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Bruce Linskens

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Bruce Linskens is a Senior Analyst for International and Legislative Affairs at Baker McKenzie, Washington DC office.

In a sign that Congress continues to pursue bipartisan efforts to combat the use of forced labor in supply chains, Senators Josh Hawley and Kirsten Gillibrand have reintroduced the Slave-Free Business Certification Act of 2022. The Act would impose significant new compliance and disclosure requirements for many companies, requiring businesses with annual, worldwide gross receipts exceeding USD 500 million to conduct annual audits of their supply chains to detect any use of forced labor, report findings to the US Government, and face potentially significant fines and penalties for violations.

US Senate Democrats, with support from the White House, have introduced the Defending Ukraine Sovereignty Act of 2022. This bill seeks to deter a Russian “escalation” of hostilities in or against Ukraine through the threat of imposing sanctions against Russian officials and companies, as well as individuals and entities involved in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

The compromise version of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (HR 6256) was recently passed by both chambers of Congress, and the legislation is now cleared for President Biden’s signature. It is expected that President Biden will sign the legislation into law soon. With strong bipartisan support, earlier versions of this legislation had passed the US House and Senate in the preceding months, and lawmakers reached an agreement that merged versions from each chamber.

On October 20, the House of Representatives passed five bills with overwhelming bipartisan support that aim to promote supply chain and network security. This post will focus on two bills directed towards the Federal Communications Commission. While these legislative measures are directed towards a U.S. government entity, and thus may not (on their face) appear applicable to corporate supply chains, if enacted, these bills could result in changes to laws, regulations, and policies down the line that impact compliance measures for companies.

On October 20, the House of Representatives passed five bills with overwhelming bipartisan support that aim to promote supply chain and network security. This post will focus on one bill directed to the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”), and two bills directed to the Department of Commerce (“DOC”). While these legislative measures are directed towards U.S. government entities, and thus may not (on their face) appear applicable to corporate supply chains, if enacted, these bills could result in changes to laws, regulations, and policies down the line that impact compliance measures for companies.

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.