Sarah Rathke

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As the past few years have made very clear, political issues have the potential to impact supply chains.  Squire Patton Boggs’ Public Policy Practice has created a 30-day outlook for the upcoming US Midterm Elections. The overview—which includes updated polling, party funding comparisons, and a discussion of races that are considered “toss ups”—is now live on our web site, accessible through the following link: https://www.squirepattonboggs.com/en/insights/publications/misc/2018-us-midterm-elections-overview.  This overview will be updated periodically leading up to…
2018 has produced a tight labor market for many manufacturers.  Particularly in the electronics, aerospace, and trucking/automotive sectors, skilled laborers are becoming increasingly difficult to find.  As a consequence, many manufacturers are finding themselves in a position where they are unable to perform contracts that have any degree of complexity without a level of scrap and/or corrective action that renders the contract uneconomical – because they don’t have skilled workers capable of shepherding these difficult…
On May 8, President Trump announced that the US is withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) entered among the P5+1 countries (the US, China, France, Germany, Russia and the UK), the European Union and Iran in July 2015. In our publication, we provide an overview of upcoming changes to US sanctions policy toward Iran and how they could impact business operations worldwide.…
Our colleague, Nicola A. Smith, brings you the most recent edition of our quarterly food and drink sector newsletter for the UK, Legal NewsBITE. The newsletter includes coverage of a recent focus in the UK on meat processing standards and inspections by the Food Standards Agency, which has had a knock on effect on trade customers such as restaurants and pubs. This has highlighted yet again the importance of demonstrating compliance and supply…
Earlier this month, nationwide arts-and-crafts retailer Hobby Lobby settled with U.S. Department of Justice over allegations of smuggling cultural artifacts from Iraq.  As part of the settlement, Hobby Lobby consented to forfeiture of the artifacts and payment of $3 million.  Hobby Lobby also agreed to adopt internal policies and procedures governing its importation and purchase of cultural property and must submit quarterly reports to the government on any cultural property acquisitions for the next eighteen…
Last week, we reported on the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) in the EU, which took effect in 2006 and restricts the use of toxic chemicals in electronics products.  Although RoHS is an EU directive, we discussed that it has extraterritorial impacts on global supply chains in that the legislation requires electronics manufacturers to compile comprehensive technical files on their products, and to share this information with importers and distributors – in effect,…
The Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) (2002/95/EC and 2011/65/EU) was adopted by the European Union in February 2002, and took effect July 1, 2006, yet many in the electronics industry are still uncertain as to its scope and requirements.  Sometimes called the “lead-free directive,” the purpose of RoHS is to reduce toxic electronic waste by setting maximum permitted concentrations of materials used in electronics known to be most toxic.  Although it applies only to…
This time around, manufacturers have not yet meaningfully weighed in on the proposal.  There can be no doubt, however, that privatizing air-traffic control could fundamentally change the system in ways that will impact supply chains.  Obviously, in a “user pays” system, which is essentially what is being proposed, the direct costs of air transportation increase, though proponents of the change argue that privatization will result in decreased air costs overall – so what the financial…
Last week, Sarah Rathke spoke with Derek Handova for Talkin’ Cloud about the practice of “channel stuffing” in the supply chain.  Channel stuffing is the practice of booking sales before items are actually sold at retail – and is often a form of fraud meant to increase a company’s apparent sales volumes. Channel stuffing happens in every industry, but the question is, how to stop it.  The article describes several suggestions, but most involve increased…
In January 2016, we wrote about a report issued by NGOs Amnesty International and African Resources Watch, revealing that most of the world’s cobalt supply – an integral ingredient for lithium batteries – comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and is mined using child labor.  At that time, the major retailers of products that use lithium batteries (basically anything with a rechargeable battery) denied sourcing cobalt from the DRC, even though anyone…