U.S. Levels Up Fight Against Foreign Bribery with landmark law

U.S. Levels Up Fight Against Foreign Bribery with landmark law

14 Dec 2023 ( NewsFirst.uk )

In a landmark bi-partisan move, the U.S. Congress has approved the Foreign Extortion Prevention Act (FEPA) as part of the annual defense spending bill. 

This new law will make it a crime for foreign officials to solicit or accept bribes from Americans or American companies, anywhere in the world.

FEPA would make it a crime for a foreign official—including any employee of a foreign government or any current or former senior official of a foreign government’s executive, legislative, judicial, or military branches or any immediate family member or close associate thereof—to demand or accept a bribe from an American or American company, or from any person while in the territory of the United States, in connection with obtaining or retaining business.

Prior to this, U.S. law only penalized American entities offering bribes, leaving the demand side largely unaddressed. 

This left corporations vulnerable to extortion and offered corrupt officials impunity.

Scott Greytak, Director of Advocacy for Transparency International U.S. said that the United States Government comes one critical step closer to helping provide real justice for victims of corruption around the world.

The law has the potential to significantly disrupt the dynamics of global corruption by deterring bribe-demanding officials and holding them accountable.

While FEPA awaits President Biden’s signature, its passage marks a significant milestone in the fight against international corruption. 

This new tool, combined with continued domestic and international efforts, can bring transparency and accountability to areas plagued by illicit practices.