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The BDS Movement: Limits on Restricting Trade with Israel

Posted March 09, 2015

Under Economic Issues, International Trade Issues

(Matthew Good & Roy Millen – Blakes Bulletin)

Since 2005, a political action campaign referred to as the “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” movement (BDS Movement) has drawn public attention to the issue of Israeli-Palestinian relations. The BDS Movement promotes a variety of actions that are intended to restrict trade with Israel, including by targeting companies affiliated with or engaged in trade with Israel or Israeli businesses.

Businesses should be aware of existing and proposed Canadian and American legislation that potentially prohibits certain types of action endorsed by the BDS Movement. […]

There is existing legislation in the United States that restricts the ability of U.S. citizens to comply with other nations’ economic boycotts or embargoes. The so-called "antiboycott" laws date from the 1970s. One aspect of these laws is a mandatory requirement for U.S. persons to report any requests to comply with an unsanctioned foreign boycott. Click here to read more.