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Trump Administration to Renegotiate NAFTA – Effect on Supply Chains?

The Trump administration has indicated its intention to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”).  Currently, a draft letter is being circulated by the U.S. Trade Representative to members of Congress for their review.  Stephen Vaughn, acting U.S. Trade Representative, wrote in the draft notification letter that “[t]he persistent U.S. deficit in goods trade … Continue Reading

Follow Up on Lithium Battery Supply Chain Issues: Working with NGOs on Sourcing Issues

In January 2016, we wrote about a report issued by NGOs Amnesty International and African Resources Watch, revealing that most of the world’s cobalt supply – an integral ingredient for lithium batteries – comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and is mined using child labor.  At that time, the major retailers of products … Continue Reading

Guest Post: Combating Forced Labor Practices in Supply Chains

The following is a guest post from Laura Klick and Ludmilla Savelieff  providing highlights from the ABA Section on International Law’s recent event on the government’s initiatives to combat forced labor practices.  Both Laura and Ludmilla are based in our Washington D.C. office where they specialize in advising on complex regulatory, legislative and legal issues in both … Continue Reading

Cross-post from Employment Law Worldview Blog: Is your Modern Slavery Act Statement ready?

Our colleagues at the Employment Law Worldview Blog have posted a piece reminding businesses that the deadline for publishing their first “slavery and human trafficking statement” is fast approaching.  Commercial organizations that fall under the Modern Slavery Act must disclose what activities they have undertaken to eliminate slavery and human trafficking from their business and their … Continue Reading

Guest Post: Tax Issues in the Supply Chain

The following is a guest post from Linda Pfatteicher, a Partner in our San Francisco office.  Linda concentrates her practice in international tax and operational structuring, cross-border mergers, acquisitions and post-acquisition integration, and international tax controversies. As a company sources materials and those materials then flow through the company’s internal supply chain, tax issues can … Continue Reading

Why Tech is the New Thai Seafood

Previously we posted on a growing litigation trend in response to the use of trafficked labor in the Thai seafood industry and how we can expect a similar response with recent reports on Congolese mining practices for cobalt, which is used in batteries.  In her article in the Bloomberg BNA Electronic Commerce & Law Report entitled, “Is Tech … Continue Reading

Quoted in Corporate Counsel Article Discussing the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015!

A few posts ago, we posted an article on H.R. 644, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015.  As predicted, President Obama signed the Act into law last week, which gave us an opportunity to talk with Rebekah Mintzer of Corporate Counsel Magazine on an article about the Act that she was working on.… Continue Reading

New U.S. Law May Impact U.S. Companies’ Ability to Import from Suppliers Abroad (Or, Enactment of H.R. 644, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act)

Any day, President Obama is expected to sign into law H.B. 644, also called the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 – an act that may have far-reaching impacts on U.S. companies that use foreign suppliers.  The Act allows the government to confiscate or turn away items being imported that it reasonably suspects were … Continue Reading

Tech Is Next Target of NGOs for Supplier Labor Practices

Previously (see here , here , and here ), we have reported on a growing litigation trend relating to supply chains for food procured by major U.S. manufacturers and retailers abroad.  Namely, beginning in August 2015, plaintiffs’ class action lawyers began filing putative consumer class action lawsuits against major U.S. food manufacturers and retailers, alleging … Continue Reading

White House Releases “Fact Sheet” on the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons

On January 5, 2016, President Obama kicked off the new year by issuing a “Fact Sheet” on interagency efforts to combat human trafficking that, among other things, describes the federal government’s efforts in the procurement and supply chain fields.   … Continue Reading

The Problem with Palm Oil (Or, The Next Wave of Supply Chain Class Actions?)

