In recent weeks, the U.S. has brought Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions against Brazilian companies based in part on conduct with Brazilian politicians and party parties and another enforcement action against a Chilean company based on its conduct with Chilean politicians and party parties. (See here and here).
FCPA enforcement actions frequently include allegations about “golf in the morning and beer drinking in the evening,” expensive bottles of wine, spa and sauna treatments, charitable contributions or internship and hiring practices all involving alleged “foreign officials.”
Bribery, the U.S. government says, and confidently proclaims “we in the United States are in a unique position to spread the gospel of anti-corruption” and that FCPA enforcement ensures not only that the United States “is on the right side of history, but also that it has a hand in advancing that history.”
Yet on inauguration day, when Washington, D.C. is awash in corporate money more so than a typical day, we really ought to pause and reflect.