Across the world, corruption has emerged as a grave threat to the success and spread of democracy.
It is both a driver and product of increasing conflict and instability. It undermines public accountability and fuels disillusionment with political freedoms. As a fundamental threat to the rule of law, corruption hollows out institutions, corrodes public trust, and fuels cynicism toward effective, accountable governance. It is the lifeblood of transnational criminal activity and prevents U.S. firms from competing fairly in overseas markets. It enables dictators to remain in power and, in the case of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, to wage a devastating war of aggression. It diverts public resources that could otherwise be invested in strengthening public health and education systems. Rooting out public corruption, and the illicit finance it enables and depends on, demands both proactive U.S. leadership and close international cooperation.
For all these reasons, President Biden has elevated the fight against corruption as a core national security priority. To address corruption and its harmful impact on our interests and priorities, the U.S. is pursuing a coordinated, whole of government anti-corruption strategy built around five pillars: (1) Modernizing, coordinating, and resourcing U.S. Government efforts to fight corruption; (2) Curbing illicit finance; (3) Holding corrupt actors accountable; (4) Preserving and strengthening the multilateral anti-corruption architecture; and (5) Improving diplomatic engagement and leveraging foreign assistance resources to advance policy goals.
“A $1 million bribe can easily create $100 million worth of damage, in the form of additional costs and poor investment decisions.”— High Level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity for Achieving the 2030 Agenda Hear this quote in context
Making headway in the fight against global corruption hinges on two parallel but mutually reenforcing lines of effort: strengthening and resourcing anti-corruption enforcement at home, and working to advance international coordination, cooperation, and information sharing to root out global corruption networks. You can contribute to this critical work by urging your Members of Congress to support measures that leverage the U.S. legal system to disrupt foreign bribery at its source, address the ways that corrupt actors and their enablers move and hide the proceeds of corruption, prioritize transparency and anticorruption in our international engagement and foreign assistance, and provide adequate funding for the U.S. financial intelligence unit (FinCEN).