Sorensen, Theodore C.
July 1976
Foreign Affairs;Jul1976, Vol. 54 Issue 4, p719
A direct and traditional approach to law enforcement is simply to outlaw the payment of bribes and kickbacks to foreign officials by all United States corporations and their subsidiaries. Many corporate officials would actually be relieved by such legislation; for it would better enable them to resist all temptations and pressures and to hold both their subordinates and at least their United States competitors to a higher standard. It would communicate to every company and government the clearest possible statement of national integrity. Such a law would have to be drawn and enforced with great care and precision, carefully setting forth the distinctions between bribery and the other forms of payments described above. Nor should compliance with a host country's laws be available as a defense under this new statute. Too many of those laws are ambiguous, incomprehensible or unenforced, and the United States cannot undertake to enforce them. No matter how carefully the new statute is drafted and implemented, however, some improper practices may escape.


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