PublicationsInsights on Current Policy Issues

  • March 7, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak

    On February 24, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order entitled “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda”. The Executive Order establishes mechanisms intended to reduce regulations, including by implementing the President’s January 30, 2017 Executive Order which calls for agencies to eliminate two regulations for each new regulation they promulgate. Among the requirements of this latest Executive Order are mandates for federal agencies to appoint “Regulatory Reform Officers” and establish “Regulatory Reform Task Forces”. As described in a White House press release, the Executive Order directs each agency’s Regulatory Reform Task Force to: “evaluate existing regulations and identify candidates for repeal or modification”; and “focus on eliminating costly and unnecessary regulations.”

     

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  • February 9, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak

    On January 30, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order entitled “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs”. The Executive Order is intended to ensure that “for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination”. On February 3, the White House issued a memorandum titled “Interim Guidance Implementing Section 2 of the Executive Order of January 30, 2017…” The memorandum provides agencies with information on how to implement the “Regulatory Cap for Fiscal Year 2017” established by the Executive Order.   

    Among the issues addressed, the February 3, memorandum clarifies that the Executive Order applies only to significant rulemakings, and does not require compliance by independent federal agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

     

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  • January 25, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak 

    On January 24, President Trump signed an executive order and four memoranda addressing pipeline, infrastructure, and manufacturing issues. The memoranda include one directing prompt consideration of the remaining federal approvals needed by the Dakota Access Pipeline. Another memorandum invites TransCanada to resubmit its application for a Presidential border-crossing permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline. The memorandum further directs the Department of State to “reach a final permitting decision” within 60 days of receiving a new Keystone XL permit application.

    A memorandum to the Secretary of Commerce requires the development of a “plan” to require “all new pipelines, as well as retrofitted, repaired, or expanded pipelines [to]…use materials and equipment [including steel] produced in the United States, to the maximum extent possible and to the extent permitted by law…”

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In the News

Articles featuring Williams & Jensen and our team

By Robert J. Guttman and Judit Kozenkow

There is room for growth in American firms investing in Poland. Eric Stewart, the president of the US-Poland Business Council remarks in an interview in the Warsaw Voice this summer, "Poland is a shining star in Europe, supported by the fact that Poland is the only country in the EU or OECD which has had positive GDP growth over the past four years."

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By The Embassy of The Republic of Poland

eric_stewartOn May 30, 2012, Mr. Eric Stewart, the President of the US-Poland Business Council (USPLBC), was awarded the Knight Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland. "It is to acknowledge and honor an outstanding contribution to build closer economic and political ties between Poland and the US," said Ambassador Robert Kupiecki upon presenting Mr. Stewart with the Order.
The Knight Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland is awarded by the President of Poland, and conferred upon foreigners or Poles residing abroad for their distinguished contribution to international cooperation or cooperation between Poland and other countries.

Mr. Eric Stewart has been the President of the US-Poland Business Council since 2010. Prior to that appointment he has served, among other duties, as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe/Eurasia at the US Department of Commerce.

Member companies of the USPLBC attended the award ceremony.

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By Ron Nixon

Benjamin Y. Cooper, a lobbyist with the Williams & Jensen firm in Washington, and a coordinator for the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service, said the level of interest shown in post office reform is understandable, given its importance to the economy.

"It's not a stretch to say that many businesses literally depend on the Postal Service for their livelihoods," said Mr. Cooper, whose coalition represents some of the service's biggest customers, including FedEx, which sometimes hands off shipments to the post office at the local level.

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Office of Alumni Relations

Two SUNY Buffalo Law School alumni with deep roots in the school and the legal community will be honored on April 17, at 6:00 p.m., at the annual Buffalo Law Review dinner, being held at the Buffalo Club, 388 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14202.

Practitioners Jean C. Powers '79 and David E. Franasiak '78 will be the honorees at the dinner, the culmination of the publication year for the Law School's signature academic journal.

"It has been a great year for the Law Review," said third-year student Jonathan P. Cantil, managing editor of the journal, which publishes five issues a year. "We've published a number of really great articles, and we have a great team that's doing a lot of work."

Powers, a 1979 graduate of the Law School, is a partner with the Buffalo firm Jaeckle Fleischmann & Mugel, where she practices commercial real estate law. She has represented developers, lenders and business entities in the acquisition, financing, leasing and disposition of commercial and industrial real property, and is the lead person in the Real Estate Department involved with bond-financed transactions.

Powers is an emeritus member of the Dean's Advisory Council, which advises Law School Dean Makau W. Mutua on matters of curriculum and professional practice, and is a past president of the SUNY Buffalo Law School Alumni Association. She also has received the alumni association's Distinguished Alumna Award.

