To have a better understanding on how the United-States impose their law on the rest of the world, an excellent parliamentarian report exists: the Berger-Lellouche report named after its co-authors, two MPs, Karine Berger and Pierre Lellouche. From 2004 to 2006, Pierre Lellouche was president of the NATO parliamentarian assembly and was also vice-president of the France-United States parliamentary friendship group. Friendship, however, does not imply submission.
Written and submitted in 2016, the Berger-Lellouche report is a very complete inventory of the various abuses of the American rights to impose their law on the rest of the world.
In short, the United-States has put in place a large body of extra-territorial laws to fight corruption at the international level and to prosecute companies that do not respect the embargoes set as part of their foreign policy.
The main text concerning corruption is the Foreign Corruption Protection Act (FCPA) of 1977. The embargoes are controlled by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), an agency of the Department of the Treasury.
They apply to countries or individuals or to types of equipment, based on ad hoc laws or regulations such as the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) and the Export Administration Regulation (EAR).
Simply using the dollar or an American software makes you comply with the American law.
In 1998, the American judge has extended the definition of a foreign actor's connection with the United-States (the nexus) as the legal bases to prosecution. If using the dollar is the most frequent nexus, the other criteria now include the employment of an American citizen or his presence at a meeting as well as a e-mail transit from a server based in the United-States. The simple use of an American software could soon be recognized as a nexus.
The European and French companies were often targeted and sanctioned in the recent years.
Does the American "soft power" actually serves economic and strategic objectives? This would be unfair as the Russian and Chinese companies are not prosecuted and the pursuits are most often resolved through transactions (the Deferred Prosecution Agreements - DPA) that allows avoiding expensive and uncertain trials but that do not really do justice.
What is worrying is that none or almost none of my clients and partners really question the risks encountered in their economic activities. What is essentially mentioned is data plundering. GDPR also shows that as a result, the Europeans have started adopting their own rules. What remains now is convincing our European business leaders that using American softwares to manage data represents different risks:
- Risk of looting in favor of companies of our allies in the context of calls for tenders
- Risk of direct control of activities and indirect pressure
- Legal and financial risk of on-line American law enforcement
One of the alternatives stated in the report is to sanction European companies that comply with American rules. You could also make your own choices that would expose you less.
Are you taking advantage of the #GDPR compliance to choose a European or French software to manage your clients' data?
After all, you are paying taxes for the state to protect you and create an inspiring work environment. Today, there is a wide choice of French solutions that exist, that are alternatives to Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics & Hubspot.
Need some French softwares to develop within your company?
- For #CRMs there is InesCRM or Sellsy,
- Need a project management tool? TimeTonic is one of the best. There is also Tilkee to manage your invoices.
- Marketing Automation? Webmecanik is one of the French leaders. You can also lookup Leadfox, a Quebec alternative
Now that you know more about the situation it is up to you to make the choice that best suits you!
- Chronique Daniel Schneidermann - Arrêt Sur Images
- IFRI - Institut Français des Relations International - Comply or die ? Les entreprises face à l’exigence de conformité venue des États-Unis - Potomac Paper, n° 34, mars 2018