Attorney General Ashley Moody News Release
May 14, 2020
Contact: Kylie Mason
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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Attorney General Moody Calls for Changes to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act to Address Devastation Caused by COVID-19

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody is asking Congress to modify the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act as Florida and other states seek to hold China accountable for its role in the COVID-19 pandemic. Attorney General Moody today sent a letter to leaders in Congress requesting that the FSIA be amended to increase opportunities to seek damages from China, when appropriate, for public health and economic harm.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “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.”

The letter Attorney General Moody sent to congressional leaders Thursday states, “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.”

To read the letter in its entirety, click here.

On Monday, Attorney General Moody called on Congress to investigate China’s role in the COVID-19 pandemic. In a letter to congressional leaders, Attorney General Moody and 17 other state attorneys general called on Congress to conduct a comprehensive investigation.

For more information on the letter to congressional leadership Monday, click here.

On Wednesday, Attorney General Moody led a collation of 14 state attorneys general calling for a federal-state partnership to develop a comprehensive plan to hold China responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more on those efforts, click here.

As Florida’s chief legal officer, Attorney General Moody plays a unique role in protecting Floridians. Since COVID-19 began to spread in Florida, Attorney General Moody has activated the Price Gouging Hotline, recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars for consumers and issued Consumer Alerts to warn Floridians about emerging scams attempting to exploit the crisis. For more on these ongoing efforts, click here.