Mining firms oppose Trump’s proposed weakening of disclosure regulations

Global Business

The Trump administration is working to unwind many financial regulations established after the 2008 financial crisis.

Some were aimed at cleaning up the global oil, gas and mining sectors.

But many major mining companies and investment firms with trillions of dollars under management now favor greater transparency.

CGTN’s Daniel Ryntjes explains.
Follow Daniel Ryntjes on Twitter @danielryntjes

Mining firms oppose Trump’s proposed weakening of disclosure regulations

The Trump administration is working to unwind many financial regulations established after the 2008 financial crisis. Some were aimed at cleaning up the global oil, gas and mining sectors. But many major mining companies and investment firms with trillions of dollars under management now favor greater transparency. CGTN's Daniel Ryntjes explains.

It’s known as the resource curse: instability and inequality in developing countries with rich mineral resources and weak governmental institutions. Foreign companies have traditionally fueled this phenomenon by making secretive payments to secure the rights to extract oil, gas and other commodities.

A U.S. law called the Cardin-Lugar Amendment requires firms to publish all foreign payments. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission spent several years crafting rules for compliance to begin in 2019. Republicans in Congress have now passed a resolution signed by President Donald Trump, telling the SEC to weaken the regulations.

According to John Streur, CEO of Calvert Research and Management, “Standards, disclosure, uniformity, clarity, stability. Those are things that are generally good for business and the best managers of large companies appreciate those kinds of conditions.”

Mining companies are already complying with parallel standards established in Europe and Canada, firms like BP, Shell, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Gazprom and Rosneft. Investment firms managing ten trillion dollars in assets said it also makes good business sense.

The American Petroleum Institute has been consistently opposed to the Cardin-Lugar Amendment. This industry group prefers the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, a voluntary standard for countries to join.