these remarks, William Cao, Software Engineer at CGCC, briefly introduced CGCC’s newest product – the 50 States Economic Development Guide, an online database that integrates the 50 states’ most frequently queried economic development and related information into one place.

As attendees sat down and enjoyed lunch, Mike Margolis, Asia Practice Chair and Shanghai Office Chair at Blank Rome LLP, Carlos Ortiz, Chair of White Collar Defense & Investigations practice group at Blank Rome LLP, and Dean C. Sovolos, Assistant United States Attorney shared their experiences and insights on the Department of Justice’s new “China Initiative,” how the initiative is being implemented, the initiative’s future, and gave suggestions on what Chinese companies can do to minimize their risk in this new environment.

“In addition to the U.S. compliance regulations, there’s now a comprehensive Chinese regulatory structure for overseas operations of Chinese companies. So all the U.S. subsidiaries of Chinese companies now are subject to this new Chinese regulatory regime. It actually looks a lot like a western style compliance requirement. It requires all aspects of compliance, from establishing compliance infrastructure to training the employees, both in China and overseas, to keeping track of complaints or investigations, and to evaluating and reporting the effectiveness of the compliance system,” Margolis explained.

CGCC extends its sincerest gratitude to each of the event’s speakers and the unique insights each speaker brought to the discussion, Blank Rome LLP for its support of the event and for its partnership, as well as Bank of China USA for providing a beautiful space for the event.

About CGCC:

Founded in 2005, the China General Chamber of Commerce – USA (“CGCC”) has been recognized as the largest and most influential non-profit organization representing Chinese enterprises in the U.S. Its membership consists of more than 1,500 Chinese and U.S. companies, 54 of which are ranked on the 2018 Fortune Global 500. CGCC’s mission is to create value, generate economic growth, and enhance cooperation between the U.S. and Chinese business communities. CGCC conducts extensive research and provides a broad range of programs, services, and resources to its members and key stakeholders in an effort to foster the mutual understanding, trust, and engagement between China and the U.S. As of 2018, CGCC’s Chinese member companies have cumulatively invested over $120 billion, employ more than 200,000 people, and support over one million jobs throughout the United States.

CGCC is a national organization and includes CGCC-New York (CGCCUSA-HQ), CGCC-Chicago, CGCC-Houston, CGCC-Los Angeles, CGCC-San Francisco and CGCC-Washington D.C. 

About CGCC Foundation:

Established in 2014, CGCC Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. The mission of CGCC Foundation is to deepen mutual understanding and cooperation between the United States and China through research, public charity and engagement in economic, cultural and social exchanges.

**Visit CGCC Moments for event photos**