In recent years, California has ranked as the eighth or ninth largest economy in the world during any given period of time. As a result, many California businesses are quite large and have reaches that extend far beyond the borders of the Golden State. Many California businesses have partners and outlets in numerous nations, including India, China and nations across Europe.

These businesses must not only remain well-versed in the environmental law provisions passed by the California state legislature and the federal legislature but also the environmental laws impacting their businesses and business interests overseas. For example, earlier this month Chinese lawmakers passed sweeping environmental reforms that may impact any California business with ties to China.

This policy shift represents the most significant change to China’s environmental protection guidelines and mandates in 25 years. Specifically, the legal changes that China has enacted will ensure that illegal polluters are held accountable for their actions in strict and severe ways. According to China’s government website, the new legal provisions confirm “environmental protection as the country’s basic policy.”

Ensuring that business practices have a minimal impact on the environment can be a costly process. As a result, many Chinese business partners and outlets connected to California businesses may be financially impacted by this legal policy shift. If you have concerns or questions about how China’s new law may impact your interests and contracts overseas, please do not hesitate to contact an experienced attorney who can help guide you through your unique legal situation.

Source: Bloomberg, “China Takes On Pollution With Biggest Changes in 25 Years,” April 25, 2014