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What are Some Anti-Bribery Laws

Anti Bribery Laws

In order to combat bribery and all the trouble it can bring, many nations have implemented anti-bribery laws, either for their own internal business practices or for foreign business practices. The success of these laws is under some contention, as some sources believe that anti-bribery laws are slowly but surely leading to a reduction in the damage wrought by bribery in the world, while others believe that the anti-bribery laws so far have not done all that much to combat bribery, whether because the laws themselves are anemic or because the enforcement of those laws is not strong enough to make a genuine difference.

The United States has played a major role in the overall anti-bribery struggle, having been one of the first nations to incorporate a law against foreign bribery in business practices. Of course, when it did first implement the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in 1977, America met with pleas from a number of its businesses as to how the law was actually hurting them.

No longer could American businesses legally bribe foreign officials for more work, but other nations' businesses were more than capable of doing just that without facing penalty of law. As a result, American businesses were not able to compete with those foreign businesses.

To rectify the problem and push America's trading partners towards adopting their own anti-bribery stance, America began to push the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to act, and in 1997, it did. The OECD passed an anti-bribery convention, disallowing bribery of foreign officials, and other nations have passed similar laws since.

But the problem remains that America is one of the strongest enforcers of such bribery laws, while other nations' support has been weak at best. Some of those countries that have been weak in their enforcement of anti-bribery laws include the United Kingdom, France, and Italy.

Many claim that the problem is not improving, but is in fact growing worse as a result of the failure of these attempts to stem the tide of bribery. Furthermore, the imbalance between more regulated American companies and less regulated companies from other nations remains and continues to hinder American companies economically.

The United Nations has passed its own anti-bribery convention in 2005, which should hopefully bolster the strength of the overall movement towards more and stronger bribery laws. But most of the responsibility for enacting strong anti-bribery laws lies with member nations themselves, as opposed to any international body. Unless these member nations can both create such laws and then enforce them, the overall problem of bribery will likely remain.

Even with strong anti-bribery laws, bribery will remain, to some extent, as it has in the United States. But the major strides in anti-bribery regulation that are necessary for truly moving towards a reduction in the detrimental effect of bribery upon the world's economy still remain to be taken.

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