Ranking Members Cummings and Waxman Question Efforts by Chamber of Commerce to Weaken Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

May 22, 2012

Today, Oversight and Government Reform Committee Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings and Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman sent a letter to Thomas Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, regarding the Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), which has pushed for changes to weaken the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

A new analysis by Democratic Committee staff reveals that Wal-Mart is not the only company represented on ILR’s board that has faced allegations that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Based on a review of ILR’s tax filings, it appears that 14 of the 55 ILR board members between 2007 and 2010 – almost one in four – were affiliated with companies that were reportedly under investigation for violations or had settled allegations that they violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

The members are requesting additional information from the Chamber of Commerce about the role played by the numerous members of the ILR board who represented companies implicated in violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  

In addition, the ranking members sent a letter to Gregg Steinhafel, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, requesting clarification on information they provided to the members.