Speaking Engagements | Jul 01, 2020

James Kevin Wholey Moderates West LegalEdcenter Webcast

Moderator: James Kevin Wholey

Phillips Lytle LLP Attorney James Kevin Wholey served as moderator on the West LegalEdcenter live webcast titled, “Negotiable Hostilities – Part II: Telecom Deals With Foreign Investors in the Current Administration,” on Wednesday, July 1st.

The discussion addressed recently expanded U.S. regulation of foreign entry into U.S. telecommunications markets, with emphasis on national security and protection of the U.S. digital supply chain.

Topics included the practical implications (including transaction delays and retroactive revocation) of the expansion of the current “Team Telecom,” a multiagency group currently consisting of the FCC, the DOJ and Homeland Security that assists the FCC in review of foreign applicants seeking U.S. telecom entry and licensing authorization to a newly created Committee for the Assessment of Foreign Participation in the U.S. Telecommunications Services Sector.

The panel also discussed the implications of the Commerce Department’s proposed ICTS Supply Chain regulation, the recently codified Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (FIRRMA) regulations (expanding CFIUS review), and other governmental entry barriers into U.S. telecommunications and digital infrastructure.

In particular, the program addressed how the new Committee, as well as other expanded foreign entry regulations, could (or perhaps already have) affected the foreign investment climate, and how U.S. policy has shifted from that of a “free market” to one viewing foreign investment as a potential national security threat – especially as it concerns China and other adversarial sovereign entities.

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