When the United States passed the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in 1977, it was the lone voice for reform in the international arena of business transactions. It was an attempt to regulate transactions by United States companies and individuals and their agents abroad. The legislation represented efforts to enforce a concept of morality and to "level the playing field" in forbidding the use of corrupt payments offered to foreign officials to obtain or retain business. The anticipated rush by other countries to follow the United States' lead never occurred. Nonetheless, the U.S. standing alone defended its action based on moral principles.
Beverley Earle, The United States' Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the OECD Anti-Bribery Recommendation: When Moral Suasion Won't Work, Try the Money Argument, 14 Penn St. Int'l L. Rev. 207 (1996).