White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow told reporters on Friday that the administration is “looking at” reforming the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), a landmark anti-corruption law that criminalizes bribery of foreign officials by U.S. companies.
A 2018 report by Transparency International found that more than half of world exports come from countries that do not enforce laws against bribery of foreign officials. The Exporting Corruption report measures enforcement of the OECD anti-bribery convention by 40 signatories to the convention, plus China, Hong Kong, India and Singapore. The United States achieved the highest score for enforcement of foreign bribery legislation.
Gary Kalman, Director of the new U.S. office of Transparency International, issued the following statement:
“We should all be able to agree that bribing public officials is bad. Bribery allows a small group of well-connected people to play by a different set of rules at the expense of the rest of us. Anti-bribery laws like the FCPA level the playing field and help ensure that officials make decisions based on what’s good for the public and not simply their own self-interest. Bribes have been used to undermine public health and safety, ignore national security risks and divert scarce taxpayer money to wasteful or harmful projects.
“The FCPA has served as a model for the world. With other nations starting to adopt similar rules, now is not the time to turn back. We should continue to provide leadership by considering measures to strengthen the FCPA, such as punishing foreign officials who demand bribes, and not step back from more than forty years of progress.”
Patricia Moreira, Managing Director of Transparency International, issued the following statement:
“The new Corruption Perceptions Index we will publish this week will show that rampant government corruption remains an everyday fact of life for millions of people around the world. Any suggestion that helping combat this major obstacle to sustainable development is an unfair burden for any one country or corporation is unbelievably short-sighted. We must never go back to the days when bribery was considered a cost of doing business.”
Notes to Editors:
- Click here to read the comments from the Administration
- Click here to read the Exporting Corruption report
- Click here to read the media advisory for the new Corruption Perceptions Index
Scott Greytak, Advocacy Director, Transparency International—U.S. Office
T: +1 614-668-0258