Ed. Note-today we have a guest post from our colleague Stephen Clayton. The following is a synopsis of his article published by ACC and a copy of this was sent to the relevant House and Senate committees dealing with proposed amendments to the FCPA.
Proposals for and against amending the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the US Federal law against government bribery in international business, have been percolating for the past 18 months. US Chamber of Commerce took a lead role, sponsoring a paper titled “Restoring Balance” in October 2010, advocating the position that substantial amendments to the FCPA are required to promote international business by US companies. Other groups have taken positions opposing any revisions that would weaken the FCPA or impede enforcement. The main arguments against the Chamber’s proposed amendments were set out in “Bursting Bribery” published in September 2011 by the Open Society Foundations. The possibility of amendments has prompted the Department of Justice to commit to issuing some form of written “Guidance” within the next few months. All parties profess to agree with the basic reason the FCPA exists: bribery in international business is a serious crime that should be deterred and punished.