Foreign Corruption Law in the Trump Era – Will It Survive?
Bloomberg BNA Interview with Michaeline Daboul on Future of Foreign Corruption Practices Law (FCPA)
In an article from Bloomberg BNA, “Trump Enforcement of Foreign Bribery Law Uncertain,” writer John T. Aquino analyzed the future of the U.S. foreign corruption law. Aquino interviewed me about why I believe the United States’ foreign corruption law is here to stay regardless of President Donald J. Trump’s desire to remove business-stifling regulations.
It is possible that the Trump administration will take a more lenient approach to the FCPA. But I think it will be a challenge for it to do so. These enforcement agencies have been working together, and there are more and more investigations occurring now in the life sciences.
People in the life sciences industry have been wondering about the future of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), which outlaws bribery when doing business abroad, ever since Trump was elected president. His previous comments spurning such regulations have led some to believe that his administration will be lax in enforcing violations. Some suggest they might reform FCPA or even ax it. After all, Trump did tell CNBC in May 2012 that the FCPA was a “horrible law” and made it impossible for Americans to do business abroad.
Foreign Corruption Law Is Good Business
Still, the fact is that the U.S. has led the charge for more transparency and anti-corruption initiatives around the world. In fact, more and more countries are adding such regulations all the time based on the U.S.’s example. The regulations, including the U.S. foreign corruption law, are already on the books and so far Trump has never said he would do away with the FCPA. Despite Trump’s promises of de-regulation, some of which have come to fruition, as long as the FCPA continues to exist, compliance will be necessary. No company wants to make itself vulnerable to litigation and potentially the stuff of public relations nightmares. No matter what happens in the U.S., American companies still have to comply with comparable laws, such as the United Kingdom’s bribery statute, in other parts of the world where they do business.
In addition, anti-corruption is simply a good business practice. Having a foreign corruption law helps establish a set of standards and fair market value (FMV) and minimize risk. It also helps maintain fairness and morale among employees, weed out bad actors, and create a healthy office culture. All these benefits can help a company’s bottom line. No one can argue with that, least of all President Trump, the first businessman to win the White House.
Finally, in the story, you will learn more about the particulars of the law that Trump finds disenchanting and the misconceptions about the FCPA. In addition, you’ll learn what other experts believe will happen next, how filling out the administration will help everyone better read the tea leaves, and my opinion on how enforcement of the FCPA could play into Trump’s dealings with China.