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Congress OKs Int’l Bribery Pact

October 21, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Legislation approving an agreement with other major industrial countries to crack down on bribery in international business transactions won final congressional approval Wednesday. It now goes to President Clinton for his expected signature.

The Senate passed the bill by voice vote without debate, a day after House passage.

The agreement calls on major U.S. trading partners to have their legislatures pass criminal laws against bribery.

The United States is one of the few countries with laws against using bribes to advance foreign business deals. American executives have complained for years that the 20-year-old Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, passed in 1977, put them at a disadvantage in trying to secure foreign contracts.

Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., the Senate sponsor, said the legislation ``will put America on a level footing with foreign companies while combating bribery.″

The administration sought approval of the measure, known as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) convention against bribery.

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