By Raymond Baker
The Huffington Post
December 9, 2010
This year's International Anti-Corruption Day is marred by a U.S. Chamber of Commerce attempt to weaken the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), our nation's flagship anti-corruption legislation. Passed in 1977, the FCPA was a response to eroded public trust in government following the Watergate scandal and the admission by Lockheed and some 400 other American companies that bribery to foreign officials was a commonplace practice in international commerce.
The U.S. FCPA stood virtually alone on the global stage in the fight against corruption until the late 1990s, when other nations began adopting similar prohibitions. Today, the FCPA is buttressed by the UN Convention Against Corruption, a similar document binding members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, regional commitments, and a significant focus on the issue by the G20.