London, 31st January 2017 – An attempt by two Republican legislators to repeal a vital section of the US safeguards against corruption threatens to seriously undermine national security, according to Transparency International.
Section 1504 of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act requires oil, gas, and mining companies registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission to publicly disclose payments they make to foreign governments. Removing transparency in these transactions will make it more likely that significant amounts of these often billion-dollar payments will be diverted to corrupt criminal networks.
Representative Huizenga (R-MI) and US Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) jointly filed a motion yesterday under the Congressional Review Act, specifically targeting the bi-partisan provision originally introduced by Sen Lugar (R-Indiana) and Sen Cardin (D-Maryland).
Katherine Dixon, Director Transparency Defence and Security, said:
“The attempt to repeal this legislation is gambling American lives to save international businesses the task of filling out forms. The link between corruption and development is simple: corrupt leaders that siphon state funds and resources away from vulnerable populations bring about weak states and public unrest, creating fertile ground for terrorists and organised crime.”
“If we want our corporations to support responsible governance, they too must be responsible. If the government believes US companies deserve a level-playing field abroad, they should lead the fight to raise international standards – not participate in an all-out-race to the bottom.”
“In the interests of transparency and national security, we hope that representatives from both the Democrats and Republicans will reject any attempts to weaken anti-corruption legislation. The new administration has prioritised accountability and putting American security first; this motion does precisely the opposite.”
TI further warns that these actions could be the start of efforts to chip away at anti-corruption legislation, such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The FCPA has been in place since 1977 and has set the standard in international anti-corruption legislation.
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