America must continue the fight against kleptocracy around the globe

This article was originally published by The Hill.

Massive protests in Venezuela, Tunisia, Brazil, Morocco, and the Dominican Republic over the last few weeks have highlighted political graft around the globe, and the ensuing instability and violence that can result.

In Washington, the Trump administration has signalled an intention to continue the United States’ fight against corruption and kleptocracy abroad. The White House sent a letter to Congress pledging to “hold perpetrators of human rights abuses and corruption accountable,” in line with major anti-corruption legislation that Congress passed last December, the Global Magnitsky Act. Days later, Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowed to continue enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits U.S. companies and individuals from bribing foreign officials. That message was particularly important, given that President Trump had previously called the FCPA a “horrible law.”

These signals matter. Systemic corruption and kleptocracy in other countries are not merely inconveniences or added costs to doing business. Rather, corruption undermines U.S. national security, and the United States should use all its available tools to combat and deter corrupt actors.

Continue Reading: the full op-ed can be found here.

Charles Davison is the director of the non-profit Hudson Institute’s Kleptocracy Initiative, an organization that serves as an archive and resource for those tracking illicit funds used by kleptocrats. Kate Bateman is a visiting fellow at the Center for a New American Security, and a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow.

This article was originally published by The Hill.