Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

In the face of widespread corruption by U.S. businesses, Congress passed the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in 1977. The Act protects against unethical behavior and provides a level playing field for all businesses interested in foreign trade. In many countries, bribes and kickbacks given to government officials are commonplace. These behaviors threaten market growth and limit the opportunity for honest business owners to go into or expand their business. Bribery and other unfair practices also inflate the cost of doing business thus affecting the economy overall. The Act requires all US businesses, regardless of size, to be forthright and honest in their dealings in international trade. The law has two main components: anti-bribery and accounting.

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