At a glance.
- US Federal Reserve tests distributed ledger technology.
- Senators introduce a bill to counter Chinese influence in Latin America.
- The state of TikTok and WeChat bans in the US.
- Federal agencies and contractors seek clarity with respect to banned Chinese hardware.
Fed studies digital currency.
According to Law360, the US Federal Reserve is testing distributed ledger technology as it considers the possibility of the central bank adopting a digital currency. Such technologies are attractive, Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard said in San Francisco yesterday, because they have the potential to "enhance payments efficiency, expand financial inclusion, speed up settlement flows, and reduce end-user costs."
Senators introduce bill to contest Chinese influence in the Americas.
A bipartisan group of US Senators have introduced the Advancing Competitiveness, Transparency and Security in the Americas Act. Among other provisions intended to improve US ability to compete in Latin American markets and to foster the rule of law in the Western Hemisphere, the bill is aimed at countering "growing Chinese educational and cultural influence in Latin America and the Caribbean."
TikTok and WeChat in the US.
TechNode reports that the coming US ban on TikTok is likely to extend to advertising the app and offering it for sale in app stores. The Wall Street Journal says that two Republican Senators, Jerry Moran of Kansas and John Thune of South Dakota, have written the Federal Trade Commission to ask that it investigate TikTok's data collection practices.
The related strictures on WeChat have aroused concern on the part of US companies whose business is entangled with related aspects of China's economy. According to the Wall Street Journal, Disney, Walmart, Ford, Apple, and others participated in a White House call in which they expressed their concern that the Executive Order targeting WeChat could have repercussions that would harm their ability to compete in the Chinese market.
Federal agencies and contractors ask for clarity with respect to the ban on Chinese hardware.
Federal News Network reports that Federal agencies and their contractors, who now face the requirement to comply with a ban on certain Chinese-manufactured telecommunications equipment, are seeking clarification of the interim rule that implements part B of Section 889 of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act. That interim rule took effect yesterday. It precludes agencies from awarding contracts to vendors who don't self-certify that they do not use equipment from a specified list of Chinese manufacturers, Huawei and ZTE prominent among them. The problem is the scope of the word "use": twelve US states currently still have Huawei-built routers in their rural telecommunications services, for example. If a company has an office in one of those areas, is it precluded from doing business with the Government?