AS CONGRESS PASSES LANDMARK LAW AUTHORIZING THE US GOVERNMENT TO PROSECUTE FOREIGN CORRUPT OFFICIALS
Washington D.C., U.S.A. – The National Defense Authorization Act, the yearly defence budget bill, includes the Foreign Extortion Prevention Act, which was enacted by the US Congress. An important step forward has been made in the battle against global corruption with the passage of landmark legislation, which makes it illegal for foreign authorities to solicit or receive bribes from Americans.
FEPA unites support from both parties and is an important step in the Biden Administration’s promise to address the “demand side” of foreign bribery. Regardless of location, the legislation makes it illegal for any foreign official to solicit or take bribes from Americans or American organisations. This includes government personnel, retired officials, and their close allies.
“Current U.S. law makes it a crime for an American or American company to offer a bribe to a foreign official, yet does nothing to punish a foreign official who demands or accepts such a bribe. And research shows that the vast majority of bribe-demanding foreign officials are never criminally prosecuted by their home governments. When these corrupt officials face little threat of prosecution by either their home governments or the U.S. Government while U.S. companies face serious criminal liability for their involvement in such schemes, we’re left with incomplete justice. It’s time for the United States to impose a cost on those who would threaten Americans’ safety and livelihood with bribe demands.”
”FEPA would create a powerful new tool for fighting foreign corruption at its source and for protecting Americans and American businesses working abroad. We strongly encourage President Biden to sign FEPA into law as soon as possible, and we commend Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Rep. Joe Wilson, Sen. Thom Tillis, the Helsinki Commission, and their respective staff for their leadership and dedication to this transformative law.”