During the week of July 25th, General Counsel Kerry travelled to Beijing to continue discussions with China on the shared goal of addressing bribery of foreign government officials by U.S. and Chinese companies. Following extensive dialogue led by General Counsel Kerry, China amended its criminal code earlier this year to criminalize the bribery of foreign government officials. The United States has criminalized such conduct since 1977 through the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
Now General Counsel Kerry and an interagency team, including representatives of the Departments of Justice and State and the Securities and Exchange Commission, are sharing with Chinese officials how the United States has implemented and enforced the FCPA and are seeking to encourage China to publicize, fully implement, and rigorously enforce their new law. The discussions, held under the auspices of the U.S.-China Joint Liaison Group Anti-Corruption Working Group, also included a roundtable in which U.S. and Chinese companies exchanged ideas about how they prevent and detect corrupt payments to foreign officials through compliance programs within their enterprises.
When opening the roundtable, General Counsel Kerry stressed the need for government and industry to work together in combating transnational bribery, stating: "A legal regime criminalizing transnational bribery can only be effective when the government and industry work together by incentivizing compliance, instituting strong and effective international compliance and ethics programs, and maintaining and applying deterrent penalties." Opening Remarks
While in Beijing, General Counsel Kerry also met with Ministry of Commerce officials, representatives of the U.S. private sector, and other U.S. and Chinese officials to discuss commercial law issues and intellectual property rights protection and enforcement.