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Aleesha Fowler

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Introduction In early March of this year, a bipartisan group of members of the House Armed Services Committee formed the Defense Critical Supply Chain Task Force (the “Task Force”). Co-chaired by House Democrat Elissa Slotkin (Michigan) and Republican Mike Gallagher (Wisconsin), the Task Force was formed to address what has been perceived as U.S. overreliance on vulnerable defense supplies manufactured in other countries, such as China. We previously reported on this on our blog here. …

In lieu of our annual in person Global Trade Conference, we are excited to provide a virtual offering available to clients and friends worldwide. The conference will be comprised of nine one-hour sessions over the course of three days. Please join us on July 13, 14 and 15 for any or all sessions. In addition to broader trade and compliance topics that will implicate supply chain risk management, specific supply chain topics of interest include: America’s Supply…

Background on Lawsuit In a 8-1 decision issued last week, the U.S. Supreme Court seemingly brought an end to a 15-year lawsuit brought against Nestlé and Cargill by Malian citizens who claim to have been enslaved as children on cocoa plantations located in the Ivory Coast.  Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that Nestlé and Cargill knew the cocoa plantations used child labor, and aided and abetted the human rights abuses that they and other child laborers…

In another sign of the increasing commitment of the United States to curtail the importation of goods made by forced labor, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has issued a Withhold Release Order (WRO) against a Chinese fishing fleet for suspected use of forced labor in its fishing operations.  The WRO instructs CBP personnel at all U.S. ports of entry to detain tuna, swordfish, and other seafood that has been harvested by a fleet…

Baker McKenzie is pleased to invite you to our virtual annual conference Supply Chain Risks & Rewards in Emerging Markets. In addition to providing the latest updates on regional and industry specific supply chain compliance developments, this webinar series will focus on cutting edge issues in supply chain risk management—including the key developments from the Biden Administration, trade considerations and the impact of the growing environmental, social and governance (ESG) movement. Professionals from various industries…

The US Government continues to implement measures intended to restrict the provision or use of Chinese-origin goods and technology. Notably, on July 14, 2020, three government agencies issued an interim rule (the “Interim Rule”) that implemented changes to the Federal Acquisition Regulations (“FARs”) pursuant to Section 889 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019 (the “NDAA”). These changes have the effect of prohibiting not only the provision of “covered telecommunication equipment or services” to…

Overview On July 20, 2020, Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri introduced the Slave-Free Business Certification Act (“the Act”). If passed, the Act would require every “covered business entity” — defined as any issuer under section 2(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 that has annual, world-wide gross receipts of $500 million — to audit and report on instances of forced labor in their supply chains. Companies that deliberately violate the Act could be liable…

Overview The Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”) has been the subject of several US Supreme Court decisions over the past decade. To summarize its long and complicated past, the ATS is a statute that gives US federal courts jurisdiction to hear lawsuits filed by non-US citizens for torts committed in violation of international law. In recent years, plaintiffs have tried to use the ATS as a vehicle to hold multinational corporations liable for human rights violations…

Child labor and other human rights violations occur around the world, and completely eliminating them from corporate supply chains is a daunting task. However, companies can take several steps to mitigate the risk of violations in their supply chains while demonstrating a firm commitment to responsible sourcing. A recent British documentary highlights both the importance of these steps as well as the limits of even the most aggressive measures. Britain’s Channel 4 Dispatches recently aired…

The novel coronavirus outbreak continues to have a substantial impact across the globe. As of the writing of this post, more than 87,000 cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been identified in 60 countries and territories around the world, claiming the lives of 2,977 people. Travel restrictions are becoming increasingly tighter at airports, with countries either imposing mandatory health screenings on travellers arriving from certain countries, or denying entry to passengers who have recently…