Typically, when compliance professionals interact with members of the US Government it is in an enforcement context.
Not all parts of the government, though, serve that role. When putting together the SCCE regional compliance meeting in Sarajevo in October, we contacted the local embassy for help, which they were more than happy to provide.
Janet Kennedy is an Economics Officer in the embassy, and in this podcast, she explains the role and how she and her colleagues, who can be found at embassies and consulates worldwide, can help. She explains:
- Their main role is economic diplomacy: building the economic relationship between the US and the host country
- They meet this goal by providing advocacy for US companies operating overseas
- Advocacy can include providing information to US businesses about the country, working to improve market access, encouraging fair treatment for investors, protecting intellectual property, and combatting corruption
- They can be particularly helpful when bidding on foreign government tenders
- On the less formal side, they can help promote businesses and establish an initial presence
- Don’t expect an economics officer to provide legal advice, but they may provide a list of local lawyers
- Generally, don’t count on them to intervene in commercial disputes
- If your company is solicited for bribes by a foreign government official, it’s good to notify the embassy and to contact firstname.lastname@example.org