From Arizona to China, Businesses Must Comply with Anti-Bribery Laws


Many businesses in the Southwest have growth strategies that feature opportunities in China. Since 2001, China has skyrocketed from being Arizona’s 17th highest export destination to its third highest — currently behind only Mexico and Canada.

In the past decade, exports from Arizona to China have grown at an astounding annual average of nearly 37 percent.

Similar narratives apply to the economies of California, Utah, Colorado and Nevada.

One of the inevitable risks of increased business with China is violating the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), a post Watergate law enacted in 1977 to curb overseas bribery of foreign public officials by U.S. multinational corporations. Over the past few years, the U.S. Department of Justice has greatly revved up its FCPA prosecutions. In 2005, the Justice Department brought five FCPA cases with $16.4 million in penalties; by last year there were 34 cases and $435.3 million in penalties.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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