skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 63817 Find in a Library
Title: IMPROPER PAYMENTS ABROAD - PERSPECTIVES AND PROPOSALS
Journal: FOREIGN AFFAIRS  Volume:54  Issue:4  Dated:(JULY 1976)  Pages:719-733
Author(s): T C SORENSEN
Corporate Author: Council on Foreign Relations
United States of America
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Council on Foreign Relations
New York, NY 10021
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS PAPER ATTEMPTS TO CLARIFY THE CONFUSION AND EMOTIONALISM CONNECTED WITH THE DISCLOSURE OF AMERICAN CORPORATE BRIBERY ABROAD, AND ADVOCATES THE PASSAGE OF CLEAR LEGISLATION DEFINING ILLEGAL PRACTICES.
Abstract: IN A POST-WATERGATE CLIMATE OF PITILESS EXPOSURE, SUSPECT AMERICAN BUSINESS PRACTICES ABROAD HAVE RECEIVED INVESTIGATIVE ATTENTION FROM A VARIETY OF GOVERNMENT AGENCIES AND THE MEDIA, RESULTING IN OVERSIMPLIFICATION OF COMPLEX ISSUES. SHARING THE BLAME SHOULD BE LAWYERS, ACCOUNTANTS, FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS, U.S. POLITICIANS, DOMESTIC GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, AND AMERICAN FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS, SINCE THEY ALL KNEW OF AND TOLERATED PRACTICES WHICH ARE NOW SWEEPINGLY CONDEMNED. MOREOVER, NOT ALL PAYMENTS MADE TO FOREIGN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS SHOULD BE JUDGED ALIKE, SINCE MANY FORMS OF PAYMENT UNDER ATTACK DO NOT CONSTITUTE BRIBERY UNDER THE ACCEPTED LEGAL DEFINITION. THE REAL PROBLEM IS THAT CORPORATIONS ARE STILL ENGAGED IN PRACTICES WHICH ARE ILLEGAL, UNETHICAL, UNBUSINESSLIKE, AND ULTIMATELY HARMFUL TO THE U.S. IMAGE AND INTERESTS ABROAD. UNFORTUNATELY, THE STATE DEPARTMENT AND AMERICAN EMBASSIES, WHILE KNOWING OF THESE PRACTICES, HAVE FAILED TO PROTECT HONEST BUSINESSMEN AND WARN OTHERS OF WHAT CONSTITUTES ILLICIT PAYMENTS. COMPLICITY OF THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT IS EVEN GREATER, SINCE IN QUADRUPLING THE SALE OF U.S. ARMS ABROAD OVER THE PAST DECADE, THE DEPARTMENT HAS APPROVED CONTRACTS FINANCED BY MILITARY ASSISTANCE FUNDS WITHOUT EXAMINING AGENTS' FEES AND OTHER SUSPECT CONTRACT TERMS. THESE WASTEFUL, CORROSIVE, AND INDEFENSIBLE PAYMENTS TO FOREIGN OFFICIALS SHOULD BE HALTED, EVEN THOUGH BUSINESS LOSSES WILL SURELY RESULT. INSTEAD OF IMPOSING AMERICAN ETHICS ON OTHERS, THE LAW SHOULD REQUIRE CORPORATIONS BASED IN THE U.S. TO ADHERE TO A STANDARD THAT SERVES THE NATIONAL INTEREST. AWAITING THE DEVELOPMENT OF INTERNATIONAL CODES WOULD BE AN EXCUSE FOR INACTION. DISCLOSURE LAWS MUST BE STRENGTHENED TO INCLUDE CRIMINAL AS WELL AS CIVIL PENALTIES AND PROHIBIT CONCEALMENT TECHNIQUES IN ACCOUNTING PRACTICES. A NEW LAW SHOULD OUTLAW PAYMENT OF BRIBES TO FOREIGN OFFICIALS BY U.S. CORPORATIONS AND REGULATE THEIR USE OF AGENTS. THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH SHOULD BE EMPOWERED TO TERMINATE VIOLATOR ELIGIBILITY FOR GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS, AND U.S. EMBASSIES SHOULD BE ABLE TO PROTEST IF IMPROPER PAYMENTS ARE REQUESTED OF AMERICAN BUSINESSMEN ABROAD. FOREIGN COUNTRIES AND COMPANIES PERSISTING IN SUCH PRACTICES SHOULD BE WARNED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF U.S. ECONOMIC RETALIATION. SUCH LAWS SHOULD BE ACCOMPANIED BY INCREASED DEMONSTRATION OF CORPORATE SELF-REGULATION. FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED. (MRK)
Index Term(s): Bribery; Corruption of public officials; Crime specific countermeasures; Graft; International cooperation; Kickbacks; Trade practices; United States of America; US Department of State
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=63817

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.