Thirty-three civil society and business groups are fighting efforts by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to amend the FCPA. Last week they sent a letter to every member of the House and Senate to argue their point.
They said any narrowing of the FCPA would have ‘a negative effect on global commerce, human rights, and the standing of the U.S. in the world.’
The Chamber of Commerce, according to its spokesperson on the issue, former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, wants to amend the FCPA by:
- Adding a compliance defense
- Clarifying the meaning of “foreign official”
- Improving the procedures for guidance and advisory opinions from the DOJ
- Limiting a company’s criminal liability for the prior actions of a company it has acquired
- Adding a “willfulness” requirement for corporate criminal liability, and
- Limiting a company’s liability for acts of a subsidiary not known to the parent
‘These proposals could deliver a devastating blow to the fight against human rights abuses and corruption across the globe, said Simon Taylor, founding Director at Global Witness. ‘Lawmakers should not underestimate the level of support for the FCPA. Efforts to undermine it will be extremely damaging to the reputations of those involved,’ he said.
Download the January 12, 2012 letter here.
The letter was signed by the Advocates for Human Rights, Amnesty International, Asia Initiatives, Calvert Investments, Caux Round Table, Center for Corporate Policy, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Crude Accountability, EarthRights International, EG Justice, Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition, Foreign Policy in Focus, Free the Slaves, Freedom House, Friends of the Earth – US, Global Financial Integrity, Global Rights, Global Witness, Human Rights Watch, International Corporate Accountability Roundtable, Jubilee USA Network, Just Foreign Policy, Main Street Alliance, New Rules for Global Finance Coalition, Open Society Policy Center, Oxfam America, Public Citizen, Publish What You Pay United States, Revenue Watch Institute, Tax Justice Network – USA, Transparency International – USA, United to End Genocide, and U.S. PIRG.include, among others, Amnesty International, Calvert Investments, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, EarthRights International, Global Financial Integrity, Global Witness, Human Rights Watch, International Corporate Accountability Roundtable, Jubilee USA Network, Open Society Policy Center, Oxfam America, Revenue Watch Institute and Transparency International-USA.