Tar Heel State Enacts Anti-BDS Legislation

Aug 1, 2017

Gov. Roy Cooper has signed House Bill 161, known as “Divestment from Companies that Boycott Israel,” which prohibits North Carolina from investing in or contracting with companies that boycott the state of Israel.

H.B. 161 was sponsored by Rep. Stephen Ross and directs the state treasurer to adopt a policy prohibiting the state retirement system and the Department of the Treasurer from investing in companies that are boycotting Israel. The law goes into effect October 1 and may take up to a year to be fully implemented. The State Treasurer’s Office will then create a policy for canceling state-funded investments of companies that boycott Israel and create a list of companies that violate the policy.

North Carolina currently does more than $140 million worth of business every year with Israel. The law defines a boycott of Israel as a company’s refusal to do business within the country for non-business reasons at a level of more than $20 million per year. State contracts with such companies amounting to less than $1,000 are exempted from the divestment plan.

North Carolina now becomes the 22nd state in the nation banning state business with companies that seek to inflict serious economic harms on Israel by participating in the boycott, divest and sanction (BDS) movement. 

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