Exiger Regulatory Roundup, Episode 3

Distilling this week’s 13,953 alerts into the 20 alerts that you care about

Mary Kopczynski, CEO of RegAlytics, breaks down this week’s hot regulatory topics, exclusively for Exiger.

Regulator of the Week: USPTO

The Regulator of the Week is the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The USPTO plays an important role in incentivizing and protecting innovation, and that now includes innovation driven by artificial intelligence. So September 27 – mark your calendars – the USPTO will host the fourth public meeting on AI tools and data.  Similar to privacy and how the FTC sort of rose to the challenge of the emerging issues around privacy, the USPTO is slowly stepping up its leadership on this topic to protect American innovation.

Meetings: Artificial Intelligence/Emerging Technologies, Artificial Intelligence Tools and Data

Topic of the Week: Southeast Asia

The Topic of the Week is Southeast Asia, beginning with Treasury identifying new jet fuel suppliers in Burma that must be avoided. Also, the President is preparing to head to the G-20 meeting in New Delhi next week where US-ASEAN relations will be a major topic at the table.

Treasury Expands Burma-Related Sanctions and Designates Additional Jet Fuel Suppliers in Burma
Burma-Related Designations; Cyber-Related Designation; North Korea Designation; Iraq-Related Designation Removal; Publication of Burma-Related Determination and Associated Frequently Asked Questions
Statement by Karine Jean-Pierre, White House Press Secretary, on President Biden’s Travel to New Delhi, India, and Vice President Harris’ Travel to Jakarta, Indonesia
Press Gaggle by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan

Meanwhile, as it pertains to India, the Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo met with the Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness; and in the meeting, the key supply chain priority was how to effectively promote supply chain resiliency with partners and allies in the Indo-Pacific region through the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF).

Readout of Secretary Raimondo’s Meeting With the Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness
Secretary Raimondo Addresses Advisory Committee on U.S. Supply Chain and Competitiveness

FCC: IoT Labeling Rule

Moving on, the Federal Communications Commission is proposing a new law covering connected devices, like your fridge or your washer/dryer with apps that alert you when the wash is over. These connected devices are called “Internet of Things” or IoT. So what the rule proposes is a labeling program to help consumers understand which devices have passed cybersecurity muster. Comments on the new rule are due on September 25, 2023.

Proposed Rule: Cybersecurity Labeling for Internet of Things

FEMA: $3B Pre-Disaster Funding

Another active agency this week was FEMA, which in addition to helping to prepare for a looming hurricane also was active on the mitigation front. A few years ago, FEMA announced awards that would be available pre-disaster to help mitigate disasters ahead of time. Well, this week FEMA announced another round of awards for things like flood mitigation and infrastructure improvement, which, all added up, is close to $3B in awards granted. It’s inspiring to read about some of the winners’ approved projects. For example, the Oneida Nation in Wisconsin won $9 million in funding for an innovative microgrid project to address risks of losing power at the tribes’ main health care facilities. The list has so many great things, like a new wastewater facility for DePue, Illinois, where a raw sewer backed up during a major storm. Or a school in Danville, Arkansas, that is building a tornado/hurricane safe house for the kids who happen to be at school during a serious weather event.

FEMA Announces $162 million in BRIC and FMA Grants to Fund Resiliency Projects Across the Mid-Atlantic
FEMA Announces Nearly $3 Billion in Funding Selections to Drive Resilience to Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events

AHA: Drug Shortages

Additionally, the American Hospital Association published its formal support of the Drug Shortage Prevention Act of 2023. A little background: The Drug Shortage Prevention act was introduced in May. It would require manufacturers of critical essential medicines to inform the FDA if there is an increased demand for those drugs. The AHA, which wrote on behalf of nearly 5,000 hospitals in the U.S., supports the bill but really wishes it would go farther in dealing with the fragmented, multinational supply chain associated with these medicines. There are certain drugs, for example, where companies may choose to limit supply purposely to increase prices, or stop producing low-margin drugs altogether. It will be interesting to see where this discussion goes because, in the end, it could impact all of us in our times of greatest medical vulnerability.

AHA Comments on Energy and Commerce Committee’s Drug Shortages Discussion Draft

S&P Ends ESG Ratings

Another interesting item came up last week. The S&P for a while was giving mandatory ESG ratings of the companies it was reviewing. There were lots of red state politicians angry about this — fighting on behalf of their local companies who maybe had less green businesses. But S&P — out of the blue — stopped publishing the alerts.  They claim it had nothing to do with the political pressure. I’m still trying to figure out — as is pretty much every newspaper — what the inside story is there.

Schroder Hails S&P’s ESG Ratings Drop as Progress

CA: High-Speed Rail

Last but not least, the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s Board of Directors approved a Request for Qualifications for the nation’s first 220 mph electrified high-speed trains.

That’s it this week for Exiger’s Regulatory update. Join me every week no matter where I am for your dose of regulatory news.

California High-Speed Rail Authority Moves Closer to Buying First Trainsets

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