Search for:
Author

Maria Piontkovska

Browsing
Maria Piontkovska is an associate in Baker McKenzie's Los Angeles office. Maria advises clients on reducing anti-corruption compliance risks stemming from operating business in emerging markets and handles internal investigations and related interactions with law enforcement authorities.

Recently, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Division of Corporation Finance issued a sample letter advising companies on their potential need to disclose direct and indirect impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the related international response on their operations. Sample letters generally do not create any new legal obligations; instead, they signal the areas of potential scrutiny by the SEC and illustrate the types of risks the SEC may view as material.

This week Florida’s two senators, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, introduced a bill imposing several China specific public disclosure obligations, including disclosures related to sourcing activities related to products utilizing forced labor from Xinjiang, China. The Bill would apply to all publicly traded companies and supplements the proposed SEC environmental, social and governance disclosures, and the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which will come into effect in June 2022.

The SEC’s recently released (and long-awaited) proposed rule changes that will require disclosure of climate-related risks are likely to have significant supply chain implications. The Proposed Rule would require listed companies to disclose information on climate-related risks and Greenhouse gas emissions; both of these disclosure categories include data related to corporate supply chains, and thus the Proposed Rule would essentially require public companies to obtain and analyze climate risks and climate impact data related to its upstream and downstream suppliers.

On Monday the SEC released its long-awaited proposed rule changes that will require disclosure of climate-related risks that are reasonably likely to have a material impact on registrants. As noted in its press release, the SEC has focused on climate-specific rules in order to “provide investors with consistent, comparable and decision-useful information for making their investment decisions.”

In an era where supply chain disruptions and risks are regular front-page news, the Biden Administration has been undertaking a range of initiatives intended to create resilient supply chains that reflect the administration’s policies around national security, foreign policy, human rights and the US economy.

The New York State Senate this month unveiled the “Fashion Sustainability and Social Accountability Act”. The Act, if enacted, will require every fashion retail seller and manufacturer that does business in New York and has over USD 100 million in annual worldwide gross receipts to make a number of sustainability and social disclosures.

On November 10, the Department of State, Department of Treasury, and Department of Commerce released an advisory titled “Considerations for US Companies and Organizations that Conduct Business in Cambodia within Key Sectors or in Partnership with High Risk Entities” (the “Cambodia Advisory”). The Cambodia Advisory is focused on corporations and, according to the accompanying press release, is meant to caution businesses currently operating, or considering operations, in Cambodia to be mindful of interactions with entities and sectors potentially involved in human rights abuses, criminal activities, and corrupt business practices. This blog post will be focused on the corruption and responsible sourcing risks highlighted by the Cambodia Advisory.

Baker McKenzie’s international trade compliance lawyers from around the world discussed the major global legislative, judicial and administrative activities and trends in export controls, trade sanctions, customs compliance, and import requirements in nine 75 minute sessions which took place from 16 to 18 November 2021.

On November 2, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed the suit brought by a class of child laborers who mine cobalt in the Democratic Republic of Congo against several US tech companies under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (“TVPRA”) and several common law based causes of action. TVPRA allows victims of human trafficking and certain other crimes such as forced labor to bring civil claims against those who knowingly benefitted from these crimes. Here, the complaint was based on two alleged TVPRA violations: forced labor and trafficking with respect to peonage, slavery, involuntary servitude, or forced labor.