In previous posts (here, here, and here), we discussed a litigation trend that began in September of this year: putative class action lawsuits against U.S. retailers based on alleged unethical practices in their supply chains.  The first lawsuits asserted the presence of trafficked labor in the Thai and Indonesian shrimp and fishing industries, with complaints … Continue Reading

SPB Policy and Legal Developments in the EU Food and Beverage Sector

Today at Squire Patton Boggs’ Global Supply Chain Law Blog, we are featuring some recent work done by our Global Food and Beverage Practice, which actively monitors regulatory, policy, and case law developments in the food, beverage, and related sectors around the world.  Recently, the group has published an update on food and beverage law … Continue Reading

FDA Implements Three New Rules That Impact Food Supply Chains

On Friday, November 13, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized three new rules designed to increase food safety and prevent foodborne illnesses that will impact food supply chains. The first rule, called the Produce Safety Rule, establishes “science-based” minimum standards for safe growing, harvesting, packing, and handling of fruits and vegetables grown for human … Continue Reading

Food Supply Chain Issues in China (Or, China’s New Food Safety Act) (Or, Running the Gauntlet in China)

Food trade between the U.S. and China is on the rise.  According to the most recent statistics, China is the third largest exporter of food and agricultural products to the U.S., behind only Canada and Mexico.  And, the U.S. is China’s biggest source of foreign food and agricultural products.  Under the current state of trade, … Continue Reading

New Slavery and Human Trafficking Statements: Coming into Force Today

The new obligation on commercial organisations over a certain size to publish a slavery and human trafficking statement has come into force today. There will, however, be transitional provisions to allow affected businesses sufficient time to understand the new requirements and produce a statement. Businesses with a year-end date on or after 31 March 2016 … Continue Reading

A look into a draft guidance for the Modern Slavery Act UK 2015

Last week, David Whincup, Head of our London Employment practice, wrote a post in the Employment Law Worldview Blog about the draft of the statutory guidance for the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015. My word, you think, if this is the seventh draft, what on earth must versions one to six have been like?  Following … Continue Reading

Read our Article in Compliance Week Regarding Compliance with the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015

We have posted before on the newly-enacted UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 (see here and here).  We were honored recently to be interviewed by Compliance Week concerning compliance with this new law.  As the article notes, we are all still awaiting further guidance, anticipated this month, regarding what companies need to do to comply. One point … Continue Reading

Modern Slavery Act 2015: 10 Key Points for Businesses

  Our colleagues at the Employment Law Worldview Blog have put together a helpful guide of 10 key points on the new requirements of the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015.  The guide provides an excellent breakdown of important points  such as how businesses will be affected by the new disclosure obligation and what steps businesses should be taking … Continue Reading

See Our Interview Concerning California Transparency Lawsuits in Inside Counsel Magazine!

Last week, we had the great honor of talking with Amy Stickel at Inside Counsel Magazine about the recently filed California lawsuits based on companies’ California Transparency in Supply Chain Disclosure Act statements and/or their internal supply chain policies.  Previously, we’ve written about these lawsuits in this blog here and here. With Amy, we discussed how these lawsuits … Continue Reading

Defending Against New-Style Supply Chain Litigation (Or, There Are Teeth in the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act – Don’t Get Bitten) (Or, More Cases Filed)

Last week, we posted about the newly-filed consumer class action against Costco in federal court in San Francisco, based on Costco’s disclosure under the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act.  As we noted, this is the first case of its kind, in which plaintiffs’ lawyers are seeking injunctions, restitution and other damages for a putative … Continue Reading

Litigation Fallout From All This Supply Chain Transparency Legislation (Or, These Things Have Teeth!) (Or, The Cycle of Misfortune)

In previous posts, we’ve talked about emerging legislation designed to increase visibility and transparency in supply chains to bring about desirable social ends.  We’ve discussed, for instance, the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act and the UK Modern Slavery Act, both of which require companies to disclose their efforts to eradicate slavery from their supply … Continue Reading

The UK Modern Slavery Act (Or, The UK Just Got A Lot More Like California) (Or, A Domestic Anti-Slavery Law With International Implications)

Bonded labor.  Indentured servitude.  Human trafficking.  These are terms for modern slavery, essentially obtaining or holding another person in compelled service.  The UN’s International Labour Organization estimates that 21 million people are enslaved around the world, generating approximately $150 billion a year in profits. Earlier this year as part of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention … Continue Reading
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