- October 2, 2018
This Client alert is to inform of changes in the processing of the “Premium Processing” option for Petitions for Employment Based immigration cases. Where appropriate, employers have sought to sponsor or petition future or existing foreign national employees to meet the demands of their business. These Employment Based Petitions are filed and adjudicated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (“USCIS”). Employers may seek to have their Petitions handled as a “Premium Processing” matter when timing is a concern for an employer’s sponsorship of a foreign national employee by completing Form I-907 and paying the appropriate “Premium Processing fee.September 18, 2018
The Trump Administration announced Monday evening that it will impose 10% Section 301 tariffs on $200 billion of goods imported from China beginning next week. The tariffs, which go into effect September 24, will rise to 25% on January 1, 2019. In his statement at the White House, President Trump added that “if China takes retaliatory action against our farmers or other industries, we will immediately pursue phase three, which is tariffs on approximately $267 billion of additional imports.”September 7, 2018
Soon, avid readers of the Federal Register will see “updates” to the 232 Steel and Aluminum tariff exclusion process that the Department of Commerce says is based on feedback from public comment. There are changes in the proposed final rule, dubbed the “second interim final rule", and the changes will clearly help future filers. But, for those 38,000 filed comments, the next question is, how are already-filed applications going to be treated under the new rules?August 31, 2018President Issues New Steel/Aluminum Section 232 Proclamations to Create Additional Exclusion Process for Exempt Countries Subject to Quotas
On Wednesday, August 29, President Trump issued additional Section 232 steel and aluminum proclamations to update and modify earlier proclamations. President Trump had earlier exempted certain countries, namely, Argentina, Australia, Brazil and South Korea from the 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum and in most cases (except Australia) quotas were imposed rather than tariffs. This new action is apparently in response to the realization that these quotas have adversely affected some U.S companies that couldn’t source sufficient quantities of steel and aluminum domestically and the quotas were filled from these previously exempted countries. It simply supplements an existing exclusion process and extends it to the case of exempted countries which had quotas which are now filled or close to filled.August 29, 2018Trump Administration Reaches Preliminary NAFTA Agreement with Mexico; Seeking Canada’s Buy-In by Friday, Trump Re-Introduces Threat of 232 Auto Tariffs Opposed by U.S. Auto Industry
On August 27, 2018, President Trump’s and Mexico’s Enrique Peña Nieto congratulated each other in a conference call for reaching “preliminary agreement in principle” in regards to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
This new agreement is intended to replace the 24-year-old NAFTA agreement with modern provisions addressing the new technological realities of doing business. It also intends to give a solution to the Administration’s priority to re-shore manufacturing to the United States.August 13, 2018
As a follow up to the prior alert on the 2019 proposed Physician Fee Schedule and Quality Payment Program from CMS, attention should be given to the significant changes in reimbursement for remote patient management and store and forward telehealth. Comments to the proposed rules as noted in the prior Health Alert are due by September 10, 2018 with a final ruling expected in November.August 9, 2018No End in Sight: USTR Announces Implementation of Section 301 Tariffs on Additional $16B of Chinese Products; China Fires Back Immediately
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced on August 8th that the U.S. would begin imposing 25% tariffs on a second tranche of Chinese products valued at approximately $16B on August 23rd. Tariffs on a first list of products valued at approximately $34B as a result of the USTR’s Section 301 investigation took effect July 6th.August 2, 2018Proposed Section 301 Tariffs On Additional $200B Goods Imported From China Increased From 10% to 25%; Deadline For Comments Extended
In a surprising and possibly unprecedented action, U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer announced late Wednesday, August 1st that the President directed him to consider an increase in the proposed Section 301 tariff originally announced on July 10th from 10% to 25%.August 1, 2018
On July 27, 2018, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS), published a Proposed Rule regarding significant modifications to Medicare payment policies under the Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) for Part B services rendered in CY 2019.July 19, 2018
Over the past year, there has been a major increase in the number of businesses seeking insurance coverage for losses they incurred as a result of “fraudulent instruction” scams. A fraudulent instruction scam is where a criminal hacker collects data from the victim’s computer that allows the hacker to send plausible-looking requests to transfer funds to bogus accounts.July 11, 2018No One Is Blinking Yet: Trump Administration Responds to China’s Retaliatory Tariffs by Releasing New $200B List of Chinese Exports That Could Be Subject to Section 301 Tariffs
Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. Trade Representative, yesterday announced a new list of Chinese products, worth approximately $200 billion, that will be reviewed for an additional 10% tariff under the USTR’s ongoing Section 301 investigation.July 9, 2018U.S. Trade Representative Announces New Process for Product Exclusions from New Section 301 Tariffs on Chinese Imports
In prior client alerts, we discussed the imposition of tariffs on various products from China of 25%, based on a finding by the President of violations of section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 by China related to U.S. intellectual property rights.
