WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a member of the Senate Finance Committee, issued the following statement marking the 5th anniversary of the enactment of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Senator Cardin co-authored the Cardin-Lugar extractive industries provision in Section 1504. The provision was designed to add stability to markets through greater information and predictability and help protect investors from undue risks. Section 1504 requires extractive companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges to disclose, in their SEC filings, payments made to governments for oil, gas and mining.
“Dodd-Frank helped bring a new level of accountability and transparency to Wall Street. After seeing millions of Americans lose their jobs, homes and retirement savings, then pay billions to bailout big banks, Congress had a responsibility to regulate some of the questionable tactics that were being used on Wall Street. Since the enactment of Dodd-Frank and the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), we’ve seen our economy create close to 12 million jobs, $10.1 billion returned to consumers as a result of CFPB activity and the reining in of risky derivative trading.
“I, along with former Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) authored the Cardin-Lugar provision in Section 1504 of Dodd-Frank to bring the same level of transparency and accountability to the extractive industries. By requiring publically traded oil and mining companies to ‘publish what they pay’ to governments, U.S investors will incur less risks and citizens in resource-rich countries can hold their leaders accountable. America led the international community in promoting transparency in the extractive industry by adopting Cardin-Lugar. In the years since we have seen over 30 countries follow our lead and adopt similar provisions.
“Unfortunately, the United States risks falling behind in the effort to reverse the resource curse. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), after five years, has yet to issue the final rules for how publicly traded oil and mining companies should disclose their payments to governments. The SEC knows that secrecy breeds corruption. Corruption can breed instability and violence in resource rich countries. The SEC can eliminate corruption, instability and violence, as well as the losses they cause American investors by simply issuing these rules.
“On the fifth anniversary of Dodd-Frank, it is clear that the law is working for Americans. It is also clear, in the case of Cardin-Lugar that the world watches what we do, and will follow our leadership. I hope this five year anniversary serves as a wakeup call to the SEC.”