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Bush signs Sudan divestment bill

[JURIST] US President George W. Bush Monday signed [official statement] a bill intended to pressure Sudan to stop the violence in Darfur [JURIST news archive] by allowing US states and local governments to sever investment links to Sudan without penalty under federal or state law. Under the Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act of 2007 [S 2271 text, PDF], state, county and municipal officials will be able to divest from companies in the oil, power production, mining and military equipment industries that do business with Sudan. The new law also prohibits United States Government contracts with such companies. Bush signed the legislation over objections from within his own administration, where some pointed out that it allows local governments to impact foreign policy, an arena traditionally reserved for the federal government. In his signing statement Monday, Bush nonetheless said he would construe tha act consistent with that authority. AP has more.

The US already has sanctions in place against Sudan. Bush signed the Sudan Peace Act [PDF text; DS backgrounder] in 2002, federal legislation which codified an earlier executive order issued during the Clinton administration banning US trade with and investment in Sudan.

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