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Companies: USA

Volume 475: debated on Thursday 15 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what representations he has made to the US in respect of attempts by US law enforcement authorities to undertake retrospective prosecutions of UK businesses and individuals. (205376)

Officials have made representations when suitable opportunities arise, and will continue to do so.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what his policy is on the investigation by the European Commission into allegations of violation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) obligation by the US in seeking to enforce laws against businesses and individuals for past activity undertaken within valid WTO commitments. (205377)

The Government are aware that the Commission have agreed to investigate the TBR complaint by the gambling industry. We welcome the Commission examining the issues raised by the complaint in more detail and await their conclusions with interest.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what representations he has received from United Kingdom (a) businesses, (b) business organisations and (c) legal bodies on the extraterritorial application of US law to UK businesses and individuals. (205380)

We are aware of the concerns of industry with regard to US extra-territorial legislation, which are raised by representatives of industry and their legal advisors on a regular basis.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what representations he has made to the US administration in respect of the extraterritorial application of US law and the effect on UK businesses and individuals. (205381)

The UK opposes the excessive use of extra-territorial legislation, and we regularly express our concerns when Washington embassy officials meet relevant US officials.

In addition, the UK has made two recent formal representations in a demarche to the State Department and in a letter from Sir Nigel Sheinwald to Secretary of State Rice concerning an Alien Tort Statute case being considered by the Supreme Court against companies dealing with South Africa in the apartheid era.