Fighting Corruption for U.S. Economic and National Security Interests

Corruption plagues governments, economies, and societies around the world. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), the amount of money lost to corruption globally is $2 trillion a year. This money could go a long way toward filling the financing gap for the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and preparing countries for global pandemics such as Covid-19. The United States should recapture its leadership on global anti-corruption efforts for a number of reasons, but most critically for economic ones. U.S. global competitors, such as China and Russia, offer an alternative development model that largely ignores issues of transparency, rule of law, and good governance. If all companies had to abide by the same anti-corruption legislation and there was more transparency in procurement processes, then U.S. companies would have a better chance of winning contracts. Economic growth in developing countries reduces unemployment, increases stability, and supports U.S. national security interests in the process as well.

This report is made possible by general support to CSIS.

Daniel F. Runde
Senior Vice President; William A. Schreyer Chair; Director, Project on Prosperity and Development

Christopher Metzger