By Greg Williams
President Trump signed into law Congressional action to void requirements that the oil, gas and mining industries report financial activity in countries where they operate. The bipartisan 1504 "Cardin-Lugar amendment" to the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act instructed the Securities and Exchange Commission to create this disclosure rule.
"In the short term, we lost a tool that can help track the billions of dollars lost to corruption and tax evasion in the developing world,” noted Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA, a religious development organization. “Resource rich countries are particularly vulnerable to the kind of corruption that the Cardin-Lugar amendment threatened to expose.”
The House of Representatives and Senate passed this resolution in a quick series of votes in early February under the Congressional Review Act. The Securities and Exchange Commission, which initially wrote the rule, now has a legislative mandate to write a new rule. According to the Congressional resolution, the new rule cannot be 'substantially similar' to the old one.
"Now we need to be sure that the new rule that the Securities and Exchange Commission writes will be a rule that can still stop corruption,” commented LeCompte, who serves on United Nation expert groups that focus on finance. "Improving financial transparency and ending global poverty are two sides of the same coin.”
Read more about the Cardin-Lugar amendment