• ITVI.USA
    15,861.160
    -7.510
    0%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.793
    0.019
    0.7%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.460
    -0.010
    0%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,867.600
    -6.080
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.950
    -0.570
    -16.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.610
    0.650
    22%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.370
    -0.240
    -14.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.550
    0.210
    6.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.320
    0.220
    10.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.110
    0.250
    6.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    0.000
    0%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,861.160
    -7.510
    0%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.793
    0.019
    0.7%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.460
    -0.010
    0%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,867.600
    -6.080
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.950
    -0.570
    -16.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.610
    0.650
    22%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.370
    -0.240
    -14.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.550
    0.210
    6.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.320
    0.220
    10.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.110
    0.250
    6.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    0.000
    0%
American ShipperShippingTrade and Compliance

Keeping it clean

The U.S. Justice Department is stepping up its efforts to penalize companies that engage in bribery with foreign government officials.

   U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein said the Justice Department will step up its efforts to penalize those companies that engage in bribery with foreign government officials to gain a competitive advantage or pad their financial returns with ill-gotten gains.
   “Foreigners who avail themselves of the American marketplace need to abide by our rules and standards. And our citizens, whether doing business here or overseas, [must] remain accountable to the statutes and regulations,” Rosenstein told attendees at the American Conference Institute’s annual conference in New York on Wednesday.
   “Paying bribes to government officials is destructive because it impels leaders to advance their personal interests instead of the interests of their citizens,” he said.
   In recent years, the Justice Department has put more enforcement teeth into ensuring that companies comply with the nation’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The legislation was enacted by Congress in 1977 to curtail the use of bribes in business transactions. 
   In 1997, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) adopted an Anti-Bribery Convention. The convention established legally binding standards to prohibit bribery of public officials in international business transactions. Forty-three countries, including the United States, are signatories to the Anti-Bribery Convention.
   Last November, the Justice Department co-hosted a conference with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the OECD. The conference focused on strengthening international anti-bribery initiatives and improving coordination across borders. 
   Also last November, the department established its FCPA Corporate Enforcement Policy, which benefits companies that meet rigorous requirements of disclosure, cooperation and remediation, including disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, through their internal corporate compliance programs.
   Rosenstein said that having a corporate compliance program will “help prevent problems in the first instance… It also means investigating misconduct, voluntarily reporting it, cooperating fully in investigations and implementing appropriate remedies.”
   The Justice Department official acknowledged that companies may hesitate to report FCPA misconduct out of fear that multiple authorities might “pile on” penalties. 
   “One of the things companies worry about is the risk of facing multiple enforcement actions for the same conduct. It is important for us to be aggressive in pursuing wrongdoers, but we should discourage disproportionate enforcement of corruption laws by multiple authorities,” Rosenstein said.
   He said the Justice Department is working with other agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Office of Foreign Assets Control, to be “better able to detect sophisticated financial fraud schemes and deploy adequate penalties and remedies.”
   Internally, the Justice Department has instituted a policy to ensure fairness in exacting penalties for crimes involving bribes, as well as work together internally, as well as with other state and federal agencies, as well as those overseas, to resolve these cases. The goal, Rosenstein said, is to ensure that the penalties justifiably fit the crime.

Chris Gillis

Located in the Washington, D.C. area, Chris Gillis primarily reports on regulatory and legislative topics that impact cross-border trade. He joined American Shipper in 1994, shortly after graduating from Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Md., with a degree in international business and economics.

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