Making Sense of the Complex Web of Sanctions and Export Controls and How They Affect Chinese Companies in the U.S.

On September 24th, 2020, China General Chamber of Commerce – USA (CGCC) hosted a timely webinar titled “Making Sense of the Complex Web of Sanctions and Export Controls and How They Affect Chinese Companies in the U.S..” More than 130 guests from CGCC member companies and the greater community joined the session. 

Moderated by Lanier Saperstein, Partner at Jones Day, the webinar convened a panel of experts from Morrison & Foerster LLP and Sidley Austin LLP, including John E. Smith (Partner at Morrison & Foerster), Michael Borden (Partner at Sidley Austin), Jen Fernandez (Associate at Sidley Austin), and Lei Li (Partner at Sidley Austin’s Shanghai and Beijing Offices).

Originally initiated in response to the Department of Defense’s recently updated list of “Communist Chinese Military Companies,” this webinar spanned a broader range of legal and policy topics affecting Chinese companies in the U.S. The speakers provided an overview of the relevant laws, regulations, and executive orders affecting Chinese companies at this time, covering sanctions and export controls, including the DoD List, the DoC entity list, and recent OFAC sanctions. Speakers also offered advice and guidance on best practices in response to the continuously changing political environment.

John Smith, Partner at Morrison & Foerster LLP and former Director of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), suggested that Chinese companies engage more with related legislators and institutions as an industry group. “The most persuasive comments that I’ve heard are from industry groups with respect to the broad implications of U.S. sanctions and their impacts on companies and industries sectors,” Smith said.

Panelists also answered questions from the audience about the recent WeChat and TikTok ban. Regarding the effective messaging that worked with the administration,

Michael Borden, Partner at Sidley Austin LLP, stated that it is crucial for the companies to reframe the debate before engagement with policymakers sophistically,

while communication is always recommended. “It’s better to engage, it’s better to have conversations, it’s better to share your stories,” remarked Borden.

Jen Fernandez, Associate at Sidley Austin LLP, introduced the Entity List and the recent U.S. Export Control actions.

CGCC extends great appreciation to all the panelists and participants for their support in making the event a success.

CLICK HERE for the event slides and speaker bios/contact info

CLICK HERE visit CGCC’s Legal and Policy Resource Center