U.S. repeal of mining anti-corruption rules will mean Canadian companies will have much tougher reporting guidelines – by Sunny Freeman (Financial Post – February 6, 2017)


The repeal of a U.S. anti-corruption “resource extraction rule,” which passed Congress late last week, leaves Canadian companies with much tougher reporting rules than their American peers, putting the two countries on divergent paths.

If and when President Donald Trump signs off, U.S.-listed energy and mining companies will no longer be required to disclose taxes and payments made to governments, a move at odds with rules in 30 other countries.

The rule, which took a decade to craft, was finalized in the twilight of Obama’s presidency and slated to take effect next year. But, under the rarely-used Congressional Review Act, recently-enacted rules can be overturned in 60 working days if both houses and the president sign off on it. It has only been successfully used once before.

Trump is widely expected to green-light the reversal, especially given his administration’s decision Friday to undo many of the regulations on Wall Street, put in place in an attempt to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial collapse. Mining advocates and civil society groups alike told the Financial Post they are hopeful the move will not undermine global reporting standards.

Ben Chalmers, vice-president of sustainable development aid for the Mining Association of Canada, said he sees no reason the U.S. move would start a trend in the opposite direction among Canadian companies.

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