Six reasons why corporations like (and want) the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act even if they won’t admit it.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) gives US companies an invaluable tool to fight corruption abroad. It has also been an effective tool for foreign countries to reduce bribery, and it has led to billions of dollars in fines. President Trump has labeled the FCPA a “horrible law” and insisted that it stifles American businesses conducting business abroad. “It puts us at a huge disadvantage,” he told CNBC in May 2012. The jury is still out on whether the Trump administration will take concrete steps to weaken the FCPA and it is possible that perception is not reality when it comes to President Trump and the Act.

It is not however, inconsequential that using the Congressional Review Act, the Trump administration killed a rule to crack down on foreign bribery by US energy companies. That action does not augur well for the administration’s commitment to the FCPA and related anti-corruption regulations. Foreign civil society advocates and US supporters of this Act who have seen the benefits reaped from increased anti-bribery enforcement and intergovernmental cooperation, are understandably concerned about what the administration might do next. But as they wait for the proverbial shoe to drop, civil society advocates may find unlikely allies within corporations. There are several reasons why multinationals not only have an interest in preserving the FCPA, but see its infrastructure as a benefit to business – even if they won’t say it. …