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Trading restrictions

UNITED STATES


Chapter Online sales and transactions  |  Sub-chapter Online sales
Restriction on online sales
While it is possible to sell drugs online in the U.S., it is considered illegal to buy drugs online from outside the US, even when the same medicaments are legally available in the US. There are some exceptions from these rule, including that not more than a three-month supply of the drug is imported.
Coverage E-retail
Trading restrictions

UNITED STATES

Since July 2009

Chapter Online sales and transactions  |  Sub-chapter Online sales
Revised Code of Washington (RCW)
Since July 2009, ordering most of tobacco products purchased through the Internet to be shipped directly to consumers in Washington is illegal.
Coverage E-retail
Trading restrictions

UNITED STATES

Since 1961

Chapter Online sales and transactions  |  Sub-chapter Online sales
Wire Act (1961)

Illegal Gambling Business Act (1955)
Overlapping Federal and State regulations prohibit online gambling in the US (except in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware, which have officially legalized online gambling). In 2003, Antigua and Barbuda initiated the dispute resolution process at the WTO challenging the US prohibition on cross border supply of online gambling services.

In 2005, the WTO Appellate Body (AB) upheld the Panel's finding regarding the US violation of GATS articles XVI: 1 and XVI: 2 by maintaining certain limitations on market access not specified in its schedule. Given the lack of implementation by the US of the AB ruling, Antigua and Barbuda retaliated by suspending US copyright protection rights as a mean of compensation.
Coverage Online gambling
Trading restrictions

UNITED STATES

n/a

Chapter Online sales and transactions  |  Sub-chapter Domain name (DNS) registration requeriments
usTLD Nexus Requirements Policy
Foreign entities or organizations need a bona fide presence to set up a US domain (.us). or to be a US citizen, permanent resident or an American organization. "Bona fide presence" requires the opponent to have either physical presence or regularly engage in lawful activities (sales of goods or services or other business, commercial or non-commercial including not-for-profit activities) in the United States.

The .com and .org domains have been made available by US authorities to both domestic and foreign users.
Coverage Horizontal
Trading restrictions

UNITED STATES

Reported in August 2013

Chapter Online sales and transactions  |  Sub-chapter Barriers to fulfillment
De minimis rule
According to the de minimis rule of the US, goods with a value of up to 132 SDR / 200 USD will be exempted from taxes and duties collected by the customs.
Coverage Horizontal
Trading restrictions

UNITED STATES

Reported in 2012 and 2013

Chapter Standards  |  Sub-chapter Product screening and testing requeriments
Ban on the grounds of national security
Various government agencies in the United States have banned the use of equipment made by various Chinese manufacturers under fears that hardware-level backdoors could exist in these products.

For example, Lenovo hardware is reportedly banned from the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), although no evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of Lenovo has been presented. Furthermore, US government systems are recommended to exclude components from Huawei or ZTE as well as from other Chinese network equipment providers.

Private enterprises are encouraged to use alternative suppliers other than Huawei or ZTE.
Coverage Lenovo, Huawei, ZTE, other Chinese network equipment
Trading restrictions

UNITED STATES

Since November 10, 2014

Chapter Quantitative Trade Restrictions  |  Sub-chapter Export restrictions
Export Administration Regulations (EAR)
The US Export Administration Regulations (EAR) regulate exports of commercial communication satellites and technology that uses certain types of encryption.

Commercial communications satellites were moved from the military export controls of the State Department to the civilian or “dual use” controls of the Commerce Department. These regulations are less restrictive than the previously applied United States Munitions List (“USML”) under the jurisdiction of the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (“DDTC”). However, there are still export regulations in place which may constitute an additional burden for exporters of these items.

