You are hereWashington Post: Wal-Mart took part in lobbying campaign to amend anti-bribery law

Washington Post: Wal-Mart took part in lobbying campaign to amend anti-bribery law


-By Tom Hamburger, Brady Dennis and Jia Lynn Yang

April 23, 2012- Wal-Mart, the giant retailer now under fire over allegations of foreign bribery in Mexico, has participated in an aggressive and high-priced lobbying campaign to amend the long-standing U.S. anti-bribery law that the company might have violated.

The push to revisit how federal authorities enforce the statute has been centered at a little-known but well-funded arm of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce where a top executive of Wal-Mart has sat on the board of directors for nearly a decade.

The effort has intensified in the past two years, drawing on the backing of several large companies and trade groups such as the Retail Industry Leaders Association, where one of Wal-Mart’s top executives serves as a director. It also has involved high-powered lobbyists, including former attorney general Michael B. Mukasey.

The 1977 law, known as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, prohibits U.S. companies from offering fees or gifts to foreign officials to advance corporate interests.

There is no evidence that suggests Wal-Mart participated in the Chamber’s efforts because of its problems in Mexico. But even as the company has pledged zero tolerance for corruption around the globe, it has been a party to an effort that, some advocacy groups argue, would eviscerate the Watergate-era anti-corruption statute.

The Justice Department launched an investigation into Wal-Mart’s Mexican subsidiary in December over payments of more than $24 million in bribes to win construction permits there.

FULL STORY HERE:

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