AUSTIN – The Texas Public Policy Foundation today released Reforming the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. This report, authored by Vikrant Reddy, TPPF’s Center for Effective Justice Senior Policy Analyst, discusses the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), a federal statute prohibiting international bribery. Specifically, it focuses upon the increasing number of investigations, and how this statute exemplifies a federal tendency toward overcriminalization.

“While the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act has been law since 1977, investigations by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission have been rare. However, in the last decade the number of investigations has grown sharply,” said Reddy. “Foreign Corrupt Practices Act prosecutions reached a peak in 2008 when the Department of Justice pursued 20 cases, and the Securities and Exchange Commission pursued 13. Currently more than 150 investigations are open.”

Reddy continues, “Although there is little question that corruption is a significant international problem, this statute actually stunts confidence in the rule of law and other democratic institutions while suppressing economic growth. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is a well-intentioned statute and the United States should not ignore international bribery by companies under its jurisdiction. However, modest tweaks would better ensure the statute is fulfilling its mission without improperly infringing on economic liberty and hampering economic growth.” 

The paper can be read in its entirety here:


Vikrant Reddy is a senior policy analyst with Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Center for Effective Justice.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin. 

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