The European Union and Japan agree to eliminate tariffs

On July 17, 2018 the European Union and Japan formally agreed to eliminate nearly all of the tariffs on products in their bilateral trade. In so doing, the European Union and Japan each confirms their respective position as advocates for free trade.

The agreement eliminates approximately 99 percent of the EU tariffs on Japanese products and approximately 94 percent of the Japanese tariffs on EU products; the latter of which is expected to increase to 99 percent over time. According to public statements, the current difference in volume between the tariff reductions is attributable to products that Japan considers politically sensitive, e.g., rice.
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Affidavit avoids new withholding requirements on sale of partnership interests: New IRC Sections 864(c)(8) and 1446(f)

The tax act contains provisions regarding withholding on the sale or redemption of tax partnership interests (including limited liability companies taxed like partnerships) that require immediate attention.

A recent Tax Court case held that a foreign partner’s gain on the redemption of a partnership interest was not U.S.-source income and was not effectively connected income (ECI), even though the partnership was engaged in a U.S. trade or business. The decision was in contrast to prior IRS guidance on the issue. In response to the decision, the tax act added new code provisions.
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Mandatory reporting by U.S. disregarded entities (single-member LLCs) owned by a non-U.S. person

Final Treasury regulations have been released governing the treatment of domestic disregarded entities wholly owned by a foreign person. The rules apply for the limited purposes of the reporting, record maintenance and associated compliance requirements that apply to 25 percent foreign-owned domestic corporations under Code Sec. 6038A.
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Ohio sales and use tax compliance change regarding transactions that are exempted from the definition of sales and use taxable “employment services”

International businesses with operations in Ohio need to keep abreast not only of federal tax changes but also Ohio tax changes. Ohio has taxed “employment services” for years, but there are five statutory exceptions that kick a particular service out of the definition of taxable “employment services.”
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What does it take to bring foreign companies to the US?

On our blog, Antitrust Law Source, host Jay Levine talks to Oded Shenkar, Ford Motor Company Chair in Global Business Management and Ohio State professor, about the challenges and opportunities facing foreign businesses who wish to come to the United States. The duo talks about regulatory matters, strategic factors and how the political climate will affect a company’s decision to doing business in the United States.

Takedown of counterfeit goods in China?

The elimination of counterfeit goods from online marketplaces in China continues to improve due to support from the Chinese government, changing laws in China which can impose liability on online marketplaces for infringement of intellectual property rights (IPR) and continued pressure from manufactures from around the world.
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Supreme Court to consider international patent exhaustion

Four years after fully embracing international copyright exhaustion in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court has finally taken up the issue of patent exhaustion. In Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International Inc., the Court has been asked to answer two questions.
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Federal disaster relief available to employees in aftermath of natural disasters

Natural forces wreaked havoc on a number of states and territories this fall when Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria made landfall. The federal government sprang into action by making disaster declarations for affected areas to provide aid in the aftermath of these tragic events.
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