As every action Walmart has taken over the last few years is being picked apart in the aftermath of the New York Times story that alleges they used bribes to expand in Mexico and then covered up those bribes, lots of little interesting side stories are popping up. For example, a new report says Walmart was involved in lobbying aggressively against the very anti-bribery laws they are being investigated for violating.
The Washington Post says Walmart “has participated in an aggressive and high-priced lobbying campaign to amend the long-standing U.S. anti-bribery law that the company might have violated.”
This battle was going down at a little-known but rich arm of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and focused on how federal authorities enforce the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. A top executive of Walmart has been on the board of directors at this particular arm for over 10 years.
Over the last two years, the push to change things had picked up, with the help of large companies and trade groups like the Retail Industry Leaders Association. And guess what? A top Walmart executive serves as the director there. Add in a few high-powered lobbyists, and you’ve got a game plan.
There’s no direct evidence that says Walmart was pushing to change how the law was enforced because of what was allegedly going down in Mexico, but the timing would seem to be a bit coincidental. Just some food for thought.
Wal-Mart took part in lobbying campaign to amend anti-bribery law [Washington Post]