Thirty four years after passing the FCPA, Congress is still under pressure to create a level playing field for U.S. businesses operating overseas.
Speaking out now is the New York City Bar Committee on International Business Transactions. The group of mainly deal lawyers has published a report on the effects that the FCPA has on cross-border transactions.
The paper concludes with the findings that (1) the United States has pursued, and is currently pursuing, a virtually stand-alone approach to deterring foreign corruption (at least in terms of enforcement activity and the significance of fines and other sanctions), (2) this approach places significant costs on companies that are subject to the FCPA as compared to their competitors that are not—i.e., there is a significant asymmetry in regulation and enforcement—and (3) if these circumstances are unlikely to change (e.g., through a substantial portion of other relevant countries adopting similar enforcement postures), the United States should reevaluate its approach to the problem of foreign corruption.
There are over 23,000 members of the NYC Bar Association — most of them in the New York area, but also in nearly every state and over 50 countries. The association does not have any sections (it is not organized that way). There are 20 members on the Committee on International Business Transactions.
A copy of the report is available here.