International Journal of Purchasing and Materials Management

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Revisited: Attempting to Regulate "Ethical Bribes" in Global Business Members Only Content

The American post-Watergate political climate necessitated the prohibition of bribes and gifts to foreign officials as a method of influencing business and government decisions. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) (1977) was passed to help define appropriate ethical and legal behavior, limiting the payment of fees, gifts, or bribes to low ranking government officials, and mandating financial reporting of such expenditures. The issue of moral imperialism, forcing U.S. standards on others, remains unresolved. Few countries have passed similar legislation. Case law has strengthened the FCPA, allowing competitors to sue for lost business if bribery swayed a significant decision.

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