House Foreign Affairs Committee Passes Key Anticorruption Measure in China-Focused Bill
TI-US calls on Congress to ensure the CROOK Act is also included in the final bill
A statement from the U.S. office of Transparency International
July 15, 2021
Today, the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee approved the Countering Russian and Other Overseas Kleptocracy Act (“CROOK Act”) as part of the committee’s China-focused bill, the Ensuring American Global Leadership and Engagement Act (“EAGLE Act”).
The bipartisan CROOK Act, which was introduced in the U.S. House in January by Reps. Bill Keating (D-MA) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), would establish for the first time a dedicated “Anti-Corruption Action Fund” that can be used to support anti-corruption efforts abroad, including efforts that counteract China’s strategic use of corruption to grow its economic and political influence in key parts of the world.
Scott Greytak, Director of Advocacy for Transparency International’s U.S. Office (TI-US), said the following on the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s passage of the EAGLE Act:
The Chinese Community Party is notorious for using bribery and other forms of corruption to expand China's economic and political influence across the world, undermining the rule of law and democratic systems along the way. We see this corruption in every region of the world, from Africa to Southeast Asia to Mexico. In many cases, social and economic chaos follow, creating political instability, destroying economic opportunity, and sowing distrust in government.
The CROOK Act would help counter foreign corrupting influence by deploying rapid-response resources to anti-corruption voices in foreign governments, civil society, and media organizations when integrity is under threat. CROOK’s dedicated anti-corruption funds will build a backstop for clean and ethical governance, and help anti-corruption champions stand up and fight back against authoritarian influence.
The full House of Representatives and the Senate must act with a shared sense of purpose and urgency to ensure that the CROOK Act is also included in the final bill.
Transparency International is the world’s largest coalition against corruption. We give voices to victims and witnesses of corruption, and work with governments, businesses, and citizens to stop the abuse of entrusted power. In collaboration with national chapters in more than 100 countries, we are leading the fight to turn our vision of a world free from corruption into reality.
Our U.S. office focuses on stemming the harms caused by illicit finance, strengthening political integrity, and promoting a positive U.S. role in global anti-corruption initiatives. Through a combination of research, advocacy, and policy, we engage with stakeholders to increase public understanding of corruption and hold institutions and individuals accountable.
- Read a letter from prominent national security and foreign policy experts on how CROOK funds could be used to counteract China’s strategic use of corruption to grow its economic and political influence;
- Read TI-US's factsheet on how CROOK funds could be used to prevent and fight corruption in countries around the world;
- Read the text of the CROOK Act.
Scott Greytak, Director of Advocacy, Transparency International U.S. Office
Telephone: +1 614-668-0258