American Big Business Must Stop Colluding with China
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)
February 3, 2022
Big corporations bribing foreign officials … is illegal and can bring hefty penalties. Just ask Goldman Sachs, which paid $2.9 billion in fines after it admitted to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) as part of a global bribery scheme.
The law that snared Goldman and many others prohibits American businesses from supplying “anything of value” to the officials of foreign governments in exchange for business…. For two decades, American corporations operating in China have found ways around the FCPA….
Corporate bribery in China made headlines in 2016 with the “princeling” cases. A group of American banks had hired and promoted the unqualified children of senior CCP officials to curry favor with the Chinese government….
[T]he “princelings” are just the tip of the corruption iceberg. Today, a slew of America’s largest and wealthiest companies do the bidding of the CCP to protect their market share and maximize their profit margins.
Amazon, a multibillion-dollar giant that ranks as one of the world’s largest companies, prides itself on supporting woke causes in the U.S. Meanwhile, it markets outright propaganda for Beijing….
Amazon officials acknowledge that “propaganda is the core of the toolkit for the communist party to achieve and maintain its success,” yet they disavow all responsibility for their promotion of that propaganda. “We are not making judgement on whether it is right or wrong,” maintain internal documents. If anyone risked being fooled by that pathetic line, Amazon’s decision to eliminate negative reviews of a book by Xi Jinping makes clear that corporate “neutrality” is really just rank hypocrisy.
Amazon is not the only business guilty of playing the stooge, of course. Apple signed a secret agreement promising investments and technology transfer to China. Microsoft’s Bing tailors search-engine technology to Beijing’s political standards…. The list goes on….
It’s clear that the time has come to update the FCPA to account for this 21st-century form of corruption…. My new bill will do exactly that, expanding the definition of corrupt intent to include actions that excuse the genocide in Xinjiang, advance the CCP’s propaganda efforts, or “invest” in core CCP activities….
It is not inevitable that American businesses should cave to the Chinese government’s bullying and endorse this genocidal regime. In a fortunate irony, corporate kowtowing to Beijing has become so brazen that we have the opportunity to fight back. What we do with that opportunity will reflect what we really value as a nation: the profit margins of an amoral corporate elite, or moral and economic integrity.