Defend the Cardin-Lugar anti-corruption provision

The groundbreaking anti-corruption law, the Cardin-Lugar provision of the Dodd Frank Act, is currently under threat of repeal. This law allows citizens in resource rich countries to ‘follow the money’ and hold their governments accountable for graft, waste and abuse.

Since the earliest days of the Trump administration, the Cardin-Lugar anti-corruption provision (also known as Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Act) has been under attack. Congressional Republicans, empowered with majorities in both chambers and a Republican in the White House, deployed the seldom used Congressional Review Act (CRA) in late January 2017 to roll back the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) implementing rule for Section 1504. By April, House GOP members took aim at Dodd-Frank and passed the Financial CHOICE Act, which included a targeted repeal of Section 1504. In October, the Department of the Treasury issued a report recommending the repeal of the Section 1504 law and any implementing SEC rule. In a move that was months in the making, the Department of the Interior officially withdrew the United States as an implementing country of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. In December 2017, Rep. Huizenga (R-MI-2) introduced a bill to repeal the Cardin-Lugar provision.

The Cardin-Lugar anti-corruption provision is supported by civil society groups around the world, investors with nearly $10 trillion in assets under management, government officials and nearly all major oil, gas and mining companies.

Today, there is a clear international standard of oil, gas, and mining sector transparency consistent with the Cardin-Lugar anti-corruption provision. Ever since the Cardin-Lugar provision passed in 2010, the 28 members of the European Union (including the United Kingdom), Canada, and Norway have followed US leadership and implemented reporting requirements equivalent to the US law. Some of the world’s largest extractive companies, such as BP, Shell, Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, and Total have been reporting under international requirements for several years. State-owned Russian firms Rosneft and Gazprom, and state-owned Chinese company CNOOC Ltd. have reported their payments consistent with the international standard. After multiple years of reporting, companies have reported no negative impacts whatsoever from disclosing their payments. In fact, many companies have called for global consistency on extractive industry payment transparency. Before these international developments, the Cardin-Lugar anti-corruption provision had a long bipartisan history in the US Congress. There is also an overwhelming body of evidence on the benefits of extractive industry sector payment transparency in the open comment records considered by the SEC in its processes to promulgate an implementing rule for Section 1504 (see below).

PWYP-US Coalition and other statements on current efforts to repeal the Cardin-Lugar provision

PWYP-US Coalition and other letters in opposition to H.R. 4519

Fact Sheets

Commentary on the Cardin-Lugar provision

SEC Comment Records on an implementing rule for Section 1504