Support For FCPA Reform Comes From An Unlikely Place

This article was republished with permission from the site FCPAProfessor.com.

If one were to list the industries likely in favor of FCPA reform, the top of the list would likely include oil and gas, pharmaceutical, telecommunication, defense and poultry.

Poultry? That’s right. In this November 1o, 2011 letter to U.S. Senator Mark Pryor (D-Ark) the Arkansas Poultry Growers Association advocates in favor of FCPA reform. The copy quality of the letter is poor and below is what the letter appears to say.

Senator Pryor:

We were pleased to read media accounts of your press conference last Friday in Little Rock when you touted agriculture and reducing burdensome regulation as primary components of your job package as well as helping the U.S. regain some economic footing. Those words ring true to anyone in agriculture, such as us.

As much as the success of U.S. agriculture depends on exports to foreign market, it is critical that you understand what an impediment the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act has become to this end. The FCPA was passed over 30 years ago yet has not had meaningful legislative amendments since. Meanwhile, the global economy has and continues to rapidly change. Clearly the FCPA has not kept up, it is now archaic, and most troubling the administration of this Act is now left to un-elected federal bureaucrats.

Unfortunately these government attorneys use their interpretation to carry out significant decisions, some of which have resulted in fines and even criminal charges against U.S. interests. Arkansas agriculture needs clarity on the FCPA and we shouldn’t have to wait any longer for that to occur. It is true the Administration can make changes to this that would help, but the fact is it hasn’t, nor did the last Administration. We respectfully urge you to carry this matter forward in the U.S. Senate and lead the way to clarify consistency in the implementation of the FCPA.

By reforming the FCPA as soon as possible you will be taking proactive steps perfectly aligned with the tenants you presented in your jobs program. We hope we can count on you to do just that, and without waiting on the Administration or anyone else to perform this responsibility.

Thank you in advance.

Roy Casares (Fayetteville, Ar.) Guy Pavey (Springdale, Ar.), James Pepples (Springdale, AR).

Incidentally, Springdale, Arizona, is home to Tyson Foods. As detailed in a prior article, Tyson resolved an FCPA enforcement action in February 2011.

That’s democracy in action, and more companies, trade groups, etc. ought to make their voice heard on FCPA reform issues.

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