Anti-Boycott Laws

Does your project trigger U.S. “anti-boycott” laws? 

The U.S. government maintains a complex set of “anti-boycott” laws designed to prevent U.S. organizations from supporting or participating in boycotts of friendly countries. These laws are primarily directed at the Arab League’s economic boycott of Israel.

The range of boycott-related activity prohibited by the Department of Commerce includes the (i) refusal to do business with or in Israel or with blacklisted companies; (ii) furnishing of information about business relationships with or in Israel or with blacklisted companies; (iii) furnishing of information about the race, religion, sex, or national origin of another person; and (iv) discrimination against other persons based on race, religion, sex, national origin, or nationality.

Contractual agreements that require the institution to do any of the above are prohibited, and the receipt of a request, whether verbal or written, to further a boycott may need to be reported to the Department of Commerce. The Department of Treasury also implements anti-boycott laws through section 999 of the Internal Revenue Code, which requires U.S. taxpayers to report operations in boycotting countries. The list of countries requiring cooperation with an international boycott currently includes Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. (From “Conducting Research Overseas: Setting up Operations” by William F. Ferreira. Nov. 2008, NACUA Conference and https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-04-08/pdf/2016-08127.pdf).