WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and member of the Senate Finance Committee, today issued the following statement in response to the decision by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to issue a weak rule on the implementation of Section 1504 the Dodd-Frank Act.
“As one of the authors of this provision, I am deeply disappointed with today’s decision by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to issue a weak rule to implement Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act. Unfortunately, the SEC has failed to take into account the comments received during the public comment period and issue a rule that meets the original bipartisan Congressional intent behind the statute in aligning with the international standard for payment transparency in the oil, gas, and mining industries.
“The SEC had an opportunity to issue a rule that would serve as an effective tool for combating corruption, but it failed. The vast majority of comments during the Commission’s public comment period urged the SEC to strengthen its proposed rule to ensure alignment with the existing international transparency standard, a critical objective explicitly expressed in the original statute and reiterated with bipartisan Congressional support. This position was strongly expressed by a wide range of stakeholders, including investors, many of the world’s largest oil, gas and mining companies, domestic and international civil society organizations seeking to use the information, and anti-corruption and legal experts.
“The United States has long been a global leader in fighting corruption and ensuring transparency of its markets, and protecting U.S. investors by providing access to valuable information to assess risk and company performance. I encourage the incoming Biden administration to address the shortcomings of this latest decision and restore U.S. leadership.”