What is the focus of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act?does it prohibit foreign corporations from acting in a corrupt manner?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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The United States legislation, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, does not legislate concerning how foreign corporations behave in their own countries, as the United States has no jurisdictions over foreign nationals in their home countries. Just as China has no right to make laws concerning how United States citizens behave in the U.S., so the U.S. has no right to decide how a Chinese company should behave in China. The two cases where the United States does have the right to legislate are the behavior of foreign companies located in or doing business with the United States and U.S. companies with dealings or offices abroad.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act makes it illegal for Unites States corporations to act in corrupt fashion abroad. Thus, for example, Lockheed and Chiquita, two U.S. companies, have been prosecuted for bribing officials in South America and other foreign companies.

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