Statement of Senator Richard G. Lugar (Ret.) on Incentivizing Corruption Abroad

August 11, 2017

The Cardin-Lugar anti-corruption amendment, passed in 2010, was a simple transparency rule that required U.S.-listed oil and mining companies to report their payments to governments so citizens could ‘follow the money’ to ensure it was not diverted for corrupt purposes. It has since become the global standard, with the EU and Canada adopting nearly identical rules. As veteran journalist Steve Coll points out in a new New Yorker piece, the Trump administration’s decisions earlier this year to repeal the Cardin-Lugar regulation, and to begin withdrawal from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, another global anti-corruption effort, mean abandoning U.S. leadership. They, in effect, incentivizes corruption abroad, he writes, which is surely not in the U.S. national security interest.