The World Trade Organization (WTO), whose role is to regulate international trade, has recently taken a more clear-cut approach to combatting corruption across the globe. In fact, the WTO has now made an open stand regarding anti-corruption measures and trade in its dispute settlement system.
Since the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) was enacted, the WTO’s anti-corruption efforts have been somewhat basic. That’s to be expected, though, as WTO law regarding corruption is predominately principles-based. The agency’s primary mission in this area is to help make international trade more transparent and predictable, reducing the possibility of corrupt practices.
However, given the increased focus on anti-corruption efforts by regulators around the globe, the WTO is considering political alternatives to help give it more power in this area. These include:
- Issuing a comprehensive WTO declaration/decision against corruption;
- Creating an anti-corruption committee to study and debate the impact on international trade; and
- Making corruption issues a mandatory topic of the WTO’s Trade Policy Review.
These measures could help the WTO bring trade more teeth to its global anti-corruption agenda. And they will give corporations around the world reason to pay greater attention the WTO as part of their bribery and anti-corruption compliance programs. To learn more, please consider reading a recent FCPA Blog article on the subject. Or click HERE to find out how MCO can help you address anti-corruption and bribery challenges.