In most countries bribery is a crime; it is a criminal act on the part of the person who gives the bribe and on the part of the person who receives the bribe. In a few nations bribery is not a crime, but an accepted part of business dealings. There can be issues where someone who lives in a country where bribery is not a crime is bribed by someone who lives where bribery is a crime. One person can be punished and the other person can not be punished unless….
…the bribe is in the form of United States dollars. The US asserts jurisdiction over the use of its currency. the dollar is a world currency. Virtually all commodities are priced in dollars, many assets are bought and sold in dollars and dollars act as a hedge to local currency fluctuations all over the world. Many people keep dollar currency savings, thereby making an interest free loans to the USA, which is in sore need of such loans from poor people in places like Bolivia and India.
All international dollar transfers of money are conducted through the United States. If you therefore accept a bribe in dollars the bribe will at some point in time pass through the USA, and thus the people involved in the bribe are committing a crime in the USA, whether or not the bribe is a crime where they live and whether or not they have never been to the USA. This enables the USA Federal authorities to use extradition to bring the people involved to trial.
This is rather an odd state of affairs, because it means that the USA asserts jurisdiction over crimes that do not touch and concern it; I am unable to think of any damage done to the USA by means of using dollars as a bribe.
If the bribe had been dominated in gold, or euros or gold then, unless the bribe passed though the USA no crime in the USA would have been committed.
Of course the definition of bribery can be very fuzzy around the edges of commercial and social behaviour. I expect we will hear a great deal about bribery over the coming months and we must be careful to examine the acts claimed as bribes. Sometimes they will be no more than humans favouring other humans in order to seek a future favour – actions which the British Establishment, expert in multi-handed back scratching – has carried out for many generations.