The National Foreign Trade Council filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Chicago to contest the constitutionality of an Illinois law requiring the state's public pension funds to divest all Sudan-related investments, according to court documents.
The law, which took effect Jan. 27, "discriminates against foreign commerce and seeks to regulate foreign commercial conduct by requiring businesses that have certain connections with the Sudan to sever those connections, even if the connections with the Sudan are permitted or authorized under federal law," according to the suit, which was filed Monday. The suit names three defendants: Judy Baar Topinka, state treasurer; Lisa Madigan, Illinois attorney general; and Dean Martinez, secretary of the state Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
The Illinois law requires public pension funds to divest 60% of their Sudan-connected investments by January and the balance by next July.
The council is an association of roughly 300 U.S. companies that hold overseas investments.