President Reagan signed into law the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 (OTCA) on August 23, 1988. Included within this law were provisions addressing authority for trade agreements, section 301 remedies, section 201 escape clause, antidumping, and countervailing duties as well as amendments to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Additionally, export control provisions were included in this law as part of the Export Enhancement Act of 1988. This comprehensive law was the culmination of a lengthy process over several years which included hearings; debates; negotiation among House and Senate leaders and the President; and one Presidential veto. The amendments to the FCPA were sandwiched into the lengthy and more controversial provisions of the OTCA, thus escaping significant public scrutiny. This paper will examine the 1977 FCPA and the 1988 amendments thereto and assesses their impact on effectuating the original purpose of the FCPA which was to insure that corporations act ethically by prohibiting bribery on an international level.
Beverley H. Earle,
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Amendments: The Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Acts Focus on Improving Investment Opportunities,
37 Clev. St. L. Rev.
available at http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clevstlrev/vol37/iss4/4