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Public Policy

New Year, New House

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Wednesday, 30 January 2019 19:42

By: Arthur M. Freyre

The 116th Congress is already in session. Most news reports focused on three things: the Democratic “blue wave” in the House of Representative; the increase of female representatives; and the ethnic diversity of the incoming freshmen class.

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Wife of U.S. Citizen Held Hostage in Iran Visits with U.S. Policymakers

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Thursday, 28 June 2018 19:25

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                             

CONTACT: Ms. Cara Di Silvio

Thursday, June 28, 2018          

+1.703.566.3037 

Wife of U.S. Citizen Held Hostage in Iran 
Visits with U.S. Policymakers 

(Alexandria, Virginia) For two days this week Ms. Hua Qu, wife of U.S. hostage Mr. Xiyue Wang (Princeton University Ph.D. student), visited with U.S. policymakers in the Congress and the Trump administration. Hua’s meetings were part of ongoing efforts to reunite her young family by securing the unconditional release of her husband Xiyue from Iranian captivity.

Hua’s message to policymakers was simple: “My husband and I do not want to be in the middle of JCPOA politics. That put him in this mess to begin with. This is about human rights. I am fighting to keep my family together and I need your help.

Mr. Xiyue Wang is an American citizen and graduate student at Princeton University. Held hostage in very harsh conditions since August 2016 in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison, Xiyue went to Iran to research for his PhD doctoral dissertation about the Qajar dynasty of Iran (19th century) with authorizations from the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In April, Hua sent a letter to President Trump delivered to the president and Secretary of State Pompeo by a senior member of Congress. In the letter Hua stressed that Xiyue was innocent and urged the President that “before negotiating any deal with Iran, please remember the innocent scholar that is being held by the Iranian regime solely because he is an American.

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Free Speech and The Knowledge Economy

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Tuesday, 12 September 2017 15:21

By: Arthur M. Freyre

The events in Charlottesville, Virginia, have led to calls to regulating “hate speech” on a corporate level. Those arguing for such regulations are calling for companies such as Google, GoDaddy, and others to either ban or suspend websites or individuals that are knowingly espousing either “alt-right” or white supremacy ideology. Recently, Apple and Google banned an Internet startup called Gab, which was created to allow users a platform to practice free speech, from having their application available for download via App stores on either the iPhone or Android.[1]

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QTIIPS Anyone?

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Tuesday, 20 June 2017 14:53

A Look at Overreaction to Policy Decisions

By: Arthur M. Freyre

June 1, 2017 was the most important, decisive event in world history. In fact, historians would comment that the world’s existence hinged on the events of June 1, 2017. At this point, one might be asking, “What happened on June 1, 2017?” This was the day that President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Accord. The Paris Accord was an agreement signed by almost all the nations in the world promising to fight climate change. When the President announced this decision, the media and those who supported the Accord described this decision as the equivalent to Armageddon claiming it will be the end of the world, as we know it. 

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Some Thoughts on Drone Registration

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Friday, 26 May 2017 16:44

By: Arthur M. Freyre

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a game changing decision for the Drone community when they vacated a Federal Aviation Administration rule regarding Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles used recreationally on May 19th. Mr. John Taylor, a model aircraft hobbyist, petitioned the court challenging the FAA’s registration rule specified by Part 48, which specifically dealt with the registration of recreational drones. The ruling[i] was based on the court’s interpretation of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012.[ii]

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What to Expect in 2017: Part 1

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Wednesday, 18 January 2017 20:37

WTE2017 Part 1 Blog Header

By: Arthur M. Freyre

As we embark on a new year as well as a new Administration, we can expect to see some changes. In this three part series we will look at what to expect from The Congress and the Presidency in 2017. This year will be a time of opportunities for both President-elect Trump and the GOP controlled Congress. Part 1 of this post will focus the House of Representatives.

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Next Congress May Expand CFIUS Jurisdiction

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Monday, 07 November 2016 19:02

CongressBuildingBy: Jason I. Poblete

Senior Members of Congress appear to be laying the groundwork for a much-needed regulatory update of a process used by the U.S. government to review of foreign investments in the United States in strategically important sectors such as defense as well as homeland security, especially in the case of U.S. ports. In a letter to the U.S. Comptroller General, sixteen (16) Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle asked that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) advise on the current effectiveness of the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS) review process as well as provide guidance on proposed updates under consideration by the Congress. The letter is appended at the end of this post.

By way of brief background, the CFIUS review process was created via Executive Order in 1975 by President Gerald Ford. The rules governing the interagency process have also been amended by the Congress various times as well as other Presidential executive orders. While not a tool of (pure) free-market thinking, the CFIUS review process is a necessary tool that can be used to protect strategically vital U.S. markets from unfair competition, espionage, among other things. The process involves nine federal agencies and is one of many safeguards used by Uncle Sam to protect U.S. national security and, in the late 2000s, homeland security.

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Assistant Secretary for the Western Hemisphere in Miami

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Public Policy
Saturday, 21 December 2013 11:10

By Arthur Freyre

(Coral Gables, Florida) Assistant Secretary for the Western Hemisphere, Ms. Roberta Jacobson, spoke before a group at the University of Miami Center of Hemispheric Affairs last week. Jacobson and several of her colleagues were in South Florida, in part, for a business conference.  Jacobson's speech focused on the Administration’s effort in Latin America. Jacobson focused most of her remarks on the issues of education exchanges between students in the United States and in Latin America, narcotics interdiction, and trade.

Cuba: A Lot of Issues Discussed, Much to Be Done

After the presentation, the floor was opened for questions. The first question dealt with Cuba and the now seemingly infamous handshake between President Obama and Raul Castro. Ms. Jacobson stated that “a handshake was just a handshake.” Her bigger concern was the interaction between the President and Brazil's president. 

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Dr. Gomez: Preparing to do Business in a Future Cuba

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Public Policy
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 12:08

Dr. Andy Gomez, Senior Policy Advisor

The government of Raul Castro continues to introduce what appear to be economic reforms in Cuba with the purpose of jump-starting a moribund economic system that for more than a decade has been controlled by the government and dependent on subsides by countries such as Russia and Venezuela. However, at the same time, the Cuban leadership has shown clear signs that they have no intention of relinquishing political control or honoring fundamental freedoms. 

This is a time of great economic and political uncertainty in Cuba. For the first time in decades there are clear factions starting to form within the Cuban government.  There are the hardliners, who would like to see no change at all. Then  there is a class of bureaucrats who do not agree with the pace of the current reforms. This group would like to see a great deal more economic liberalization. These individuals, some in very senior posts in the current government, propose reform within the existing government structure. It is difficult to tell at this point if this latter group is as ideologically committed to the Revolution as the others.

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Emerging Business and Trade Opportunities in Latin America

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Public Policy
Saturday, 09 March 2013 10:25

Arthur Freyre

The International Law Section of the Florida Bar this past week hosted a seminar on Emerging Business and Trade Opportunities in Latin America in Coral Gables, Florida.  The speakers discussed the various opportunities and obstacles in the emerging Latin American market.

The first speaker, Violeta Longino spoke about the business climate in Argentina and Mexico.  Concerning Argentina, she mentioned that Argentina is moving towards Venezuela in the sense of over-regulation. To put this in perspective, it is easier to open a corporation in China or in Afghanistan than it is in Argentina.  In contrast to Argentina, Mexico is moving towards open markets.  There have been reforms in the energy sector, and labor laws.  Mexico has even passed an Anti-Corruption law, which stemmed out of a litigation involving Walmart.

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