U.S. Department of State
Press Statement by James B. Foley/ Deputy Spokesman
November 21, 1997
OECD Anti-Bribery Convention
The Department of State is pleased to announce the success the United States has had today at the OECD negotiations to achieve agreement on the final text of a broad convention to prohibit the bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions.
Thirty-four governments have taken a bold and historic step in the fight against international commercial bribery. We all recognize that the cost of bribery is high. Bribes undermine good governance, harm economic efficiency and development, distort trade, and penalize citizens around the world through higher prices for the products and services involved in corrupt business transactions. Moreover, bribery often greatly disadvantages companies that refuse to engage in the practice.
Four years ago, Secretary Christopher launched this effort in the OECD. The Clinton Administration has taken steps in many international institutions to stop corruption in international commerce.
Secretary Daley, Secretary Rubin, Trade Representative Barshefsky, Attorney General Reno, and others, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, have all been involved in this effort. The United States applauds this commitment to make such bribery a criminal offense.
The United States was the first country to take such action, twenty years ago, with passage of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. We look forward to similar action by our convention partners, who have agreed to submit to their legislatures by April 1998 concrete proposals that criminalize bribery of foreign public officials and to seek their enactment--and entry into force of the Convention--by the end of 1998.
Today's agreement is a critical step in the effort against international commercial bribery. We welcome the agreement of OECD member countries to consider further specific action to combat business-related corruption in the public sector. We urge all participating countries to ensure rapid ratification and early implementation of today's agreement.
OECD Member Countries
Non-OECD Members Participating in the Convention
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