The House Passes New Anti-Corruption Measures
February 09, 2022

The House Passes New Anti-Corruption Measures
Along with a host of other measures that invest billions of dollars in American manufacturing and research, the America COMPETES Act, a 3,000-page package of legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on February 4, contains four anti-corruption bills.

One, the Countering Russian and Other Overseas Kleptocracy Act (yes, that is the CROOK Act), would fund various anti-corruption efforts around the world and coordinate anti-corruption activities among U.S. agencies and embassies. Especially relevant for FCPA practitioners: the Act would impose a $5-million “prevention payment” on every FCPA enforcement action where the criminal fines and penalties exceed $50 million to be deposited in the Anti-Corruption Action Fund. That would have added up just with the settlements in the last two years – see our coverage of, for example, Airbus, Novartis, Herbalife, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Amec Foster Wheeler and Credit Suisse.

The America COMPETES Act would also strengthen the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which authorizes the President to impose economic sanctions on foreign individuals or entities identified as engaging in corruption or human rights violations. We wrote about the original act here and have more about the current sanctions environment here.

The COMPETES Act also contains the Foreign Corruption Accountability Act, which would authorize visa bans on foreign nationals who engage in an act of corruption against a U.S. person, and the Justice for Victims of Kleptocracy Act, which would increase transparency by creating a public database of assets stolen by corrupt foreign officials recovered by the U.S. public, listed by country. This would dovetail with some of the provisions of the NDAA, enacted a year ago, that also target kleptocracy and aim to increase transparency. We have a roundup of 2021’s anti-corruption enforcement developments, including the NDAA, here

The Senate passed its own version of this bill last year, the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, and the two chambers must go to conference to align the bills before any resulting bill can be voted on again and sent to the President’s desk. 

Let us know your thoughts on these bills, and the approach Congress is taking to anti-corruption policy.

Rebecca Hughes Parker
Global Editor in Chief
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