Dear Honorable House Financial Services Committee Members,
We are writing to urge you to vote NO on H. R. 4519, a bill to repeal the legal requirements of the Cardin-Lugar Anticorruption Provision (section 1504) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. (Download letter here).
We are Africa Faith & Justice Network, a Catholic membership organization representing over 28 religious communities and many more supporting members with a specific focus on advocacy and education for the transformation of U.S. policy toward Africa. Our members, many of whom are working in Africa as missionaries, know firsthand that one of Africa’s largest ills is corruption.
This bipartisan law, also known as Section 1504, promotes a fundamental principle in development and political science: corruption is a lifeline for tyranny and a threat to peace, justice, just economic prosperity and democracy. The law requires making public all payments such as royalties, bonuses, fees, and taxes made to governments in each country and for every project in oil, gas and mining sector.
These are just some of the reasons why we urge you to support this law:
- Section 1504 is an efficient instrument through which the U.S. government can promote transparency and responsible investment.
- The law protects U.S. companies from harassment by corrupt governments when negotiating these contracts.
- U.S. tax payers’ money previously used for anti-corruption programs in oil, natural gas and mineral rich nations will remain here and benefit American citizens. Knowing how much these foreign governments receive in sales from their natural resources, citizens, civil society groups and concerned leaders will be empowered to demand accountability from their governments.
- It helps restore the fast eroding U.S. image in developing nations, some of which are covered by this law, in the area of corporate land grabbing, characterized by corruption in natural gas, oil and mining concessions acquisition.
- In some countries, the law improves competitiveness of U.S. companies against neocolonial policies by former colonial masters who still think they deserve priority on businesses contracts in their former colonies.
We urge you to lean forward and embrace truth, transparency and justice. This law is a testament that the U.S. is a forward-looking, corruption-fighting country in a community of nations where transparency has become the global norm. Once again we urge you to vote NO on H.R. 4519.
May God bless you and guide you in your work.
Rev. Aniedi Okure, OP
To learn more, please, also read Publish What you Pay’s Letter here