- December 21, 2016Trump Administration Forecast – How Can President Trump Deliver on His Campaign Promises Regarding Trade?
Major changes to U.S. trade policy, such as withdrawal from NAFTA, were among the most prominent of Donald Trump’s campaign promises. Now that he is the President-elect, it is most appropriate to examine current law to ascertain whether he can deliver on those campaign promises.December 19, 2016
On December 9, 2016, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed landmark autonomous vehicle legislation, placing Michigan as one of the most manufacturer-friendly states to develop and test driverless systems. As we noted in our August 11, 2016 Alert, this legislation is unique in that it allows testing of vehicles without the presence of driver, a direction that will significantly impact the mobility economy.December 16, 2016NHTSA's Proposal to Mandate that Automobile Manufacturers Incorporate Vehicle-to-Vehicle Capabilities into New Cars
What NHTSA is Proposing
On December 13th, NHTSA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to establish a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) that would require automobile manufacturers to incorporate vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications capabilities into all new light vehicles (https://www.nhtsa.gov/About-NHTSA/Press-Releases/nhtsa_v2v_proposed_rule_12132016). The NPRM would also proposed standardized Basic Safety Messages (BSM) communicated between vehicles to ensure interoperability. NHTSA does not propose initially to mandate or specify particular applications using the V2V communications (such as Intersection Movement Assist (IMA) and Left Turn Assist (LTA)), but would allow the industry to develop and deploy particular safety applications.December 16, 2016
President Obama signed the “21st Century Cures Act” on December 13, 2016, which included a critical change to the Internal Revenue Code (“Code”) and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) affecting certain small employers. Specifically, employers that are exempt from the “pay-or-play” rules of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”) may now offer employees a “qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangement” (“QSEHRA”) for plan years beginning after December 31, 2016.December 2, 2016
Given the lack of specificity in the Trump campaign with regard to telecommunications policies, trying to forecast the effect of his election on telecommunications regulation involves a fair measure of speculation. But there are some impacts that appear to be fairly clear. Although the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is ostensibly an independent agency, the influence of the White House was very significant, as evidenced by the FCC's actions in the Open Internet proceeding (also referred to as "Net Neutrality") of reclassifying Internet access service as a Title II telecommunications service after a request to do so by President Obama. The influence of the tech industry on the Obama Administration was significant, and the White House's bias in favor of policies championed by Silicon Valley was embraced by the FCC, as evidenced by a number of rulemaking proceedings.December 1, 2016
Recent U.S. immigration policy hasn’t created many winners, but one group that qualifies to some extent are the thousands of children brought into the United States illegally by their parents, often referred to as DREAMers. Unfortunately, they may quickly become losers if President-Elect Trump decides to undo DACA -- the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.November 23, 2016
Businesses have something truly to be thankful for this year, well, at least for now. On Tuesday, November 22, 2016, the federal district court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the Final Overtime Rule on a nationwide basis. The Final Overtime Rule, which was projected to affect over four million workers, was set to go into effect on December 1, 2016. But, by yesterday’s court’s ruling, the Department of Labor is now enjoined from implementing and enforcing the Final Overtime Rule.November 17, 2016
President-elect Donald Trump stated during his campaign that he would renegotiate or withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”). He cites the United States’ $58-billion trade deficit with Mexico and refers to examples like Ford’s recent decision to build a plant in Mexico as evidence that NAFTA has displaced jobs that otherwise would have remained in the United States. The President-elect has also promised to raise tariffs on trade partners, potentially ushering in a trade war and paving the way for protectionist U.S. policies that critics argue could diminish U.S. influence.November 11, 2016
Companies Consider Negotiating Assurances with UK Trade Ministry or Local Governments
On Sunday, October 2, the United Kingdom’s (UK) Prime Minister, Theresa May, announced plans to trigger Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon by the end of March, 2017, starting the two-year clock for withdrawal of Britain from the European Union (EU) . May identified the goal of making Britain a “sovereign nation again,” in control of its own immigration and with its own laws. As the world’s fifth largest economy, Britain will become “truly global,” May said, looking beyond Europe as its largest trade partner and naming China, India, Canada, Mexico, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore among the nations prepared to sign major free trade deals with the UK.November 2, 2016
The Internal Revenue Service has recently announced cost-of-living adjustments applicable to dollar limitations for retirement plans (and other items) for 2017. Many of the retirement plan limitations will change for 2017 because the increase in the cost-of-living index met the statutory thresholds that trigger their adjustment. However, other limitations will remain unchanged because the increase in the index did not meet the statutory thresholds that trigger their adjustment.November 1, 2016
November marks the month new safety regulations in Mexico will enter into effect for light motor vehicles.October 26, 2016Employer Beware: Antitrust Enforcement Agencies Set Their Sights on Anti-Competitive Hiring and Compensation Agreements
The Department of Justice Antitrust Division (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the two federal agencies responsible for enforcing the antitrust laws, have issued a “Guidance” document for HR Professionals, outlining the types of compensation and hiring agreements that the enforcement agencies will challenge as violations of the antitrust laws. The Guidance document does not represent a change in antitrust law, but it does represent a clear signal that the agencies are placing unprecedented importance on policing such agreements.October 26, 2016
Responding to growing threats to vehicle safety from cybersecurity vulnerabilities, NHTSA released guidelines for cybersecurity best practices for motor vehicle OEMs, suppliers and aftermarket manufacturers.
