We now know who will be the next President of the United States. We also know that as far as the FCPA is concerned, the outcome of yesterday’s election probably didn’t matter. And this is to the credit of the agencies that enforce it.
The FCPA defies partisanship. It was enacted under a Democratic presidential administration (Jimmy Carter, 1977) with a very enthusiastic signing statement from the President. The historic ramp-up in enforcement occurred under a Republican administration — George W. Bush, during his first term. When we moved back to a Democratic administration with President Obama, FCPA enforcement hardly missed a beat. Party has seemed not to matter.
For those of us who talk publicly about the FCPA, we know the quizzical looks when we explain that the statute was brought out of dormancy by a Republican president. And how many times have practitioners taken questions about how a change in administration will impact their practice? These questions force us to explain that the FCPA somehow, for some reason, is different.
Perhaps readers of the FCPA Blog felt that with this election, the fate of the country hung in the balance. But however true that may or may not be, the fate of the FCPA plainly did not. And maybe all Americans, winners and losers of this election alike, can be proud of it.
Andy Spalding is a senior editor of the FCPA Blog.