USA Business Digest: January 2023

January 31, 2023 | Newsletters

Authored by Manny Schoenhuber

Happy New Year and welcome back to the fifth edition of USA Business Digest – A Legal Newsletter for European Companies and Investors in the United States. I hope 2023 is off to a great start for you and I wish you, your business, and your investments nothing but the best for the new year.

This month, we will take a closer look at (1) news from the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council; (2) updates from the EU-US Data Privacy Framework; and (3) forthcoming updates to regulations for offshore wind energy projects.

As always, this update is available in both English and German.


U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council: New Initiatives on Sustainability, Artificial Intelligence, Semiconductors, Electric Vehicles, and More

Discussions during the third meeting of the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council centered around the impacts Russia’s ongoing full-scale invasion of Ukraine has on U.S.-EU trade and how to mitigate its impacts. The U.S.-EU joint statement makes clear that they plan to explore coordinated actions to foster diversification and make key supply chains more resilient. For example, as it relates to semiconductor supply chains, the U.S. and EU will set up an early warning mechanism to alert each other to potential blockages in flow of advanced circuits and the components used to produce them.

The U.S. and EU also released an artificial intelligence roadmap to guide them toward harmonized rulemaking. The stated goal is to foster development of AI in an effort to enhance innovation and competition, while also respecting human rights and privacy. The Council will further establish a task force on quantum computing to improve information sharing between the U.S. and the EU.

Europe and the U.S. also announced a new area of collaboration on electric vehicles. This comes in the wake of European criticism to the Biden Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act, which offers substantial tax credits to consumers who buy qualifying electric vehicles assembled in North America.

Last but certainly not least, the U.S. and EU announced the “Transatlantic Initiative on Sustainable Trade” to identify areas for further collaboration on sustainability as well as the “Talent for Growth Task Force” to meet today’s demands of a well-trained workforce in the technological sectors and to create new opportunities. ♦


Update: EU-US Data Privacy Framework – European Commission Issued Draft Adequacy Decision

The European Commission issued a draft adequacy decision concluding that the commitments made by the U.S. were enough to ensure personal data flowing from the EU to the U.S. would be adequately protected. Specifically, the European Commission found that under the new framework, the U.S. ensures an adequate level of protection for personal data transferred from the EU to U.S. companies.

As part of a multistep review process, the draft decision heads to the European Data Protection Board for input. Then, the Commission will seek approval from a committee of EU member state representatives and ask for comments from the European Parliament. Lastly, the Commission can adopt a final adequacy decision. Companies can then begin to certify their compliance with the detailed set of privacy obligations contained in the EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework in order to begin transferring EU data to the U.S. without having to put additional data protection safeguards in place. At the end of the day, the goal is that comparable safeguards will be in place in the U.S. to protect the personal data of EU citizens. ♦


Updated Regulations for Offshore Renewable Energy

In an effort to facilitate the safe and efficient development of offshore wind energy resources, provide certainty to developers, and help ensure a fair return to the U.S. taxpayers, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will publish a proposed rule to modernize regulations and processes for offshore clean energy development.

To minimize bureaucracy and save renewable energy developers about $1 billion over 20 years, major components of the proposed Renewable Energy Modernization rule include eliminating unnecessary requirements for the deployment of meteorological buoys, increasing survey flexibility, improving project design and installation verification, establishing a new five-year public renewable energy leasing schedule for anticipated lease sales, reforming renewable energy auction regulations, updating financial assurance requirements, and clarifying safety management regulations.

The Biden administration has set a goal to develop 30 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2030 and 15 gigawatts of floating offshore wind capacity by 2035. By 2025, the stated goal is to hold up to four more offshore lease sales and complete the review of at least 16 plans to build and operate wind energy facilities with outputs totaling 22 gigawatts. ♦

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