Week in Review

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Trump Administration temporarily waives Jones Act, London does not renew Uber’s operating license, and more…

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  • The Trump Administration authorized a temporary waiver of the Jones Act, a 1920 law governing shipping trade between U.S. ports, following a request by Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló. The waiver will lift shipping restrictions to Puerto Rico, enabling the island to receive necessary aid following Hurricane Maria.
  • Transport for London (TfL) denied Uber’s request to renew its operating license, which expires on September 30. TfL concluded that the way Uber reports serious criminal offenses, performs driver background checks, and blocks regulators from gaining full access to its app “demonstrates a lack of corporate responsibility.” In a tweet, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi pleaded with London to work together “to make things right.”
  • U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announcednew interim guidance” for colleges “on how to investigate and adjudicate allegations of campus sexual misconduct under federal law”; the Education Department will also modify the rules under Title IX that schools must follow in cases of sexual misconduct. Additionally, the Education Department retracted the “Dear Colleague” letter issued during the Obama Administration that instructed schools on how to conform to Title IX.
  • The Federal Communications Commission rescinded a December 2016 rule following President Donald Trump’s signing of a Congressional Review Act joint resolution disapproving of the rule. The 2016 rule applied the privacy requirements of the Communications Act of 1934 to broadband Internet access service.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released guidance describing its “compliance policy for cigars in packaging that is too small or otherwise unable to accommodate a label with sufficient space to bear the required warning statements.” FDA explained that it will not “take enforcement action with respect to cigars that do not comply,” as long as the specifications appear on a carton, wrapper, container, or tag.
  • Eighty-one Democratic legislators sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta asking him to retain “the salary level established in the 2016 Overtime Final Rule.” The rule allowed more workers to receive overtime pay by increasing the salary level for exemption, as the Democrats argued in their letter, increased worker “protections.” The Democrats also contended that the rule was the product of a thoughtful process of notice-and-comment rulemaking.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a final rule that will reduce safety requirements for electric-powered vehicles “to give more flexibility to manufacturers.” The final rule allows the use of “physical barriers” to prevent responders and occupants from coming into contact with high voltage sources of electricity following crashes.
  • The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued Morgan Stanley $13 million in fines and restitution to affected customers for “failing to supervise its representatives’ short-term trades” of portfolios of securities with specific maturity dates. FINRA opened this investigation because short-term trading of this kind of portfolio is “often improper.”
  • ExxonMobil intends to institute “an enhanced program to reduce methane emissions from its…facilities across the United States.” To do so, the program seeks “to develop and deploy new, more efficient technologies.” The program follows a July decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that blocked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s attempts to delay the execution of a 2016 methane emissions rule.


  • In an article for Vox.com, Ezra Klein addressed the failed Graham-Cassidy health care bill—which sought to supplant the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—and discussed the reasons for the ACA’s “persistence.” He attributed the ACA’s success to the public’s desire for affordable health care, which the ACA offers. Republican efforts to repeal and replace the ACA have been executed with “deception and speed rather than” consideration of how “to better match public preferences.”
  • In a forthcoming article in the Chicago-Kent Law Review, Nizan Geslevich Packin, Assistant Professor of Law at the City University of New York Baruch College – Zicklin School of Business, discussed the “rise of Financial Technology” —FinTech—and the financial industry’s use of “Regulatory Technology, also known as RegTech” in the context of “regulatory monitoring, reporting and compliance.” Packin argued that RegTech is not the solution for “all corporate governance challenges.”
  • In an article for the Huffington Post, Adam Levitin of the Georgetown University Law Center argued that the Equifax data breach happened, in part, because “Equifax has no incentive to make consumers happy.” Levitin suggested one way to encourage credit reporting agencies to “treat customers and their data right” is to restrict credit reporting agencies’ ability to pay their shareholders until “consumer welfare metrics” are met.