Lobbying is not bribery, they are very separate: Ambassador Nancy Powell
“What has happened is that accusations that this money was bribery. What it is, is lobbying. In the US, those are two very separate things,” Powell said in an interview to The Indian Express Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta for NDTV’s ‘Walk the Talk’ programme.
“Bribery of foreign officials...is a foreign corrupt practices act, it’s a serious crime, and any allegations or investigations by the company, and Walmart has indicated that they are doing one, and the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission will look into that,” she said.
“What played out yesterday is a totally separate issue, and this is a requirement that dates from 1995. Lobbying in the US is different, it is regulated, the effort is to make it transparent,” the ambassador said. “We have organisations, companies, NGOs, associations, they put forward through lobbyists their ideas for legislation, for executive orders, for policy making, and this is recognised as part of our decision-making.”
“We also recognise there were some abuses of it, enormous amounts of money have been spent on it, and starting with 1995 and with amended legislation in 2007, we now require lobbyists to register. They now tell us their names, whether it’s a company or an individual, they tell us the issues that they are