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The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: An Overview

In many parts of the world, cash payments to government officials are not only routine, but required to do business.  While some foreign governments may turn a blind eye to such practices, the United States does not.  Under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), both U.S. and non-U.S. persons and entities may incur civil and criminal liability, even for actions that take place outside U.S. territory.  To ensure compliance with the law, anyone doing business overseas should be familiar with the provisions of FCPA.

'The Cost of Doing Business' in Developing Economies and the FCPA

According to recent reports, lawyers for Wal-Mart have identified China, Brazil, South Africa, India, and Mexico as potential hotbeds for corruption risk. The findings come in the wake of an April New York Times story alleging that Wal-Mart and its largest foreign subsidiary, Wal-Mart de México (or, Walmex), covered up a bribery investigation involving top company executives and millions of dollars in payments to Mexican government officials.

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