U.S. Senate Passes Sudan Divestment Bill

December 13, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The U.S. Senate on Wednesday approved legislation to encourage investors to withdraw funds from companies doing business in Sudan.

Reuters reports the legislation permits U.S. state and local governments, as well as mutual funds and private pension funds, to divest their investments in companies involved in four Sudanese business sectors. The bill permits divestment from companies involved in Sudan’s oil industry, mineral extraction, power production, and the production of military equipment.

Additionally, the legislation requires federal government contractors to certify they are not involved in business in these four areas, according to Reuters.

There have been court challenges to some of the 20 individual U.S. state divestment efforts, the news report said, so the legislation authored by Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Connecticut) seeks to provide them with a legal framework.

The bill will now go to the U.S. House of Representatives for vote.

The U.S. State Department expressed the Bush administration’s opposition to a Sudan-divestment measure in a letter to two U.S. senators (See Letter Voices Administration’s Sudan Divestment Proposal Opposition).