Boycott Watch
Boycotting the French - Part 5 in a series

US citizens may legally boycott French products
this boycott is domestic, not foreign.
 March 13, 2003:
 Summary: Boycott Watch has been asked to clarify what is illegal in regards to foreign boycotts in light of the numerous boycotts of French products that are being discussed nationwide, especially considering that Boycott Watch has reported enjoining into the Israel boycott is illegal
The following is how Boycott Watch interprets the US Anti-Boycott laws:

    The US anti-Boycott laws are in place to prevent a foreign entity, meaning a government or non-governmental agency such as a business, from requiring or requesting US persons, meaning citizens or non-citizens in the US, from taking part in a boycott of a third country's products. The reason for this law is because Congress doesn't want US citizens to create foreign policy by virtue of boycotts.

    This law mainly blocks foreign entities wanting to business in the USA from requiring US companies to boycott other countries the foreign entity boycotts.

    Example: An oil producer in Saudi Arabia cannot require a refinery in Texas wanting to buy Persian Gulf oil not to do business with Israel in order to buy the oil, even if the refineries business with Israel may have nothing to do with oil.

    The Anti-Boycott rules and regulations go further to block requests for certification of product origin, ship ports-of-call and financing information.

    Practical applications and the current boycott of France:

    It is illegal to enjoin into, or complying with requests to cooperate in a boycott of a foreign country, it's products and services when the boycott is by a foreign entity. That means if England declares a boycott of France or French products, Americans may not join into that boycott. The current boycott of French products has its origin in the US. There are no known links of the boycott of French goods by foreign countries; therefore no US laws apply to this boycott.

    What separates the boycotts of France and Israel is the fact that the Israel boycott is foreign in nature since it was initiated and has recently been reaffirmed by the Arab league. The French boycott is a US domestic boycott. Boycott Watch reaffirms, therefore, that enjoining into the boycott of Israeli goods is illegal, and concludes that the boycott of French goods is legal.

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