We stay close to the pulse of U.S. trade regulators, policymakers and Congress to help our clients plan strategically for trade control developments in the U.S. and globally.

Fenwick’s trade and national security team advises innovative companies, including established enterprises, advanced manufacturers, defense contractors and early- and late-stage developers of emerging technologies, on a wide range of export control, sanctions, foreign direct investment reviews and trade policy.

Our lawyers advise on commercial and defense export controls under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regulations, as well as Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions and trade policy, and existing and developing rules regarding the regulation of emerging technologies and digital trade.

With respect to companies’ offshore operations, we counsel on anti-boycott and sanctions blocking rules, country of origin determinations for purposes of customs, tariffs and government procurement, and human rights and forced labor compliance in the supply chain.

In addition, we advise on and navigate reviews involving the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS); Foreign Ownership, Control or Influence (FOCI) compliance concerning U.S. security clearances; ITAR foreign ownership and control filings; and other national security issues involving foreign investment in U.S. businesses. We provide guidance on similar trade control requirements and foreign direct investment rules in other countries.

We counsel clients on their compliance operations, advocating daily before the U.S. government, in coordinating meetings for clients with regulators, drafting requests for regulatory guidance, preparing export and sanctions license requests, advising on rulemakings, preparing commodity classification and jurisdiction requests, counseling on tariff strategies, obtaining facility security clearances, conducting internal investigations, preparing complex voluntary disclosures, responding to administrative and criminal subpoenas, and negotiating resolutions to enforcement matters.

  • Representative CFIUS and FOCI Experience

    We navigate CFIUS and FOCI reviews for companies across a range of sectors, including autonomous vehicles, machine learning and AI-based image processing, mapping and geolocation, next-generation aircraft, 3D printing, industrial internet of things, information and communications technology, semiconductors, and health and medical software.

    In addition, we have a long history of successfully shepherding transactions through the CFIUS process, including:

    • OSIsoft’s $5 billion acquisition by AVEVA
    • Overair’s financing and strategic relationship with Hanwha Aerospace
    • Beijing E-Town Chipone’s acquisition of Exar’s Integrated Memory Logic (iML)
    • Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s sale of Tipping Point to Trend Micro
  • Representative Export Controls and Sanctions Experience

    Our experience with the full range of commercial and defense export controls and sanctions includes:

    • Advocacy relating to proposed trade control regulations impacting autonomous transportation, industrial internet of things, advanced manufacturing, semiconductors, artificial intelligence software and network equipment
    • Preparing successful commodity jurisdiction and product classification requests to move electronics and sensor products from the ITAR to the EAR and to achieve decontrol of encryption products
    • Obtaining licenses to conduct humanitarian, government-related and communications activities in embargoed countries
    • Conducting company-wide product classification reviews
    • Counseling on ITAR Technical Assistance Agreements for cross-border manufacturing and other technology transfer export authorizations
    • Obtaining OFAC authorizations for wind-down of transactions with sanctioned parties
    • Performance of trade compliance risk assessments and compliance program build-outs
    • Preparation, submission, resolution and advocacy of voluntary disclosures, and responses to directed disclosures, informal government inquiries and subpoenas


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