Ashley Moody Calls on Congress to Reform Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act to Hold China Accountable on Coronavirus

Last week, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody called on Congress to tinker with the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) as she leads a coalition of attorneys general looking to hold China accountable for the coronavirus.

Moody wrote congressional leaders urging them to amend FSIA “to increase opportunities to seek damages from China, when appropriate, for public health and economic harm.”

“China must be held accountable, but our current legal framework presents challenges. Modest changes to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act would clarify and support actions against China, if necessary, to seek damages from the devastation from COVID-19,” Moody said.

Moody wrote U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and the leaders of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday.

“Any proposed legislation should be measured to have a limited impact on our diplomatic relations around the world… Such limitations achieve an appropriate balance between the need to provide a forum to hold bad actors accountable and the federal government’s interest in having a coherent foreign policy. I respectfully ask that you consider such legislation to address the grievous harm inflicted on our states,” Moody wrote.

Last week, Moody called for a federal-state partnership to develop a comprehensive plan to hold the Communist Party of China responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moody paired up with 13 state attorneys general in sending a letter to President Donald Trump requesting a partnership to begin exploring all avenues to hold China responsible for the public health and economic damage caused by its withholding of information and international dissemination of misinformation as COVID-19 began to spread in China and beyond.


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