On October 24, 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced its non-binding guidance titled “Cybersecurity Best Practices for Modern Vehicles” (Guidelines).
In the wake of the well-publicized Jeep hacks (summer 2015) and last Friday’s DDoS attack against the managed DNS infrastructure of Dyn, the need to protect the safety of drivers and passengers against cyber-perils has never been greater. Acknowledging its responsibilities under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (Act), NHTSA issued this guidance to promote cybersecurity practices that ensure vehicle systems and related software are designed free of unreasonable risks to motor vehicle safety. To date, NHTSA has used its enforcement authority to recall nearly 1.5 million vehicles due to cybersecurity vulnerabilities deemed potential safety risks under the Act.October 10, 2016
The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) was passed in 2015 and is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2017. Final regulations are anticipated in November, 2016 leaving little time for provider implementation. The stated purpose of MACRA was to end the sustainable growth rate formula, establish a new framework for rewarding health care for providing better care and combine existing quarterly reporting programs into one system. These three changes are known as the “quality payment program” (“QPP”).September 30, 2016
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) has raised the stakes for Covered Entities and Business Associates making it clear that it will no longer treat small breaches as a low priority. On August 18, 2016, OCR announced its new Initiative to increase the investigative and enforcement efforts in its Regional Offices concerning small breaches (those effecting less than 500 individuals).September 27, 2016
Every fall, many employers which sponsor welfare benefit plans turn their attention to benefit design for the coming year. As a result, the open enrollment season provides the perfect opportunity to ensure current welfare benefit legal requirements are kept up to speed: plan documents and summary plan descriptions; annual notices; and nondiscrimination testing.September 23, 2016
On December 1, 2016, the Department of Labor’s controversial overtime pay regulation, which revises the overtime pay exemption for white-collar employees, is scheduled to take effect. However, on September 20, 2016, two lawsuits were filed in a federal court in Texas in an effort to invalidate the regulation and to enjoin its implementation. A group of twenty-one states, including Michigan, filed one of the lawsuits, and a group of business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, filed the second lawsuit.September 20, 2016
A little while ago, we issued an alert with regard to a Petition for Rulemaking filed by two “public interest” advocacy groups – Public Knowledge and the Open Technology Institute at New America (client-alert-detail/Public-Interest-Groups-Seek-to-Halt-Further-Deployment-of-Connected-Car-Technologies.html). The Petition requested that the FCC adopt several rules that would govern the Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) service that is being deployed in support of connected car technologies and services. The Petition seeks (1) new FCC rules governing privacy and cybersecurity of DSRC services; (2) a prohibition on any services other than safety-of-life in the DSRC spectrum; and (3) a halt to any DSRC deployment until the new, proposed rules are adopted. The FCC put the Petition out for comment, and the comments and reply comments have come in.September 20, 2016Jump to Page
The US Department of Transportation, in a potential departure from the self-certification regime of the past, outlined a significantly expanded role for the Agency in its September 20, 2016 Federal Autonomous Vehicle Policy. In an unprecedented move, the Agency issued a detailed policy statement that includes:
- Tools that would lead to the addition of registration and certification with NHTSA for autonomous vehicle systems;
- Vehicle performance guidelines;
- A model state policy;
- A summary of NHTSA’s current regulatory tools; and
- New tools and authorities.
Stakeholder participation in the sixty-day public comment period for these proposed guidelines and policies is critical, as the Agency views this release as a starting point to advance safety technology.September 15, 2016
On September 1, 2016, bankruptcy proceedings were commenced in South Korea against Hanjin Shipping Co., Ltd. (“Hanjin”). Hanjin is a major South Korean shipping firm and accounts for about 7.8% of U.S. trans-Pacific trade volume. As a result of Hanjin’s insolvency, port terminal operators, railroads, trucking companies and other logistics handlers ceased handling Hanjin’s containers, and a large number of Beneficial Cargo Owners (the owners of the goods being shipped by Hanjin) were, or have been unable to obtain their goods. Suppliers who operate in “Just-in-Time” industries risked customer shutdowns, while retailers and consumer goods companies faced inventory shortages as the holiday season approaches.