Foreign Bribery

The Office of Monetary Affairs is the State Department lead in the fight against bribery of foreign officials in international business, and acts as head of the U.S. delegation to the OECD Working Group on Bribery (WGB), which monitors implementation of the Anti-Bribery Convention. The WGB consists of 41 (soon to be 44) members, including all 35 members of the OECD. The WGB is considered particularly successful in the anti-corruption area. Its tough peer review and relentless follow up is considered a “gold standard” of monitoring. The U.S. delegation to the WGB includes the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as the Department of Commerce. The WGB and U.S. enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act have changed how the world does business. Thanks to active U.S. engagement and leadership, the WGB has developed into an effective tool to gain allies among other major economies to strengthen and enforce their foreign bribery laws. While the United States used to stand alone in combating foreign bribery, the United States has been joined by 16 other countries in bringing criminal proceedings. Law enforcement cooperation under the aegis of the WGB also has stepped up. A primary goal of the WGB and the United States is to secure the membership of remaining key economies in order to continue to level the playing field for U.S. business and combat the pernicious effects of corruption on economic development, rule of law, and democracy.

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