Franasiak, who earned his SUNY Buffalo law degree in 1978, is a principal in the Washington, D.C., law firm Williams & Jensen PLLC, one of the nation's leading independently owned government affairs law firms. As vice president of finance and a member of the Executive Committee since 1993, he is responsible for the day-to-day financial management of the firm, pension plans and outside legal entities. Franasiak specializes in a legislative and administrative practice focused on tax, securities, financial institutions and natural resources.

He, too, has served on the Dean's Advisory Council, and he invests considerable time and resources in the Law School's New York City Program in Finance and Law, in which a select group of students spend a semester of their second or third year in Manhattan, learning from their professors and from cutting-edge practitioners in the high-stakes world of law and finance.

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Stephen A. Blumenthal, American Banker, February 22, 2012

Like the mast of a sailing ship coming over the horizon, the first sign that Congress may restructure Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has appeared.

The common wisdom in Washington is that nothing of significance will happen on GSE reform during the year remaining in this Congress. House Republicans may pass one of their pending bills, all of which would eliminate Fannie and Freddie but some say do not adequately address needed transitions or possible GSE successors. Their free market faith that people will put up with higher mortgage costs and long periods when mortgage money may not be available at all is admirable. It is not, however, shared by many of their colleagues in the Senate in either party. There is no sign the Democrat-controlled Senate will be anything except a graveyard for any Republican House version of GSE reform.

Senate Republicans, who believe they will be in the majority after the next election, and perhaps have a Republican House and president as well, are not inclined to compromise with their Democrat colleagues to get a bill done. Why give the Obama administration an accomplishment to trumpet in its campaign? The bottom line, according to the Common Wisdom: gridlock and no action on GSE reform in any form. Accordingly, on February 21, 2012, FHFA Acting Director Ed DeMarco announced plans for the continued opertion of the conservatorship in light of inaction by Congress.

Events, however, may force Congress to move whether it wants to or not, this year or early next year.

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Corina Saceanu, Romania Insider

eric_stewartTen American companies launched the American – Romanian Business Council (AMRO), a non-profit organization headquartered in Washington DC, hoping to promote trade between the US and Romania and bridge the gap between the two countries. Chevron, Exxon, ADM, Smithfield, Raytheon, Pharma, Metlife, Amgen, Timken and Mega initiated the business council, with Chevron leading the group as chair and ADM as vice-chair.

Eric Stewart (in picture) will act as executive president of the organization. Stewart is also a partner with the Washington D.C. firm Williams & Jensen and serves as a Senior International Advisor to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; as well as the Executive Director of the U.S.-Turkmenistan Business Council (USTBC) and as the President of the U.S.-Poland Business Council. Previously, Mr. Stewart served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe/Eurasia at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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PublicationsInsights on Current Policy Issues

  • March 7, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak

    On February 24, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order entitled “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda”. The Executive Order establishes mechanisms intended to reduce regulations, including by implementing the President’s January 30, 2017 Executive Order which calls for agencies to eliminate two regulations for each new regulation they promulgate. Among the requirements of this latest Executive Order are mandates for federal agencies to appoint “Regulatory Reform Officers” and establish “Regulatory Reform Task Forces”. As described in a White House press release, the Executive Order directs each agency’s Regulatory Reform Task Force to: “evaluate existing regulations and identify candidates for repeal or modification”; and “focus on eliminating costly and unnecessary regulations.”

     

    Read...

    Read More
  • February 9, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak

    On January 30, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order entitled “Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs”. The Executive Order is intended to ensure that “for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination”. On February 3, the White House issued a memorandum titled “Interim Guidance Implementing Section 2 of the Executive Order of January 30, 2017…” The memorandum provides agencies with information on how to implement the “Regulatory Cap for Fiscal Year 2017” established by the Executive Order.   

    Among the issues addressed, the February 3, memorandum clarifies that the Executive Order applies only to significant rulemakings, and does not require compliance by independent federal agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

     

    Read...

    Read More
  • January 25, 2017

    By Frank Vlossak 

    On January 24, President Trump signed an executive order and four memoranda addressing pipeline, infrastructure, and manufacturing issues. The memoranda include one directing prompt consideration of the remaining federal approvals needed by the Dakota Access Pipeline. Another memorandum invites TransCanada to resubmit its application for a Presidential border-crossing permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline. The memorandum further directs the Department of State to “reach a final permitting decision” within 60 days of receiving a new Keystone XL permit application.

    A memorandum to the Secretary of Commerce requires the development of a “plan” to require “all new pipelines, as well as retrofitted, repaired, or expanded pipelines [to]…use materials and equipment [including steel] produced in the United States, to the maximum extent possible and to the extent permitted by law…”

    Read...

    Read More

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