Perspective: Kirton McConkie Law Blog

New Rule: The Fight Against Corruption Speaks French

International

On November 8, France adopted its new framework legislation against corruption, the Law on Transparency, the Fight against Corruption and Modernization of Economic Life, otherwise called the “Sapin II Law” from the name of its sponsor, Michel Sapin, the French Minister of Finance.  The Sapin II Law elevates French standards to those of the UK, the U.S. and other countries in the international fight for transparency and against corruption; it also represents a strong response to much criticism from the international community for weak domestic enforcement at a time when French companies have received gigantic penalties by U.S. authorities.[1]  Companies with operations in France (as well as French companies operating abroad) will now have to adjust their compliance efforts to take into consideration these new standards. Read More

EU and Canada Signed Landmark Trade Agreement

International

While the U.S. was fully immersed in its presidential elections and took distance from the T.T.I.P. (the long-negotiated international trade agreement between the U.S. and the European Union), and while Great Britain was consumed with its Brexit, the EU responded by creating a free-trade zone with another powerful G7 member, Canada. On Sunday, October 30th, the EU and Canada signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), a free-trade agreement that, when in force, will eliminate 98% of the tariffs between Canada and the EU and allegedly allow for a half-billion Euros in savings in export taxes.

On Sunday, October 30th
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Privacy Shield: The New Safe Harbor

International

In the aftermath of the Safe Harbor invalidation, the European Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce have agreed to a new draft of the “Privacy Shield”. Read More

Global Trends in Anti-Corruption Legislation: Mexico to Ramp up Enforcement Activity

International

U.S. federal prosecutors recently investigated Wal-Mart de Mexico, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.’s largest foreign subsidiary, for alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The FCPA is a U.S. criminal statute prohibiting bribery of foreign government officials to obtain or retain business. It generally applies to U.S. companies and citizens. U.S. companies doing business outside the country must be aware of FCPA prohibitions and understand when and how it is enforced to avoid costly investigations. Wal-Mart expects to pay between $130 and $150 million in FCPA and compliance-related costs for the 2015 fiscal year. Read More

Non-compliance with new EU data privacy rules can be costly

International

On October 6, Europe’s highest court, the Court of Justice of the European Union, struck down the “Safe Harbor Framework,” which existed between the United States and the EU for 15 years. This has an impact on companies collecting or processing personal data in EU nations for use in the United States. The Framework provided a method for over 4,000 U.S. companies to transfer personal information outside the European Union consistent with the EU’s strict Data Protection Directive. The Directive establishes the rules for protecting Europeans’ privacy rights. To take advantage of the Framework, U.S. companies have self-certified compliance with EU standards to the Department of Commerce. Read More

The impact of U.S. sanctions on Russia and Crimea to international trade

International

In a visit to Salt Lake City earlier this year, His Excellency Sergey I. Kislyak, the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United States, argued that the United States should remove the sanctions it has imposed upon Russia and the Crimea region. Complaining that “principles of free trade are easily hijacked for political purposes,” he stated, “[t]he more economic relations we have, the better it is for political relations.” Read More