The legal requirements of host nations affect foreign companies and their translation agencies. According to legal translation experts at a San Francisco Translation services company, some nations limit foreign ownership in their businesses. International corporations generally recognize the importance of obeying the laws and regulations of the countries within which they operate. Even the slightest violations of these legal requirements could setback the future of international trade for the corporation and future business opportunities for the translation company.
International business is subject to various trade regulations, tax laws, and import/export requirements. One of the best-known U.S. laws is the Webb-Pomerene Export Trade Act, which exempts from antitrust laws various combinations of U.S. firms acting together to develop foreign markets. Its intent is to give U.S. industry economic power equal to that possessed by cartels, monopolistic organizations such as OPEC . Companies operating under the Webb-Pomerene Act cannot reduce competition within the United States or use “unfair methods of competition.” Generally, Webb-Pomerene associations have been insignificant in the growth of U.S. trade.
Other legislation that has had a major impact on international marketing and language translation and localization firms is the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, which makes it illegal to bribe a foreign official in an attempt to solicit new or repeat sales abroad. The act also mandates that adequate accounting controls be installed to monitor internal compliance. Violations can result in a $1 million fine for the firm and a $10,000 fine and five years imprisonment for the individuals involved. The law has been controversial, mainly because it fails to clearly define what constitutes bribery.