Irish Bill Leaves U.S. Companies Making Tough Decisions


Sources:(Fortune, 9 Jul 2018.) (

Palestinians celebrated as the upper house of Ireland’s parliament recently advanced legislation that would criminalize the trade of products and services produced in Israeli settlements. This leaves U.S. companies with Irish divisions or subsidiaries to make a tough and costly choice between violating either Irish law or U.S. law. If the companies refuse to join in Ireland’s boycott of such products, they could violate the new Irish law. But if they abide by the Irish law, they could violate U.S. law, which prohibits U.S. companies from participating in foreign boycotts that the United States government does not endorse.

If the bill becomes a law, it will be an offense “for a person to import or attempt to import settlement goods” and those who “assist another person to import or attempt to import settlement goods” would be committing a crime punishable by up to five years in prison and fined up to 250,000 euros. No other country in Europe has such a law.