Similarly, the Bureau of Industry and Security in the United States Department of Commerce regulates the export of technology that uses certain types of encryption and imposes certain registration and reporting requirements.
Coverage Commercial communication satellites

Technology that uses certain types of encryption
Trading restrictions

UNITED STATES


Chapter Content access  |  Sub-chapter Bandwitch, net neutrality
Throttling
Internet access providers in the US have reportedly slowed down the data transmission of the video-on-demand (VOD) service Netflix.
Coverage Netflix
Restrictions on data

UNITED STATES

Since 1998

Chapter Intermidiary liability  |  Sub-chapter Lack of safe harbor for intermediary liabiity
Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
In the United States, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) establishes a conditional safe harbor that focuses specifically on copyright infringement claims. Title II of DMCA protects online intermediaries from liability in the case of copyright infringement, provided a notice and takedown system to deal with infringements is implemented.

Intermediaries also have the right to counter-notify, when they believe there is no copyright infringement involved. Safe harbor is available only to an intermediary that “does not receive a financial benefit directly attributable to the infringing activity, in a case in which the service provider has the right and ability to control such activity."
Coverage Internet intermediaries
Restrictions on data

UNITED STATES

Since 1914, amended in various occasions

Chapter Data policies  |  Sub-chapter Sanctions for non-compliance
Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. §§41-58) (FTC Act)
The Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act) provides penalties of up to 16,000 USD for each offence. The FTC Act can also obtain an injunction, restitution to consumers, and repayment of investigation and prosecution costs. Criminal penalties include imprisonment for up to ten years.
Coverage Horizontal
Restrictions on data

UNITED STATES

Since 1999

Chapter Data policies  |  Sub-chapter Administrative requeriments on data privacy
Network Security Agreements
It is reported that foreign communications infrastructure providers have been asked to sign Network Security Agreements (NSAs) in order to operate in the US. These agreements ensure that U.S. government agencies have the ability to access communications data when legally requested.

The agreements reported range in date from 1999 to 2011 and involve a rotating group of government agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Justice (DoJ), Department of Defense (DoD) and sometimes the Department of the Treasury.

According to the Washington Post, the agreements require companies to maintain what amounts to an “internal corporate cell of American citizens with government clearances” ensuring that “when U.S. government agencies seek access to the massive amounts of data flowing through their networks, the companies have systems in place to provide it securely.”

Moreover, the agreements impose local storage requirements for certain customers data as well as minimum periods of data retention for data such as billing records and access logs.
Coverage Telecommunication sector
Restrictions on data

UNITED STATES

Since 1978, amended in various occasions

Chapter Data policies  |  Sub-chapter Administrative requeriments on data privacy
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act allows US intelligence agencies to access personal data of foreigners either with a court order or in certain cases without.
Coverage Horizontal
Restrictions on data

UNITED STATES


Chapter Data policies  |  Sub-chapter Administrative requeriments on data privacy
State legislations
There is no federal security breach notification law, but 47 states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands have enacted security breach notification laws. These laws typically require to disclose any breach of the system security to all residents whose unencrypted personal information was acquired by an unauthorised person and may also require notification to state Attorneys General.
Coverage Horizontal
Restrictions on data

UNITED STATES

Since 1999

Chapter Data policies  |  Sub-chapter Data retention
Network Security Agreements
It is reported that foreign communications infrastructure providers have been asked to sign Network Security Agreements (NSAs) in order to operate in the US. These agreements ensure that U.S. government agencies have the ability to access communications data when legally requested.

The agreements reported range in date from 1999 to 2011 and involve a rotating group of government agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Justice (DoJ), Department of Defense (DoD) and sometimes the Department of the Treasury.

According to the Washington Post, the agreements require companies to maintain what amounts to an “internal corporate cell of American citizens with government clearances” ensuring that “when U.S. government agencies seek access to the massive amounts of data flowing through their networks, the companies have systems in place to provide it securely.”

Moreover, the agreements impose local storage requirements for certain customers data as well as minimum periods of data retention for data such as billing records and access logs.
Coverage Telecommunication sector
Restrictions on data

UNITED STATES


Chapter Data policies  |  Sub-chapter Restrictions cross-border on data flows
There are few limits on the transfer of personal data outside the US. Several states have enacted laws that limit or discourage state agencies or state contractors from outsourcing data processing beyond US borders, but these laws are typically limited to state government agencies and private companies that contract to perform services for or provide goods to state agencies.
Coverage Horizontal