One of the best ways to help Haiti: modify FCPA

by on March 15, 2010 at 9:24 am in Economics, Law | Permalink

Pass a law stating that the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act does not apply to dealings in Haiti.

As it stands right now, U.S. businesses are unwilling to take on this legal risk and the result is similar to an embargo.  You can't do business in Haiti without paying bribes.

Along these lines, I found this article of interest.  Excerpt:

An American entrepreneur who does business in the Caribbean recently explained the Haitian landscape to me this way: "We did not bother with Haiti as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act precludes legitimate U.S. entities from entering the Haitian market. Haiti is pure pay to play. The benefit of competitive submarine cables would be transformative for the Haitians. Instead, they were stuck with Clinton cronies taxing the poor."

1 Brett March 15, 2010 at 10:59 am

That always struck me as an absurd law in many cases. While we don’t exactly want to encourage the paying of bribes, bribes are just part of doing business in many parts of the world.

2 charlie March 15, 2010 at 3:36 pm

I have a better idea. Stop all aid to Haiti and let the weak ones die. The resulting decrease in population will make the survivors more rich.

3 eddie March 16, 2010 at 11:02 am

Silas Barta – according to this blog post extortion is indeed a defense to FCPA charges. But if you’re a public company and are being extorted, you have to book your extortion payments as extortion payments or the SEC will fine you for an accounting violation.

4 Andy Spalding March 18, 2010 at 2:57 am

Haiti tragically illustrates a broader FCPA problem in developing countries: as FCPA enforcement goes up, companies increasingly feel they cannot afford the risk of investing in markets where bribery is perceived to be commonplace, and invest less than they otherwise would. These countries generally need FDI for economic and social development, and withdrawing that capital in the name of fighting corruption seems to me destructive in ethical, economic, and political terms alike. If interested in exploring this idea further, see my paper at (Unwitting Sanctions: Understanding Anti-Bribery Legislation as Economic Sanctions Against Emerging Markets).

5 chat script March 24, 2010 at 9:29 am

thank you i like this..

6 r4i gold April 6, 2010 at 9:08 am

Really great…With thousands affected by the devastating earthquake in Haiti, there is an overwhelming need for assistance.We all should put our steps forward to help them…

7 keevin April 28, 2010 at 10:31 pm

Novel thought, stop military coups sponsored and run by the USA. stop US agricultural subsidies, which make it cheaper for haitians to buy US products than their own locally grown crops. Have france pay back the several hundred million $ that Haiti was required to pay France in “Lost assets” when they won their independence and ended slavery. Offer free political amnesty to any Haitian that wants to come live in the United States “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” anyone?!?!!?

8 i9 July 28, 2010 at 11:38 pm

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” anyone?!?!!?

9 immo February 10, 2011 at 6:47 am

I’ve heard claims the private contractors delivering the supplies to US forces in Afghanistan pay protection money and turn over cargo to the Taliban – is our funding the enemy the price of our wars? recherche appartement a louer

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