The final list of 818 tariff items subject to the 25% tariffs recently imposed by President Trump on products imported from China was released on June 15, 2018, covering some $34 billion in products. The President imposed the tariffs under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 that took effect July 6, 2018. The administration previously indicated that a product exclusion process would be announced, presumably similar to the one the Department of Commerce has put in place or the steel and aluminum tariffs issued under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 earlier this year. The section 232 process which was administered by the Commerce Department has been roundly criticized for being burdensome and complex – after 3 months, only 100 or so of the over 20,000 applications have been fully processed, and almost half of that number were denied.July 2, 2018
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) has issued a request for information seeking input from the public on how to address any undue regulatory impact and burden of the physician self-referral law (the “Stark Law”).
Exasperation with the technical and practical restrictions of the complex and intricate Stark Law has been apparent since 1988 when Congressman Pete Stark introduced the "Ethics in Patient Referrals Act, " the first of the so-called Stark Law. Now, CMS has issued an invitation to interested parties to comment on them.June 28, 2018
In a 5-4 decision, issued on June 26, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld President Trump’s latest Travel Ban of September 2017. The Court found that the Travel Ban was within the President’s broad statutory authority to limit the entry of nationals of certain countries in the interest of national security.June 27, 2018
The Department of Labor (“DOL”) recently finalized new regulations providing that a “bona fide group or association of employers” that sponsor or maintain an employee welfare benefit plan may be an “employer” under Section 3(5) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”). The upshot of the new regulations is that small employers or sole proprietors which previously had difficulty affording health insurance can now band together and purchase large group market insurance plans (which might result in potential premium cost-savings and reduction of administrative costs).June 21, 2018
In earlier client alerts (June 15, 2018 and April 4, 2018), we have discussed the proposed tariffs under section 301 against China that arose as a result of allegedly unfair Chinese intellectual property practices. The administration, in its openly declared trade war with China, has been expanding on the implementation of these duties and issued a new Federal Register Notice dated June 20, 2018. This notice sets out procedures for entry of products already determined to be subject to tariffs and assigns a special tariff number to be used to identify them in addition to the regular HTS number. Products of China that are provided for in new HTSUS heading 9903.88.01, as established by Annex A of this notice that are entered for consumption, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on July 6, 2018, shall be subject to an additional duty of 25 percent ad valorem.June 21, 2018
As a result of pressure from many sources including foreign embassies, the U.S Department of Commerce has announced an extension of the deadlines in its recently announced investigation under Section 232 of U.S automobiles (including SUV’s and light trucks) and auto parts imports and their potential impact on the national security.June 15, 2018
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) today released a list of products imported from China that will be subject to additional tariffs as part of the U.S. response to alleged unfair trade practices by China related to the alleged forced transfer of American technology and intellectual property.June 11, 2018Jump to Page
With the construction season already underway, the Michigan legislature repealed the state Prevailing Wage Law. The repeal was effective as of June 6, 2018. This change in the law may lead to many questions for construction industry employers and governmental entities in Michigan that have a contract in place requiring compliance with Michigan’s Prevailing Wage Law. Is the contract enforceable even though the law no longer exists? Should the parties renegotiate the contract to eliminate the requirement that the contractor comply with the law? Can a contractor simply ignore the contractual requirement?June 6, 2018
Mexico published in its official gazette a decree imposing tariffs on U.S. steel, aluminum, and farm products as a response to U.S. failure to extend tariff country exclusions for steel and aluminum. The measures are said to be taking aim at Republican strongholds ahead of U.S. congressional elections in November. Mexico’s trade negotiators included products exported by states represented Republican leaders, including Indiana where Vice President Mike Pence was formerly governor and Bourbon-producing Kentucky, home state of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The latter designed to put the most pressure on the Trump Administration. Mexico had previously received a temporary exemption that was extended through May 31, 2018 but not renewed.