Legal Filings

Legal Filings
Oct 13, 2011

CREW Calls on Congress to Reject Chamber of Commerce Plan to Weaken Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

House Ethics, Senate Ethics, Governance & Legislation, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), Letters, News, News Corp. , Press Releases

US Chamber of CommerceWashington, D.C. – Corrupt foreign officials shouldn’t have friends in Congress.  Nevertheless, the Chamber of Commerce is urging lawmakers to gut the main tool prohibiting corporations from making payments to foreign officials for the purpose of retaining business opportunities: the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).  This effort is all the more egregious in light of the growing hacking scandal surrounding Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., which may have violated the privacy of 9/11 victims’ families.  Recent reports suggest the Department of Justice is investigating whether News Corp. payments to British police officers violated the FCPA.

Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) sent a letter to members of the House and Senate crime subcommittees strongly opposing the Chamber’s attempt to eviscerate the FCPA.  Click here to read CREW’s letter to the House and click here to read CREW’s letter to the Senate.

“Bribery is no way to seek a competitive advantage.  The FCPA ensures a level playing field with everyone subject to the same rules.  In the wake of the financial crisis, we shouldn’t be looking for new ways to let bad corporate actors off the hook.  Responsible lawmakers should know better,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan.

CREW’s letter highlights the recent report “Busting Bribery,”  authored by law professors David Kennedy of Harvard University and Dan Danielsen of Northeastern University.  The report thoroughly debunks the Chamber’s arguments for amending the FCPA, finding them based on “myth.”  In September, CREW joined with other good government groups to host a panel discussion with the professors to discuss their report.  Click here to see video of the event.